The PGA Tour will travel across the border for the Mexico Open at Vindata. The tournament debuted on the PGA Tour schedule last year. The field consisted of Jon Rahm and a bunch of golfers ranked outside the top-50 of World Golf Rankings. It is the same this year, and Rahm enters the tournament in better form and as the No. 1 player in the World Golf Rankings. This is Rahm’s tournament to win, so it may not be a fun week to play DFS Golf.
Here is the recent form and course history for each golfer this week: FantasyRacingTips Recent Form
The tournament will be played at the Greg Norman Signature course at Vidanta Vallarta Resort. (Yes, Mr. LIV Golf Greg Norman) This is a new course that just opened in 2016. It is located between the Ameca River and the Sierra Madre Mountains. The course plays as a par-73 for members, but two of the par-5s have been converted to par-4s to make the course a par-71 for the field this week. The course will play 7,485 yards in length and the grass in the fairways and greens will be paspalum (not a type of grass the PGA Tour usually sees on its schedule). This grass is “sticky” and it usually does not allow a lot of roll-out on the golfer’s drives.
The bombers dominated this event last year and I expect the same this week. The par 3’s are long and so are the par 5’s. 35% of the approach shots averaged over 200-yards last year. That is double the PGA Tour average. I want golfers who bomb it off the tee, are good with their long irons, rank high in Birdie or Better % and rank highly in the comparable courses. There are only four golfers who rank in the top-10 in each category. They include Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Wyndham Clark and Matt Wallace. I will have a lot of ownership of these golfers.
KEY STATS FOR THE MEXICO OPEN
– Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee
– Stroke Gained Approach 200+ Yards
– Distance Off-the-Tee
– Birdie or Better %
TOP 30 GOLFERS
MEXICO OPEN STRATEGY
The strategy for building a good Cash Contest lineup is to select golfers who are “safe plays.” That means we need golfers who will make the cut and have a great chance to finish in the top-30. The field this week is made up of high-risk golfers. There are only two or three “safe plays” in the field (Jon Rahm and Tony Finau). For that reason, I am not playing any Cash Contests this week. You almost have to play Rahm, so why not play the “stars and scrubs” lineup in a Tournament Contest?
The strategy for the Tournament Contests this week is to decide if you are going to play Jon Rahm or fade him. He is by far the class of the field, but he will also be highly owned. He is going to be over 50% owned in Cash Contests and at least 35% owned in Tournament Contests. I will be overweight on Rahm and play him in most of my lineups. I asked myself, “Would you rather have Jon Rahm for $11,300 or Gary Woodland at $9,600? I will take Rahm every day when given that choice. There is not a lot of difference from the golfers in the mid $7K price range and the upper $6K range, so I will dip low this week and play “stars and scrubs” lineups.
CORE GOLFERS FOR MEXICO OPEN
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
JON RAHM ($12,000): You have to play Rahm in Cash Contests this week. He is by far the best golfer in the field and the chances of Rahm mailing it in this week and not trying to defend his title are slim and none. Rahm will be highly owned in Cash Contests, so even if he does not live up to the high standards he has this week, his high ownership will limit the damage.
STEPHAN JAEGER ($8,200): I was shocked to see Jaeger pop as the No. 8 golfer in my key stats this week. He ranks No. 10 in Shots Gained Tee-to-Green, No. 12 in Birdie or Better % and No. 36 in Driving Distance. The “experts” in Las Vegas agree with the key stats, because they have Jaeger with the 8th-best odds on the board at 30-1. I will trust the stats and the odds-makers and play Jaeger this week.
MJ DAFFUE ($8,000): MJ Daffue may not be Michael Jordan, but he is playing good golf. He has made six cuts in a row dating back to January. That includestop-20 finishes at the Texas Open and the Valspar Championship. Daffue ranks 24th in Driving Distance, No. 1 in Eagles Made, No. 14 in Shots Gained Off-the-Tee and No. 16 overall in the key stats. Daffue made the cut in this event last year. I expect him to make the cut again, with top-15 upside.
DYLAN WU ($7,500): Dylan Wu is my favorite player in the $7K Price Range. He is good, but not great at everything. Wu ranks No. 19 in Shots Gained Off-the-Tee, No. 20 in Shots Gained Approach, No. 13 in Shots Gained Putting and No. 7 overall in the key stats. Just like MJ Daffue, Wu has made all of his cuts dating back to January (seven in a row). He is a great value pick for $7,500 this week.
ANDREW NOVAK ($7,300): Novak was not on my radar heading into this tournament, but his name popped up when I did my research. Novak has made 7 of his last 8 cuts. That includes a 9th-place finish in his last tournament (Texas Open). The key to his success has been his red-hot putter and his ability to get the ball into the hole around the greens. Novak ranks No. 1 in the field in Shots Gained Putting and Scrambling. He finished 15th in this tournament last year. I will play Novak this week and hope he can do it again.
SEAN O’HAIR ($7,000): The 2023 PGA Tour season has been a “turn back the clock” type of season. We have seen Justin Rose win at Pebble Beach, Rickie Fowler finds his old form and even Jimmy Walker nearly winning a few weeks ago. O’Hair is also a name we have not seen in a long time on the leaderboard, but he is playing good golf this year. O’Hair has made his last five cuts. That includes 7th-place finish last week and a 19th-place finish at the Valspar Championship. I will take a chance with O’Hair as my cheapest golfer in the Cash Contest lineup this week.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
JON RAHM ($12,000): I am all in with Jon Rahm this week. I understand that he will be 45% owned, but I rather lose with him in my lineup, than fade him and watch him destroy the field this week. Rahm is the best player in golf right now and 75% of the field is just lucky to be here. There is no reason to fade the Big Spaniard this week.
WYNDHAM CLARK ($9,700): I thought about pairing Jon Rahm with Tony Finua, but Clark as just as good as Finau and he is $1K cheaper. Clark finished 3rd last week with Beau Hossler in the Zurich Classic. He also finished 6th at the Puntacana Championship and 5th at the Valspar. Clark seems to be locked in right now. He should be the golfer who can compete with Jon Rahm this week.
MATTHEW WALLACE ($8,100): Four golfers ranked in the top-10 in the key stats, correlated courses and recent form. I will have three of them in my lineup (Jon Rahm, Wyndham Clark and Matthew Wallace). The other golfer is Tony Finua, but his price does not fit. Wallace won the Puntacana Championship last month and he finished 7th at the Valspar Championship. He ranks 15th in the key stats, and he made the cut in this tournament last year. The model I ran suggests Wallace will be a top-five play this week. I will trust the numbers and take a chance with him.
AKSHAY BHATIA ($7,400): Bhatia does not look like a good play when you look at his recent form. He missed the cut in his last tournament and the results have been all over the place. When you look more closely you can see a trend with Bhatia. He excels on courses that do not punish golfers for being inaccurate off-the-tee (He finished 2nd in Puerto Rico) and he struggles on courses with tight fairways. Vidanta Vallarta Resort does not require a lot of accuracy, so Bhatia should score well this week.
MARTIN TRAINER ($6,800): Trainer finished 9th last week with Chad Ramey at the Zurich Classic. They were even at the top of the leaderboard for a while. He also finished 22nd in his last stroke play event (Puntacana Championship). Trainer ranks No. 15 in Driving Distance and No. 5 in Birdie or Better %. Trainer finished 11th in this tournament last year. He is my favorite player from the $6K range this week.
ZACHERY BAUCHOU ($6,000): I need to save some salary so why not take a chance with the golfer who won the Monday qualifier to get into the field this week. We have seen Monday qualifiers play well in tournaments before. Maybe it will happen again this week. Bauchou shot 6 under par, with 6 birdies and no bogies Monday. He was a great golfer at Oklahoma State where he finished second in the Ben Hogan Award (Golf’s Heisman Trophy). He also won back-to-back Canadian Amateur titles in 2017 and 2018. I just need Bauchou to make the cut.
Here are my lineups for Multi-Entry Tournament Contest: (FantasyRacingTips Lineups)
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
PGATOUR.COM FANTASY PICKS
* This is the sixth tournament of Segment 3. I know it would be nice to save Jon Rahm for the PGA Championship, but his odds of winning the Mexico Open are a lot better than his odds to win a major. For that reason, I will play Rahm this week.
FANTASY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP ONE & DONE PICK: TONY FINAU (MEXICO OPEN)
Players in Fantasy Golf Championship One & Done so far: Sungjae Im (7TH), Jordan Spieth (4th), Si Woo Kim (39th), Tyrrell Hatton (60th), Adam Hadwin (MC), Rory McIlroy (MC), Will Zalatoris (53rd), Matt Kuchar (MC), Tony Finau (20), Xander Schauffele (10th), Seamus Power (15th), Max Homa (1st), Brian Harman (MC), and Corey Conners (12th)
SEASON LONG ONE & DONE PICK: TONY FINAU (MEXICO OPEN)
Players Used This Season in One & Done: Keith Mitchell (6th), Tom Kim (MC), Brooks Koepka (2nd), Matt Kuchar (3rd), Wyndham Clark (6th), Adam Hadwin (MC), Rory McIlroy (MC), Will Zallatoris (53rd), Sungjae Im (42nd), Max Homa (2), Xander Schauffele (10th), Jordan Spieth (63rd), Jon Rahm (7th), Taylor Montgomery (5th), Russell Henley (32nd), Seamus Power (25th), Brian Harman (2nd), Maverick McNealy (27th), Emiliano Grillo (42nd), Nick Hardy (28th), Terrell Hatton (13TH) Christian Bezuidenhout (29th), Cameron Davis (37th), Denny McCarthy (39th), Brendon Steele (CUT)
BEST BETS FOR MEXCIO OPEN
WYNDHAM CLARK (18-1)
GARY WOODLAND (25-1)
PATRICK RODGERS (30-1)
BYEONG HUN AN (35-1)
BEN MARTIN (60-1)
Good Luck This Week!!!!
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