Mexico Open at Vidanta picks 2022: The positive vibes Gary Woodland bet
For the second straight week, one of our experts (in this week’s case, multiple of them) had the eventual runner-up as their outright selection. Like we said last week, second-place doesn’t cut it in the outright betting space, unless you’re each-waying or top-five-ing these guys. In which case, congrats on the consolation prize.
As for us, nada. But there’s no denying that, to steal a typical phrase from a PGA Tour pro, “we’re close.” We’re determined to make this week’s Mexico Open the week we hit our first winner since the Genesis Invitational.
It will be no easy task, as always, but especially so this week with such a weak field and one player at the very top who is simply a class above everyone else teeing it up. Jon Rahm is as low as +350, an insane number to bet outright, but reflective of the field strength. If you believe Rahm is as due for a win as we are, maybe you go single bullet on the Spaniard. But if you’re looking for a little more value, our experts are here to steer you in the right direction.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 Mexico Open at Vidanta.
Mexico Open at Vidanta picks 2022: Our experts' outright predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Gary Woodland (20-1, DraftKings) — Gary’s great play is due to get paid off with a win. His distance is obviously a huge asset, but it’s been his putting that’s been most impressive in his strong past few months.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Gary Woodland (20-1, DraftKings) — Woodland’s the only player in the field who rates out better than the Rahm over the past 24 rounds when you combine driving distance and approach play. Following Berger’s WD, Woodland’s odds didn’t get cut enough to make him unbettable, so let’s roll with him.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Aaron Wise (32-1, FanDuel) — The expectation for Vidanta is that it should play easy and reward long hitters. Wise has plus distance and irons and should be able to score well. The paspalum greens should level out the field a bit, given that it’s a rare surface, too.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Gary Woodland (20-1, DraftKings) — Woodland is certainly trending in the right direction, earning three top-eight finishes in his last six starts. He’s gained strokes on approach in six straight events, something that he hasn’t done in over two years – per the RickRunGood.com golf database. He’s hitting it long and looking like vintage Woodland again, he should be laser-focused on victory in this weak field.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Cameron Champ (50-1, PointsBet) — I’m betting both Cameron’s near the top of the odds board this week (also Cameron Tringale, at 37-1, thanks to my guy Ron Klos, aka @PGASplits101 on Twitter). Champ, though, was a bet CP and I made during our podcast on Tuesday. Champ is top 10 in proximity from 175-200 yards in this field over the past 50 rounds, per Fantasy National, and he’s first in driving distance. That should be a winning combo this week.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Cameron Champ (50-1, PointsBet) — Champ came through for me in a big way last year at the 3M Open, winning outright at triple-digit odds. Prior to that week, he had missed four of his previous five cuts, but he showed a brief flash with a T-11 at the John Deere just two weeks before Minnesota. He’s in a similar boat this year, having missed two of his last three cuts but posting a top 10 in his most recent start at the Masters. Another reason to like him at this number? Distance and putting, two areas he can boom in on occasion, are key this week, according to the real experts, which I am not, though Champ made me look like one last summer.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Gary Woodland (20-1, DraftKings) — Woodland’s superb approach play on longer courses means he comes into this event ranked 12th in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking this week. He also ranks first in the field this week for SG/total over the last two months so he’s coming in in great form, too.
Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "Be Right," (below) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "Be Right" wherever you get your podcasts!
Mexico Open at Vidanta picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark horses who could win
Caddie: Aaron Rai (70-1, DraftKings) — This kid flat out can play. He knows how to win, proving so over in Europe. And now he’s over here putting together a bunch of nice finishes. He feels like a better talent versus a lot of the other players in this range.
Mayo: Martin Trainer (400-1, DraftKings) — Let’s pretend this is hearts and try and SHOOT THE MOON!!!! Trainer has not been good. There are a few skills he possesses, however, which makes him live this week. He mashes it off the tee and has been one of the better putters in 2022. This was the same formula he used to win in Puerto Rico a few years back, and all signs point to this being a similar style course. Bet it … and pray for luck.
Gdula: Austin Smotherman (65-1, FanDuel) — Smotherman’s ball-striking is pretty phenomenal, and his main lag point is around-the-green play. If you’re trying to get up and down this week, you’re probably going to be lagging behind anyway.
Gehman: Chad Ramey (80-1, DraftKings) — When Ramey heads to a tropical location, he certainly doesn’t treat it as a vacation. He’s made three such starts this season, finishing T-17 in Bermuda, T-5 in Puerto Rico and he won the Corales Puntacana Championship. We’ll see if he can continue the success this week.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Alex Smalley (90-1, Bet365) — Smalley fits the mold for success here: He’s long off the tee (25th in distance), good with long irons (19th in proximity from 175-200 yards in the last 50 rounds, per Fantasy National), and he finished second at Corales, one of the best corollary courses (we think) to the Vidanta Vallarta layout.
Powers, Golf Digest: Sahith Theegala (80-1, DraftKings) — If you look at Theegala’s recent stats, he’s probably a stay away this week. But considering he was 80-1 in much, much stronger fields recently, this is a play on a great number for a young stud who has already shown he can hangat the WMPO and at Valspar in 2022.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Brian Stuard (130-1, DraftKings) — Stuard comes into this event ranked 29th in the field for SG/total over the last two years, ninth for SG/total over the last two months and fifth for Opportunities Gained. His solid approach and razor-sharp short game also means he comes into this event ranked 43rd in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking this week.
Mexico Open at Vidanta picks 2022: Players we're fading
Caddie: Abraham Ancer (20-1, DraftKings) — This is a definite pass this week. He’s not 100 percent healthy, he’s got the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd, and this is a lot of golf course.
Mayo: Abraham Ancer (20-1, DraftKings) — A bunch of MCs in a row plus some WDs … it really feels like he’s here out of obligation to represent Mexico in its national open. Which is commendable. But not bettable.
Gdula: Patrick Reed (26-1, FanDuel) — While Reed makes more birdies than people probably realize, he’s not very long off the tee, and his ball-striking has been very poor lately. It doesn’t seem like the right fit for him this week.
Gehman: Sebastian Munoz (25-1, DraftKings) — It’s difficult to swallow the idea of betting Munoz at this number, his shortest odds found in the RickRunGood.com golf database, dating back two years. He’s a streaky player who has lost strokes with his putter in 13 of his last 15 starts. There’s a decent chance this event turns into a putting contest, which is concerning for Munoz.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Jon Rahm (+350, DraftKings) — If Jon Rahm had won a few times this year, he’d probably be the same number. Except, he hasn’t … in fact it’s been almost a year (the U.S. Open) since he beat a full field.
Powers, Golf Digest: Cameron Tringale (20-1, DraftKings) — Top 10? Top 20? Yes, absolutely have at it. He’s as consistent as they come and appeared to right the ship at Harbour Town after an ugly stretch in March. But to win? At 20-1? Can’t swallow it.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Jon Rahm (+350, DraftKings) — No doubt about it, Rahm is the best player in the field by a considerable margin. However, his price is too short in such a big field for a player who has no top-five finishes since January and ranks just 80th in this field for SG/putting over that period.
Mexico Open at Vidanta picks 2022: Matchups
Caddie: Gary Woodland (-130) over Sebastian Munoz (DraftKings) — We love Gary this week, and Munoz is coming off a WD recently.
Mayo: Tony Finau (-120) over Abraham Ancer (DraftKings) — I don’t like Ancer to begin with, and I actually like top-five Tony quite a bit. Paspalum runs slow enough to elevate the horrible putters, and Mr. Finau has been among the worst on tour with the flat stick in 2022.
Gdula: Sebastian Munoz (-105) over Cameron Tringale (FOX Bet) — Munoz is trending up in a big way with consistent finishes and has stellar tee-to-green data in recent weeks.
Gehman: Tony Finau (-120) over Abraham Ancer (DraftKings) — The advanced reconnaissance of this new course appears to be an excellent setup for Finau. It should allow him to bomb it off the tee without much regard for accuracy and let him lean on his best attribute—approach play. We are seeing signs that Finau’s short game is improving, too, which makes him an exciting option this week.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Tony Finau (-120) over Abraham Ancer (DraftKings) — I’m with Rick here. There are too many question marks about Ancer now, who had to WD from the Valero and Harbour Town. It’s his home country, so you know he’s giving it a go to help tournament organizers attract a bigger crowd. But I see a considerable advantage for Finau and his distance at a corollary course to one of his two wins (Puerto Rico) to Ancer and his shorter hitting and injuries.
Powers, Golf Digest: Chris Kirk (-120) over Aaron Wise (DraftKings) — All this Aaron Wise love from the experts this week and yet he’s a dog to Chris Kirk? Something smells fishy.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Gary Woodland (-114) over Cameron Tringale (Betway) — As you can see above, Woodland is my pick to win this week. Tringale on other hand ranks just 82nd in the field this week for SG/total over the last two years and just 76th for Opportunities Gained.
Matchup Results from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Mayo: 1 for 1 (Smith/Leishman (+105) over Morikawa/Hovland); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Kirk/Todd (+100) over Kizzire/Poston); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 18-4-4 (up 13.62 units); Powers: 14-9-3 (up 4.71 units); Caddie: 14-10-2 (up 3.42 units); Alldrick: 14-11-1 (up 1.02 units); Gehman: 9-13-4 (down 4.65 units); Gdula: 11-15-0 (down 4.77 units); Hennessey: 11-14-1 (down 6.16 units)
Mexico Open at Vidanta picks 2022: Top 10s
Caddie: Matt Jones (+500, DraftKings) — The Aussie is a stellar wind player, which should come in handy this week. He also contended on another really long golf course with wide fairways (Kapalua).
Mayo: Wyndham Clark (+800, DraftKings) — The best comp course, I think, is Coco Beach for the Puerto Rico Open: Similar length, lack of rough, same grass type. Clark is one of a handful of players in the field gaining over 2.0 strokes per round (total) at Coco Beach, albeit in a small sample. He actually has a T-10 and T-22 in alternate field events over the past three years. He rates out second in the field in driving distance over the past 24 rounds and enters in solid form after an early season lull.
Gdula: Taylor Moore (+650, FanDuel) — Moore has the distance and birdie rate to profile well for Vidanta Vallarta. Moore’s missed cuts on the PGA Tour don’t really reflect the field strength he’ll see this week, and his putter has been ice cold in those misses.
Gehman: Cameron Champ (+450, DraftKings) — Champ left us one breadcrumb in his path to success with a 10th-place finish at the Masters. Champ has a tendency of breaking out of a slump with one good ball-striking week, similar to the 6.71 strokes he gained in those categories at Augusta National. Now he heads to a very long Vidanta Vallarta course where he should be able to lean on his best weapon—distance.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Nate Lashley (+850, Bet365) — We are betting real American $$ on Nate Lashley … this officially might be a problem.
Powers, Golf Digest: Cameron Champ (+450, DraftKings) — Trying to keep my card light and simple for this extremely weak field event. I envision Champ in contention this weekend, which will hopefully be enough for a top 10. Outright win is the dream scenario, of course.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Aaron Wise (+350, DraftKings) — Wise comes into this event ranked 19th in the field for SG/total over the past two months and ninth for Opportunities Gained over the same period. His long-term form is even better, ranking second in the field for SG/total over the past two years. This course should suit his game also, as he ranks 25th in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking.
Top-10 results from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Zalatoris/Riley +275); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Zalatoris/Riley +275); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Bradley/Steele +330); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Alldrick: 8 for 26 (up 29.3 units); Powers: 9 for 26 (up 28.55 units); Mayo: 4 for 26 (down 0.45 units); Gehman: 4 for 26 (down 5.3 units); Caddie: 7 for 26 (down 5.6 units); Hennessey: 5 for 26 (down 6.78 units); Gdula: 1 for 26 (down 22.6 units)
Mexico Open at Vidanta picks 2022: One and Done
Gehman: Aaron Wise — I’ll admit, you could justify using about 25 golfers this week when you start to consider field strength and the unknowns of a new course. Overall, Wise is still a phenomenal tee-to-green player (30th on tour) who has gained strokes putting in seven of his past 11 starts. Hopefully he can find some magic in Mexico this week.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Patrick Cantlay. Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter.
Hennessey: Gary Woodland — This will be a chalky pick … if you want to go really contrarian, I feel like Nate Lashley sneakily has serious upside. A strong history at one of the best corollary events, the Puerto Rico Open (a T-7 this year and a T-8 in 2019), plus his last five finishes entering this week—seventh, 27th, 15th, 18th and MC. Pretty solid … but still risky.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry. Valero Texas Open: Chris Kirk. The Masters: Justin Thomas. RBC Heritage: Russell Henley. Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Sam Burns and Billy Horschel.
Powers: Abraham Ancer — The “home game” angle almost never works out but we’ll give it the old college try here.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Matt Fitzpatrick. Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.