Mexico Open preview: Vidanta Vallarta

By Chris Havlicek

Updated 2/21/24 1:45am ET

The PGA Tour heads to Mexico this week for the Mexico Open. Tony Finau headlines the field and is a single-digit favorite (+800), coming off a 19th-place finish at the Genesis Invitational last week. 

Following Finau it’s a fairly underwhelming list: Nicolai Højgaard, Emiliano Grillo, Thorbjorn Olesen, Stephan Jaeger, Thomas Detry, and Keith Mitchell. In all, 132 players will compete, yet only three of the world’s top 40.

What: 2024 Mexican Open
Where: Vidanta Vallarta
When: Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 22-25
Purse: $8.1 million 
Defending Champion: Tony Finau  

The Course:

Vidanta Vallarta, which opened in 2015 and is located on the Pacific Coast, hosts the event for the third consecutive year. The course runs along the Ameca River and Sierra Madres. But don’t let the beautiful scenery fool you, as the course is one of the longest on Tour and features over 100 fairway and greenside bunkers.

The Greg Norman design is a par-71 measuring 7,456 yards. Before its inaugural event, the course was extended by over 250 yards to make it PGA TOUR-ready, adding nine new tee boxes and 106 bunkers added to stiffen the test.

The course features three par 5s. Also, the par-4 seventh will be drivable for the longer hitters but the golfers will have to risk taking on some water, if they want to go for it.

The Odds – Top 10: (Courtesy of FanDuel):

Tony Finau +800

Nicolai Højgaard +1400

Stephan Jaeger +2200

Keith Mitchell +2200

Thomas Detry +2500

Emiliano Grillo +2500

Taylor Pendrith +2500

Thorbjørn Olesen +3000

Erik van Rooyen +3300

Davis Thompson +3300

Keys to Victory:

Length off the tee is a key indicator of success at Vidanta. The Signature Course features long holes, vast fairways, small bunkers, long waste areas, and greens with plenty of subtle breaks surrounded by tricky collection areas. 

Vidanta is one of the few courses on the schedule that features Paspalum green complexes, which often run exceedingly slowly. Players with a proven history of success putting on Paspalum surfaces should have an advantage, as these surfaces don’t come into play often. Grand Reserve Country Club (Puerto Rico Open) and Corales Golf Club (Corales Championship) are two other tropical courses with Paspalum greens that host PGA Tour events.

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

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