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Power Rankings: Mexico Open at Vidanta

3 Min Read

Power Rankings


    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    All members of the PGA TOUR always have something to chase, for as long as there’s a tournament scheduled, achievements and promises are waiting at its conclusion. But it’s special to travel to the Pacific Coast of Mexico as winter retains its grip in the United States on the back nine of February. Indeed, it’s nice work if you can get it.

    The Mexico Open at Vidanta is poised for its third edition this week. Continue reading beneath the projected contenders for what’s changed, why and more.

    Vidanta Vallarta hosts the eighth PGA TOUR event of the season. Its Greg Norman Signature Course is situated in the Mexican state of Nayarit and surrounded in part by its border with Jalisco. It’s about equal to the latitudes of both stops on the Aloha Swing that opened the season. The weather forecast alone confirms this. Daytime highs in the upper 80s will dominate. Some clouds might pass over but it won’t rain. Winds will be light.

    When this tournament was positioned on the last weekend of April, it hosted 144 golfers. Daylight hours aren’t as plentiful in February, so this year’s field is 132 deep, but all fully exempt members who committed are scheduled to compete. Those that do will be tested by a fun par 71 with five par 3s. It can stretch to 7,456 yards. Courses never play to capacity but that possibility contributes to the expectation for longer hitters to hog the leaderboard.

    Despite 106 bunkers scattered across the property, fairways are welcoming. Guys who split as many as eight (of 13) per round are losing accuracy to the field. Meanwhile, generous targets will yield greens-in-regulation results of about two-thirds per round on average, but Vidanta Vallarta’s proximity-to-the-hole measurements have ranked a respective longest and second-longest in its first two spins. (ShotLink is used in this tournament.)

    That apparent ease is counterbalanced by three of the hardest 50 holes played during all of the 2022-23 season. Yet, for all that keeps a professional humbled, last year’s field averaged 70.097, so red numbers are commonplace.

    The lushest rough is up a little more again this year. Now at 2½ inches, it should help defend scoring enough to at least increase the premium of course management. However, the biggest change is that the greens will be rolling to only 11 feet on the Stimpmeter. This is shorter by one foot due primarily to the earlier date on the calendar. Platinum paspalum covers the course.

    As for those promises, the winner will receive 500 FedExCup points, entry into all remaining Signature Events, THE PLAYERS Championship, the Masters and the PGA Championship this season. He’ll also secure an exemption into The Sentry to open the 2025 season. Also-rans will be after FedExCup points to contribute to their placement in the Aon Next 10 and Aon Swing 5 for the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.

    John Swantek and Rob Bolton on Talk of the TOUR


    MONDAY: Power Rankings
    TUESDAY*: Sleepers
    WEDNESDAY: Golfbet Insider; "Talk of the TOUR"
    SUNDAY: Payouts and Points, Medical Extensions, Reshuffle, Qualifiers

    * - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.

    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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