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  • Writer's pictureDanny Speck

Mexico Open preview and betting tips 2023

Gary Woodland

Mexico Open Golf Tips

2pts ew Gary Woodland 30/1 (8)

2pts ew Nicolai Hojgaard 33/1 (8)

1pt ew Ben An 50/1 (6)

1pt ew Brandon Wu 66/1 (6)

The PGA Tour returns to Mexico for the second edition of the Mexico Open at Vidanta. Reigning Masters winner Jon Rahm returns to action this week to defend his title from last year. Rahm headlines the field while Tony Finau (No. 11) and Wyndham Clark (No. 14) are the other players inside the top 20 in the FedExCup standings teeing it up in Mexico. This was a new event on the PGA Tour last season and world number one Jon Rahm won by one stroke on -17 over Tony Finau, Kurt Kitayama and Brandon Wu. The Signature Course, Vidanta Villarta will play host this week, the same course as last year’s renewal, a 7,456 yard par 71. Wide fairways, minimal rough and paspalum greens await the players this week. There is a premium on distance this week, side with players who hit the ball a long way and who are strong off-the-tee.

Key Stats Analysis

We only have one set of stats to look at with last year’s renewal being the first event played here as mentioned so I will dive deeper into the 2022 edition. Putting up good numbers off-the-tee appears to be really important this week with eight of last year’s top-10 players all ranking inside the top-20 for Strokes Gained: OTT, Rahm ranked second for this stat. Five of the top-10 players ranked inside the top-10 on approach whereas Rahm ranked 29th. Putting seemed to be mixed last year with Rahm ranking 18th, Finau who was tied in second ranked 60th with the flatstick and had a stellar week on approach, whereas Riley who finished solo 5th topped the putting stats for the week.

Golf Tips Checker Packages

Gary Woodland 30/1

First name on my team sheet this week in Mexico is world number 80 and 2019 US Open winner Gary Woodland at odds of around 30/1 which I thought were quite reasonable in this significantly weaker field than we have had over previous weeks. Woodland has gained strokes on the field off-the-tee in every one of his last thirteen starts as well as gaining strokes on approach in eleven of his last fourteen starts. What is encouraging is the fact that he has finally started putting up positive numbers with his putter which has been his biggest negative all season long. Woodland finished in a respectable 24th in last year’s renewal here at Vidanta. He’s coming off the back of a T14 at the Masters and a T31 in the RBC Heritage which was one of the strongest fields with it being an elevated event. There’s plenty to like about Gary Woodland this week and I think he can go into this with a lot of confidence with where his game is currently at.

Nicolai Hojgaard 33/1

Next up is the young and exciting Dane Nicolai Hojgaard who is playing this week having gained special temporary membership on the PGA Tour just last week and I think he is capable of taking advantage of that on a course that should surely suit his power. Nicolai has played in three PGA Tour events this year, he’s made the cut in each of them and went very close to winning in Punta Cana when finishing one shot behind the winner Matt Wallace. He was partnered with Thorbjorn Olesen in Zurich last week and according to data golf, Hojgaard gained 7.6 strokes on the week and to be honest, carried Olesen throughout the tournament. He won on paspalum greens in Ras Al Khaimah in 2022 and there’s plenty to like about Nicolai this week. He is comfortably one of the game's most talented youngsters and I can see him really pushing on this year. He is a must bet for me this week.

Ben An 50/1

Ben An placed for us at 80/1 in the Texas Open when finishing 6th and I’m going back to him again based on what I’ve seen from him this year. His last two starts have yielded a 6th in Texas as previously mentioned and last week in Zurich he finished 13th when partnering SH Kim. One final thing on his Texas Open performance, he ranked 2nd OTT and 4th T2G and it was just his putter that stopped him from possibly winning. Amongst players in the field in Mexico over the last 20 rounds, An sits inside the top-10 for OTT (10th) and T2G (4th). His distance isn’t a problem either, he is currently 8th in the PGA Tour stats this season for driving distance, which although I knew he didn’t lack distance, did shock me at how high up in that statistic he is. I think his next win is close and a switch to paspalum greens could well be what’s needed.

Brandon Wu 66/1

To round off my portfolio for the week I am going to put up one of the runner ups from the 2022 Mexico Open, Brandon Wu. Wu’s season so far has been a weird one, a handful of missed cuts, coupled with a 2nd place finish at Pebble Beach, a top-20 finish at Sawgrass also worth mentioning. In last year’s event at Vidanta, he was nine shots off eventual winner Rahm at the halfway stage and only ended up losing to him by a shot after a 13-under weekend, at the very least it tells us Wu’s love for the course grew stronger every round he played it which should put him in a strong position for this week’s assignment. We know he’s capable of contending on the PGA Tour, in only his second full season he has twice finished runner up and finished third in Puerto Rico. He’s worth a bet at 66/1.

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