This article is part of our Yahoo PGA DFS Picks series.
Mexico Open at Vidanta
Vidanta Vallarta - Par 71 - 7,456 yards
Field - 144 entrants
Purse - $7.7M
An event that's been around since the 1940s, the 2023 Mexico Open marks only the second edition as an official stop along the PGA Tour schedule, having previously been part of the Latinoamerica rotation from 2013 to 2021. The Greg Norman-designed Vidanta Vallarta is primed to host for the second time as well, but the tournament's transition to the big stage hasn't exactly translated to prestige as we see one of the worst fields all season in attendance this week, despite the full 500 FedExCup points and typical victory perks awarded to the eventual champion.
Vidanta's wide fairways lend a resort-style feel that could invite a potential birdie fest if the wind remains as tame as it's currently forecasted. While driving distance is rewarded, especially at this lengthy sea-level venue, there are also several defenses in addition to a coastal breeze in the form of water hazards and north of 100 bunkers in play. The par-71 layout features five par-3s ranging from 170 to 226 yards, but the usual quartet of par-5s encourage scoring opportunities as well. Caddies will be reaching into bags for drivers and long irons all week, but favorable weather conditions should allow the contenders to flirt with 20-under-par by Sunday afternoon.
2022 - Jon Rahm
Key Stats to Victory
Proximity: 200-plus yards
Birdie or Better Percentage
Yahoo Value Picks
Based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Jon Rahm - $50
The pairing of Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay failed to defend their Zurich Classic title as heavy 3-1 favorites last week, but now Rahm appears atop the board at an even more insane +225 in some spots as the Mexico Open's defending champ. Considering just how ridiculously short his outright odds are to win, the $50 salary on Rahm is actually quite a good deal for us, especially when names like Maverick McNealy and Taylor Pendrith are filling out the $40-plus range. The Spaniard followed up his recent Masters victory with a top-15 performance at the RBC Heritage where he gained 11.7 strokes with his ball striking.
Tony Finau - $49
At this price we really don't have to pay much of a premium for Finau, either. He's by far the second best player in this field and fell just one shot shy of forcing a playoff with Rahm at Vidanta last year. Finau hasn't posted a top-10 result since the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, but over his last 24 measured rounds, he sits second in SG: Approach, third in Par-5 Efficiency, fifth in Par-4 Efficiency and sixth in proximity from 175 to 200 yards. It won't be all that difficult to jam the Rahm-Finau combination in lineups, while this stars and scrubs strategy could be more popular than usual this week with most of the field falling into the scrub category regardless of price.
Byeong Hun An - $35
An has quietly ascended to eighth on Tour in driving distance this season, and he's coming off a T6 at the Valero Texas Open where he notched the fourth-best tee-to-green performance of his entire career. In addition to An's admirable power off the tee, he's also top-25 among the Mexico Open field in SG: Approach, Sand Saves, Par-4 Efficiency and Birdies or Better Gained over his past 24 measured rounds.
Nicolai Hojgaard - $35
The 22-year-old secured runner-up honors at the Corales Puntacana Championship on similar paspalum greens in late March before adding a T28 at the Valero Texas Open, ranking eighth in SG: Approach at TPC San Antonio in his most recent solo outing. Hojgaard absolutely pounds the ball off the tee and his deficiencies in the driving accuracy department shouldn't hurt him too much here.
Joseph Bramlett - $32
Highlighting yet another bomber, Bramlett is looking to rebound from three missed cuts in four starts dating back to the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Despite a few MCs littering his recent sample, Bramlett still appears in the No. 8 spot of my custom model from a past-36 round view, in which he ranks 12th in SG: APP, 12th in Par-4 Efficiency, 20th in driving distance and 28th in Prox: 200-plus.
Michael Kim - $27
Kim has flashed more consistency as of late with four consecutive top-50s from a fifth-place showing at the Puerto Rico Open through the Valero Texas Open, and he just paired with S.Y. Noh to collect a top-20 finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Kim, who won multiple national player of the year awards at the University of Cal back in 2013, resides top-10 in both Par-4 Efficiency and Birdies or Better Gained over his last 24 rounds.
Garrick Higgo - $23
The South African lost a combined 9.3 strokes on his approaches across his last two appearances at the Valero Texas Open and the RBC Heritage, but Higgo's issues came from the 125-175 yard range, and he's actually been quite solid from 175-plus. He's probably not someone you want to rely on in a cash-game setting, but Higgo's strength off the tee and long-iron prowess lend him a decent amount of upside in GPP formats at just $23.
Vincent Norrman - $20
The $20 minimum is mostly barren of anyone usable as it imitates a Korn Ferry player pool this week, but Norrman should foster attention down here given he's been steamed all the way to 70-1 outright on a couple books. There are several aspects of Norrman's game to like for his outlook on a setup like Vidanta, as he ranks ninth in Birdies or Better Gained, 12th in driving distance, 21st in Par-5 Efficiency and 21st in Prox: 200-plus over his past 24 measured rounds. I would expect to see a healthy amount of Norrman in lineups that start with the aforementioned Rahm-Finau combo.
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