We are venturing back into the unknown as the PGA TOUR swings south of the border for the inaugural 2022 Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta. Though we’ve never seen this course in tournament play before, its characteristics as a lengthened Paspalum resort course with wide-open fairways and large, flat greens suggest this may not be much of a test for any players in the field who possess above-average distance.
The story of the field begins with Jon Rahm, who at No. 3 in the world, is the only player to crack the OWGR top-20. Oddsmakers are aware of that, as he’s priced as short as +350 odds to win this 144-man event. That’s something we haven’t quite seen at a PGA TOUR event since the Tiger Woods era.
It leaves us with an interesting decision in terms of how intimidated we should feel about the presence of the former world No. 1, who hasn’t won a golf tournament in 10 months and enters with no top-10 finishes in his last four starts.
With some help from DraftKings among other online sportsbooks, let’s get to our 2022 Mexico Open at Vidanta longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups and betting cards.
2022 MEXICO OPEN PICKS | DFS VALUE PLAYS & BETTING LONGSHOTS FOR VIDANTA VALLARTA
From a betting perspective, I’m not afraid to throw up some longshots in the face of Jon Rahm. I’m not ready to hand him this tournament, especially if it goes on to be the birdie fest putting contest I expect it to be. However, he clearly would not have made the trip down to Puerta Vallarta to simply tune up, so I expect him to be locked in, attempting to finally put this winning drought to an end.
With that said, I have a hard time seeing myself not playing a ton of Jon Rahm in DFS at $11,300, so with that in mind, it’s a crucial week to identify the salary savers that will allow you to squeeze Rahm into lineups.
This course actually lends itself to the same sort of randomness as the 2022 American Express, which bred a top-1o that included Hudson Swafford, Lee Hodges, and Paul Barjon ahead of Jon Rahm, so I’m not afraid to dig deep for longshot bombs once again.
This course is all about distance and long iron approaches, so with many players following up their previous starts at the RBC Heritage, the polar opposite profile, it presents some very interesting buy-low opportunities. Here’s a look at my favorite value leverage plays for the 2022 Mexico Open at Vidanta.
*Betting odds & DFS pricing from DraftKings are subject to change after writing. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.
Patrick Rodgers (, $7,600)
This is a great buy-low spot for Patrick Rodgers in both DFS and the betting market, as Vidanta Vallarta suits his skillsets perfectly, and his game is really not as far out of form as the recent results may suggest.
Once a standout at Stanford, Rodgers has made a career out of teasing the top of leaderboards, but is ultimately still chasing his first career PGA TOUR victory. He’s got the distance, long-range irons, and ability to catch a streaky putter that it takes to win, he just hasn’t been able to piece together four solid rounds in one tournament.
That volatility makes him just as solid of a FRL consideration this week, but I think a new course might be what it takes to finally get Rodgers over the hump for his first TOUR win.
Rodgers began the season hot with two T10 finishes at the Fortinet Championship and Bermuda Championship, which both allow you to swing freely with driver off the tee on most holes without much penalty for missing the fairways.
That’s the same formula this week at Vidanta Vallarta which features some of the widest fairways we’ll see on TOUR, so Rodgers who ranks 12th in this field in Driving Distance, should be licking his chops.
He’s always been a great long-iron player over the course of his career, having posted T10 finishes on tougher 7,400+ yard events like the Wells Fargo, Farmers, Arnold Palmer Invitational, and the Memorial. He’s kept that up over the last 36 rounds as well, as he ranks 10th in this field in Prox 200+.
Looking at the scorecard this week, 15 holes will funnel into the ranges of P3: 175-225, P4: 450-500, and P5: 550+. There are only seven players in the field this week who rate out above field average in each of those scoring ranges, and Rodgers is the only player who also ranks inside the top-30 in Driving Distance.
Put that altogether, and there’s plenty of reason for optimism behind Rodgers at long odds and a low DFS price this week.
Nate Lashley (, $7,500)
Nasty Nate has quietly burst onto the scene as a coastal course specialist over the last few years. He nearly won the 2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am before infamously 4-putting the 16th hole on Sunday, and more recently has strung together impressive finishes of T7 at the Puerto Rico Open and T15 Corales Puntacana Championship.
In terms of Comp Course History, Lashley is no. 1 in this field in total strokes gained across the Puerto Rico Open and Corales Puntacana Championship, the two closest proxies to what we can expect to see at Vidanta Vallarta this week. Each of these courses play as long and forgiving off the tee with Paspalam grass throughout. Lashley has four T30s in five career Corales appearances and has finished inside the top-10 in each of his first two trips to the Puerto Rico Open.
Beyond the coastal comps, Lashley has stayed sharp in recent weeks, with four consecutive T30 finishes before the RBC Heritage. With Vidanta Vallarta playing as the polar opposite to Pete Dye’s positional Harbour Town Golf Links, I’m happy to overlook that bump in the road and buy low at this price.
Joseph Bramlett (, $7,100)
Joseph Bramlett is your quintessential player for a near-7,500 yard, wind-exposed Paspalum course that rewards ball-strikers with carry distance and discounts any need for accuracy off the tee or advanced short game skillsets.
Bombing Ball-Strikers with a negligible short game is exactly the profile that’s bred success at the Puerto Rico Open from players like Tony Finau, Viktor Hovland, Jhonattan Vegas, and Ryan Brehm over recent years, so there’s no reason to believe Bramlett isn’t capable of repeating that success when bringing the very same skillsets to Vidanta Vallarta.
Bramlett ranks no. 2 in this field in driving distance behind only Wyndham Clark, and backs that up with his long irons as well, ranking no. 12 in Prox 200+. He’s also no. 6 in Comp Course History with top-25 finishes at the Byron Nelson, Puerto Rico Open, Corales Puntacana Championship, and Palmetto Championship over the last year.
Basically anywhere you can allow Bramlett to go full boar off the tee without worry of penalty for wayward misses, he’s found success, and that’s exactly what we have in store once again this week. He’s no. 9 overall in my model this week, and should be a popular consideration at this price and odds, considering the distance needed to generate scoring opportunities on this course.
Scott Gutschewski (, $6,500)
Scott Gutschewski won’t be as popular as Bramlett, but he’s still quietly strung together three consecutive made cuts on longer courses at the Puerto Rico Open, Corales Puntacana Championship, and Valero Texas Open where he just finished T18. Pretty good momentum on a couple of Paspalum tracks and a Greg Norman course.
He was a surprise popper in my model this week, as he actually ranks top-40 in the key stat categories of SG: T2G (L36), SG: APP, Driving Distance, SG: T2G (>7,400 Courses), Prox 200+, and Sand Saves Gained. That’s good enough for 33rd overall in the model this week, very solid for a player in the mid-$6K price range on DraftKings.
If you can just hit the ball far and strike your irons well, that simple formula can work at Vidanta Vallarta, which won’t penalize players who are inaccurate off the tee or lousy around the greens. He’s one of only eight players to rank top-40 in both SG: APP and Driving Distance, suggesting he may actually be poised to extend that made cut streak and push for a T40. Do you have the guts to play Gutschewski?
David Lingmerth (, $6,200)
How much do I hate myself this week? Evidently enough to draft multiple paragraphs in the defense of David Lingmerth as a viable DraftKings play.
Look, if you’re going to play a $11,300 Jon Rahm on DraftKings (which I think you should), then you’re going to have to find at least one name at the bottom of the board to counter-balance your lineups with. Lingmerth, who is just $200 removed from the bare minimum, actually ranks 21st in this field in SG: TOT over his last 36 rounds.
That includes a stretch of six consecutive made cuts on the PGA TOUR. Granted, they’ve predominantly come in weaker alternate field events, but if you remove Jon Rahm from this field, there are alternate fields that would put this one to shame.
With finishes of T16 at the Puerto Rico Open and T11 at the Barbasol Championship, Lingmerth has shown he has top-20 upside against weaker fields and in easy scoring conditions. It’s a quirky course set up this week with four par-5s, five par-3s, and only nine par-4s (six of which fall between 450-500 yards).
That setup is actually perfect for Lingmerth, who is top-30 in Par-5 Scoring, top-20 in P4: 450-500, and top-10 in Par-3 Scoring. He is the only player in this field who can lay claim to that!