2022 Mexico Open Odds & PrizePicks: 5 Picks for Round 1 at Vidanta Vallarta
Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Finau.
With the Zurich Classic now in the rear-view mirror, we’re onto the Mexico Open. This will be the first edition of this tournament on the PGA TOUR and will be hosted at Vidanta Vallarta on the west coast of Mexico.
The course has been redesigned to increase its difficulty for the TOUR, as the number of bunkers has almost doubled and the course has been lengthened. Since we do not have any data for how this course plays with the redesign, we will look at its layout as well as the recent form of the golfers to look at who may succeed and fail at Vidanta Vallarta.
The course has wide fairways, so I am taking driver play out of the equation. However, the course has a shockingly large number of bunkers, 106, many of which protect the greens. Therefore, I am going to look at Scrambling, Strokes Gained: Approach and recent form to narrow down my bets for this tournament.
Below, I give out my five Round 1 PrizePicks flex plays for the 2022 Mexico Open. For those unfamiliar with PrizePicks flex plays in golf, different combinations of overs/unders generate different payouts.
Using the five plays below, getting five-of-five correct registers an 11x payout, four-of-five correct registers a 2x payout, and three-of-five correct registers a 0.4x payout.
Kevin Na: Round 1 Over 69 Strokes
This course does not look like one that would benefit Kevin Na, as he currently ranks 153rd on TOUR in Scrambling and 70th in Strokes Gained: Approach. Na has gone over this first-round total in four straight stroke-play tournaments.
Na has had an underwhelming season thus far, ranked just 108th in the FedEx Cup standings. Over his last four tournaments, again excluding the Match Play event, Na has missed the cut twice.
I would play this number up to 69.5.
Gary Woodland: Round 1 Over 4 Birdies or Better
I expect to see some success from Gary Woodland this tournament. He ranks 43rd on TOUR in Scrambling and 27th in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green and has excelled in water-downed fields, as shown by his recent success.
Over his last six tournaments, Woodland has three top-10 finishes, one in the top-25 and two missed cuts. Those two cuts were at the Masters and THE PLAYERS Championship, which will have some of the best fields of the year.
The three top-10 finishes were at the Honda Classic, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Valero Texas Open. Those three tournaments have fields that are more around the skill level of the field that will be at the Mexico Open.
I would not play this number any higher than four.
Patrick Reed: Round 1 Over 69 Strokes
Patrick Reed just has not been good at all this season, and this number is drastically inflated because of his name. Reed enters the week ranked 112th on TOUR in Scrambling and 198th in Strokes Gained: Approach.
Reed has not finished in the top 25 in eight straight tournaments, and he has missed the cut in three of his last six. Over those eight tournaments, Reed has shot a 70 or higher in the first round in all of them.
I would play this number up to 69.5.
Tony Finau: Round 1 Over 69 Strokes
Tony Finau is a similar case to Reed, where I think there’s value because of his name value. Finau ranks 124th on TOUR in Scrambling and has particularly struggled with bunkers this season. With a mere 40% sand save percentage, Finau ranks just 192nd on TOUR.
Like Reed, Finau has been in poor form recently as he has just one top-30 finish over his last eight tournaments. Over those eight tournaments, Finau has broken 69 in the first round just once. However, I would not play this number any higher than 69.
Aaron Wise: Round 1 Under 69 Strokes
My last play for the first round of the Mexico Open is backing Aaron Wise.
While Wise’s metrics are not anything to brag home about, I think they will be enough to propel him to at least 2-under par on Thursday.
Wise ranks 50th on TOUR in Scrambling and 55th in Strokes Gained: Approach. He also enters this tournament in relatively good form, which has been due to strong starts. He has shot a 69 or lower in the first round in three of his last four tournaments.
I would not play this number at anything lower than 69.