While Mexico may have lost a WGC they did pick up a full-field event, the Mexico Open at Vidanta.
This event dates back to the 1940s, with this being the 62nd edition. Past champions include Stewart Cink, Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Troy Merritt, Jamie Lovemark, Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino, to name a few. However, this will be the first time the event is sanctioned by the PGA TOUR, offering the full allotment of 500 FedExCup Points to the winner.
Vidanta Vallarta is set to host this for the next three years.
There will be 144 golfers lined up to start the week with the Low 65 and Ties advancing through the 36-hole cut.
Vidanta Vallarta is the host course this week.
This Greg Norman design is a resort course that sits about a mile off the western coast.
Before joining the PGA TOUR rota this was a par 73 that played to 7,287 yards from the tips but they added 169 yards, turned it into a par 71 and redid all 106 bunkers ahead of the PGA TOUR’s arrival.
While it is a par 71, it’s unconventional, with four par 5s and five par 3s. At 7,456 yards it’s pretty beefy and the course is played at sea level, so no help from the altitude, unlike Club de Golf Chapultepec.
Looking at a hole-by-hole level, there are five par 4s that play to 475 yards or longer. The rough is not expected to be very penal but golfers will need to be dialed in with their mid and long-irons if they want to succeed this week.
The par-5 6th and 12th are relatively tough to reach in two but the 14th and 18th should yield a fair amount of eagle chances this week.
Along with the 106 bunkers, there is also water in play on roughly 11 holes this week.
We know length is rarely a concern for most of the pros out on TOUR but the amount of water should widen the range of scores we see this week.
Looking at grass types, they will see wall-to-wall paspalum which is common when the TOUR heads south of the border. This grass typically runs slower on the greens but the tournament officials are trying to ramp up the speeds as much as possible, aiming for 12 feet if they can, which is not slow.
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We don’t have any historical data to lean on this week but we can look at the region and grass types and come up with some possible course crossover to look at:
Club de Golf Chapultepec
El Camaleon GC
Grand Reserve GC
Thursday: Sunny with a high of 84 degrees. Winds at 4 to 8 MPH.
Friday: Mostly Sunny with a high of 86 degrees. Winds at 6 to 10 MPH.
Looking at the daily trends in the area, there does seem to be a consistent rise in the wind in the afternoon but right now the forecast doesn’t call for anything over 10 MPH, even in the afternoons.