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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Mexico Open at Vidanta (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Apr 27, 2022
Jon Rahm

The 2022 PGA Tour has about three months left until the FedExCup playoffs begin. The Masters is already well in the rearview, where Scottie Scheffler cemented his legacy with his fourth win and first Major as a 25-year-old debuting at Augusta National. Scheffler will continue to soak up his success and not be available to roster during the inaugural Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta. It was announced in the Fall that Mexico would be hosting the Mexico Open as an official PGA event after serving as an event for the Latin American Tour. Vidanta Vallarta is a new course unveiled that features unfamiliar terrain and surfaces.

After a weekend of match play at the Zurich Classic in Louisiana, fans and players alike will be eager to see how some of the big-name players like Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, and Gary Woodland perform at a brand new course in a solo event. Since Scheffler and Jordan Spieth, the two most recent solo event winners, won’t be in attendance competing, there is an excellent opportunity for some of the underrated players to rise to the occasion and crack a top-ten finish at Vidanta.

I’ve narrowed this slate down to the top six prospects with the most value, which analyzes their strengths, weaknesses, and salary ahead of an exciting weekend nestled on Mexico’s scenic beaches of its western shoreline in Puerto Vallarta. Let’s dive in!

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Previous Winners

  • N/A

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Sand save percentage

Course Overview

Vidanta Vallarta was constructed under the vision of Greg Norman and runs 7,456 yards as a par 71. It’s situated near the Banderas Bay shoreline on the west coast of Mexico but the elevation measures just above sea level. As with all shoreline courses, the wind will be a considerable obstacle should it decide to form gusts throughout the four days at Vidanta. Platinum paspalum is the surface for the fairways and greens, measuring short in the rough at an inch and a half. This means recovery and scrambling will be relatively easy without tall grass to challenge clean ball strikes.

The greens will be the true equalizer due to the platinum paspalum that measures 12 feet via the Stimpmeter. Five par 3s and four par 5s formulate half of Vidanta’s course, meaning there will be plenty of jockeying on the leaderboard throughout the weekend. While the rough is trimmed low on the perimeter, there are over 100 sand bunkers and numerous bodies of water that will demand precision with irons and drivers alike. The turn, holes 9 and 10, will present water hazards that run parallel with the fairways, and flank the greens, along with the dozens of large sand bunkers. Players with elite GIR conversion or strong ability off the tee will give themselves the biggest advantage in climbing the leaderboard at the scenic Vidanta Vallarta golf course this weekend.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Jon Rahm ($11,300)
Jon Rahm is still searching for his first solo win of the season entering the Mexico Open. The 27-year-old Spaniard has four finishes inside the top ten, including a second-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January and a T3 finish at Farmers Insurance Open. He fell outside the top 25 at The Players Championship and pulled another T27 at The Masters, where he showed up with a solid three-under finish in the final round. Rahm ranks first in GIR at over 73 percent conversion rate while averaging 4.3 birdies per round. Three weeks off should have Rahm fully rested and prepared to challenge at Vidanta, so pay up to acquire the safest player with the highest floor on the slate.

Cameron Tringale ($9,700)
Another player with a scorching hot GIR conversion rate is Cameron Tringale. The 34-year-old Californian quietly has an identical resumè to Jon Rahm, securing four top ten wins, including a T3 at Farmers Insurance Open and a T2 at the ZoZo Championship. Tringale yielded a T12 finish at RBC Heritage a couple of weeks ago, and he’s available at a discount on DraftKings, likely due to missing five cuts this season. However, Tringale has not missed a cut since early March and is a quality ball-striker around the green and approaching the green. He also managed a T10 at Zurich, so he’s gaining momentum and has the skills necessary to succeed at Vidanta. Plug him into lineups at a discount and watch the points pile up.

Sahith Theegala ($8,800)
Another young rising star is Sahith Theegala. The 24-year-old Californian has tailed off a. bit since impressing in February and March with a pair of top ten finishes at the WM Phoenix Open and Valspar Championship. Theegala is a quality ball-striker, ranking 92nd in total strokes gained and 84th in strokes gained around the green. A powerful driver that averages over 301 yards per attempt is an admirable skill to possess at a new course with a foreign surface. Theegala certainly got areas to improve upon, but he’s already shown us that he can produce top ten finishes in just his third year as a professional. He gains appeal at a course where few have competed, serving as a quality salary-saving option in DraftKings lineups.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Kevin Na ($11,200)
Kevin Na has finally been given the salary that he deserves. The 38-year-old American has been a professional for two decades and is quietly ranked 32nd in OWGR. Na is not a quality ball-striker, which does create some concern. However, he averages 4.19 birdies per round, which is the currency to pursue in PGA DFS contests. Na also is good at scrambling and saving himself from sand bunkers, ranking 37th at 58 percent. This is likely attributed to his shaky ball-striking, but it’s comforting that Na can pull himself out of a poor lie and wind up with a par-breaker or a birdie. He has not missed a cut since early March and has finishes of T14 and T26 at The Masters and RBC Heritage, which are quality feats. A week of rest should be enough for Na to get off to a strong start at Vidanta on Thursday. He’s expensive, but it’s justified. Plug Na into FanDuel lineups based on his ability to manufacture birdies at a high rate.

Russell Knox ($10,300)
36-year-old Scot, Russell Knox, has been good in certain events this season. Surprisingly, Knox has the second-highest GIR conversion on Tour at 73.3 percent, rivaling Jon Rahm in that statistic. The birdies are lacking at just 3.6 per round, but an accurate driver and ranking inside the top 30 for strokes gained tee-t0-green are powerful indicators that Knox can climb the leaderboard at the Mexico Open this weekend. He also averages 70.6 as his score per round in a whopping 18 events on the PGA Tour this season, missing only five cuts and earning two top-ten finishes at the Sony Open and The Players Championship. Knox appears overvalued, but he’s actually undervalued on FanDuel, so insert him into lineups with confidence as he tackles the difficult stretch of par 3s at Vidanta beginning on Thursday.

Mark Hubbard ($9,600)
32-year-old American Mark Hubbard is an intriguing salary saver on FanDuel. He’s valued at under $10,000 and has four top 25 finishes in just ten solo events this season. The catch is that Hubbard has not competed in a notable solo event since The Honda Classic two months ago, where he produced a 15th-place finish. Assessing Hubbard’s strengths, it becomes evident that he is a quality ball-striker, ranking 66th or better in five of six strokes gained categories, which include putting and tee-to-green metrics. Hubbard does not have a good GIR conversion percentage or a reliable driver, so his irons off the tees on par 3s and his approach shots will determine whether he sinks or swims on the leaderboard. Fortunately,  Hubbard’s skill set does mesh with the layout of Vidanta on paper, so he’s worth a flyer to save a few bucks without sacrificing the floor.

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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