FanDuel PGA DFS Picks: Mexico Open at Vidanta Cash and GPP Strategy

FanDuel PGA DFS Picks: Mexico Open at Vidanta Cash and GPP Strategy

This article is part of our FanDuel PGA DFS Picks series.

Mexico Open at Vidanta 

Course: Vidanta Vallarta (7,456 yards, par 71)
Purse: $8,100,000
Winner: $1,458,000 and 500 FedExCup points

Tournament Preview

After five weeks the PGA Tour's West Coast Swing is complete, and before we head out East for a four-week Florida Swing, the Tour makes a stop in Mexico. There's a case to be made that this could also be apart of the West Coast Swing too as Vidanta Vallarta sits along the Pacific Ocean. This will be the third year that the Mexico Open will be an official event on the PGA Tour, but this season it slides forward to February after previously being hosted in late April. It seems like the move was a good decision considering the weather this week will be absolutely perfect in the low-80s, something many players will be happy about after a chilly and wet West Coast Swing. 

The Mexico Open dates back to 1944 when Al Espinosa won the first four tournaments at Club de Golf Chapultepec. It would move around to a number of different courses over the years and has seen some high profile winners like Lee Trevino (2) , Billy Casper, Ben Crenshaw, Jay Haas and Stewart Cink (2) even though it was not a PGA Tour event. The Mexico Open was picked up as a Korn Ferry Tour event from 2008-12 before playing as a PGA Tour Latinoamerica event 2013-21. Spaniard Jon Rahm won the first edition played as a PGA Tour event in 2022 before getting out-dueled in 2023 by Tony Finau

It is a bit ironic that this event is hosted on a course designed by LIV Golf Commissioner Greg Norman, but it is certainly one of the finest that Mexico has to offer. Vidanta Vallarta has a great mix of long holes, half-par holes and holes where water is very much in play. It plays as a par 71 with five par 3s and four par 5s, three of which are on the back-nine and make for an exciting finish. 

The Mexico Open at Vidanta falls in a bit of a tough spot on the schedule following three straight high profile events, two of which are Signature Events. With another Signature Event in a couple weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and then The Players Championship, many of the higher ranked players are electing to skip the Mexico Open. That being said there is an opportunity for a lot of other players to take advantage of that at Vidatna and PGA National next week and earn a spot in the API via the Aon Swing 5. 

Tony Finau returns to defend his title this week and is also the highest ranked player in the field at No. 24. 2023 DP World Tour Championship winner Nicolai Hojgaard will be in the field looking to claim his first PGA Tour win and continue to move up from No. 34 in the OWGR. Fellow Dane Thorbjorn Olesen will make his 2024 season debut after earning a card last season via the Race to Dubai Top 10. None of the first seven winners on the PGA Tour this season are in the field this week, but Charley Hoffman who nearly got it done in Scottsdale will be along with former major champions Francesco Molinari and Padraig Harrington

Recent Champions

2023 - Tony Finau (-24)
2022 - Jon Rahm (-17)

Key Stats to Victory

  • SG: Off-the-Tee
  • SG: Approach
  • Approach Proximity 175-225 yards
  • SG: Putting

Champion's Profile

Vidanta Vallarta is one of the longer courses on Tour at over 7,400 yards and it is made for bombers to have success with wide fairways and short rough. Take a look at some of the players that have done well here the last two years and you will find that most of them are not lacking for club head speed. There are three of the par 5s that sit at over 585 yards and five par 4s which extend past 475 yards. We will see more long irons that normal this week, especially if the traditional winds off the Pacific pick up. While the greens are fairly sizable, iron play can still be a huge separator this week due to the longer clubs being used. 

Paspalum blankets the entire course and is typically a favorite among players. The greens here are usually pretty receptive and roll extremely smooth. They will be governed to run from 10.5-11.5 on the Stimpmeter, any faster and they would risk balls moving on the greens due to the wind gusts on this exposed course. The green complexes here are pretty straightforward which leaves short game at a pretty minor concern. This is definitely a week you want to target some bombers who excel on approach and experience on these putting surfaces certainly wouldn't be a bad thing either. 

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Nicolai Hojgaard ($11,800)

Hojgaard fits this place perfectly. He is an elite driver of the ball and is extremely accurate on approach, especially with the longer clubs where he ranks second in proximity from 175-200 yards. In his last seven starts he has gained on approach every time and off-the-tee in six of them. Hojgaard has not missed a cut in his last 13 starts and over that stretch he has five top-five finishes and eight top-25s. He teed it up last year at this course and finished T33 behind another strong week with his irons. 

Emiliano Grillo ($11,600)

Grillo has experience around Vidanta, going T33-T5 the last two seasons here. He has also been on a solid run of golf with top-25 finishes in four of his last five starts. Grillo's biggest weakness since he came on Tour has been the putter, but he has certainly turned that around this season ranking 23rd in SG: Putting and 25th in putts per hole. Grillo has been a strong mid-to-long iron player throughout his career and is a strong option even at this price point. 

Thorbjorn Olesen ($11,300)

Olesen has been dominating the DP World Tour for the last several months finishing 26th-or-better in eight straight starts capped off with a win a few weeks ago at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. That stretch has seen him go positive seven times on approach and six times with the putter. Making his first PGA Tour start of 2024 in a weak field, Olesen certainly has the game to contend this week at Vidanta and start to rack up FedExCup points. 

The Middle Tier

Erik van Rooyen ($10,300)

van Rooyen has great vibes coming to Mexico as the last time the Tour was there in November at El Cardonal he claimed the win at 27-under-par. He also was right there at Vidanta last year going into the weekend. van Rooyen has finished top-32 in 10 of his last 12 starts worldwide. The South African ranks 27th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 18th in GIR percentage this season. His short game weaknesses should be mitigated this week. 

Jake Knapp ($10,200)

Knapp is one of the most interesting rookies on the PGA Tour. He is coming off a great season on the Korn Ferry Tour in which he closed with top-25 finishes in nine of his last 11 starts. Knapp shined last month at another course where it's important to hit it a long way -- Torrey Pines, posting a T3 result. The 29-year-old has club head speed for days and a very underrated short game and putter. 

Davis Thompson ($9,900)

Thompson has been knocking down flagsticks this season as he ranks 14th in SG: Approach, 27th in GIR percentage and eighth in proximity from 200-225 yards. He hasn't been able to show the driving this season through four starts, but last season he was 26th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 16th in total driving. Thompson is 11 for his last 13 in made cuts with six top-25 finishes over that stretch. Don't underestimate his ability on the greens as well. 

The Long Shots

Joseph Bramlett ($8,700)

Bramlett is another long hitter that should be freed up to let it fly this week. He actually performed quite well in this event last year where he scored a T10 finish. Bramlett has posted three top-25s in limited starts since then, including at another bomber's paradise in Torrey Pines where he had one of the best putting weeks of his career. The 35-year-old is top-20 this season in par 3 scoring average and this course has five of them. 

Parker Coody ($8,700)

Pierceson has been the more highly touted of the Coody twins, but so far this season it has been Parker who has been more impressive. He has only gotten into three events this season, but he has made the cut twice, including a T25 at Torrey Pines. Coody has the game to succeed at Vidanta as he ranks 21st in SG: Off-the-Tee and 24th in proximity from 175-200 yards. He reeled off five top-5s in a 10 start stretch last summer on the Korn Ferry Tour. 

Andrew Novak ($7,900)

It gets to be slim pickings under $8,000 in this field, but why not run it back with Novak who profiles well for this course and is coming off a strong T8 showing in Scottsdale. Novak ranked eighth in SG: Approach and T5 in GIR's in that event. He is also now 10th on the season in SG: Approach and seventh in proximity. Novak has made the cut the last two years in the Mexico Open, including a T15 finish in 2022. 

Strategy Tips This Week

Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap

Tony Finau ($12,300) is a big fade for me this week. He is going to be incredibly popular in any type of format due to his strong record here and the fact he is one of the only commonly known names in the field. Finau's putting has been abysmal for some time now, finishing an event positive in SG: Putting just three times since his win at Vidanta last year. Once you get further down the pricing sheet, you're better off just going off profiles rather than recent form. Players like Sam Stevens ($8,800), Henrik Norlander ($7,900) and Matt NeSmith ($7,800) have all historically been good iron players while Matti Schmid ($8,300), MJ Daffue ($7,900) and Kevin Dougherty ($7,400) are some of the longest players in the field further down the board. This is a week where I would prefer the balanced build because the $9,000-$11,000 range is quite strong and you will find a lot of players that fit both the course profile and who have some quality recent form along with possibly a good finish at this event before.

Feeling a wager for the Mexico Open at Vidanta? Check out the FanDuel Promo Code!

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Ryan Andrade plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Ku_Bball_Fan, FanDuel: ku_bball_fan.
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Ryan  Andrade
Ryan has covered golf, college basketball, and motorsports for RotoWire since 2016. He was nominated for "DFS Writer of the Year" in 2021 and 2023 by the FSWA.
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