2023 Mexico Open Predictions: Winners, Sleepers, Busts, and Holes to Watch at Vidanta Vallarta
The PGA Tour rolls on this week with the Mexico Open at Vidanta, with World No. 1 and reigning champion Jon Rahm headlining the field. That’s about as deep as the field gets this week, though, as only nine players in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking will be teeing it up at Vidanta Vallarta this week.
Can we just give Rahmbo the trophy now and move on to the Wells Fargo Championship?
No, no we cannot, because both of our golf experts are fading Rahm in their predictions for the 2023 Mexico Open. Who do they think has the best chance to knock off the current king of golf?
2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta predictions
Here are a few predictions for the 2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta from Sportscasting golf experts Jack Dougherty and Luke Norris.
Jack Dougherty: Beau Hossler
Beau Hossler is going to win a PGA Tour event at some point soon. If that’s true, he needs to take advantage of a barren field in which Wyndham Clark is the third name on the odds board.
Hossler played well last week at the Zurich Classic, ironically with Clark as his partner. The duo was the best team in the field for three rounds before a Sunday 71 knocked them down to a tie for fourth. I think Hossler’s skill set fits Vidanta well, and he’s coming in with great form.
Luke Norris: Wyndham Clark
Over the last 10 weeks or so, Wyndham Clark has jumped 70 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking, a stretch that includes three top-10 finishes. He tied for 10th at the designated event in Phoenix, finished in solo fifth at the Valspar Championship, and was solo sixth at the Corales Puntacana Championship. So it just feels like that first PGA Tour victory is close. Why can’t it be this week?
Jack Dougherty: Cameron Champ
Has Cameron Champ been the worst player on the PGA Tour this season? You could certainly make that argument.
In 13 starts this season, Champ has missed 11 cuts and has finished over par in all but two events. Weirdly enough, though, the American finished in solo eighth place at the ZOZO Championship in October, one of his two made cuts of the 2022-23 campaign.
That’s been the Cam Champ experience his entire career. He can look like he has no business owning a PGA Tour card for months at a time, then he puts it all together one week and contends for a win. That’s what he did last year at the Mexico Open with a T6, and I think he can ride his weapon of a driver to a momentum-building finish this week.
Luke Norris: Emiliano Grillo
While Emiliano Grillo finished 10 shots behind Jon Rahm at last year’s Mexico Open, tying for 33rd, he had the 13th-lowest score over the final three rounds at 8-under. And that was with an even-par 71 in the third round. In the second round, he shot 65. And in the final round, he shot 69. So he knows how to go low on this golf course.
Grillo is also coming off a tie for seventh at the RBC Heritage, his first top-10 finish since last year’s Zozo Championship, so his confidence should be high. I’ll take all that at 50-1.
Most likely bust
Jack Dougherty: Jon Rahm
I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a player this low on the odds board in a full-field PGA Tour event. Jon Rahm is +260 to repeat as the Mexico Open champion this year, which is truly Tiger Woods in his prime territory.
Considering Rahm is the best golfer on earth right now, he won at this golf course last year, and the field at Vidanta is as weak as you’ll ever see at this level; it would be considered a bust of a week if the Spaniard didn’t win the Mexico Open. I’ll take the field.
Luke Norris: Tony Finau
Don’t get this twisted. It’s not as if I think Tony Finau will be a complete bust this week and miss the cut. But I’m choosing him here because I don’t think he’ll genuinely contend in this tournament like he did a year ago. Yes, he’s long. Yes, he’s one of the best iron players on the PGA Tour. And you certainly need those two things at Vidanta Vallarta. But once he gets past those two things, he’s been merely average, ranking 78th in strokes gained around the green.
Perhaps that’s why he hasn’t finished higher than 14th since a ninth-place finish at Torrey Pines back in January. And in his last two starts, Finau tied for 26th at the Masters and tied for 31st at the RBC Heritage. I’d take a pass on him this week.
Jack Dougherty: No. 18
One of my favorite golf course layouts involved a par-5 finishing hole, and that’s what we’ve got this week at Vidanta Vallarta. The par-5 18th measures 531 yards in length, but it plays even shorter with the high elevation in Mexico. This hole will be reachable in two for every player in the field, which should set up a thrilling finish with eagle very much in play.
Luke Norris: No. 10
It’s been said that a golf tournament doesn’t truly begin until the back nine on Sunday, right? Well, the back nine at Vidanta Vallarta gets off to a challenging start as the 500-yard par-4 played as the eighth-toughest hole on the PGA Tour last year. In fact, the 10th was the only hole Jon Rahm bogeyed during his final round a year ago. Sure, he still went on to win the tournament, but that doesn’t mean this hole can’t cost someone a title this time around.