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The PGA Tour leads to Nuevo Vallarta for the Mexico Open this week. Will Taylor Pendrith have a big week down south? Andy Lack provides his best Mexico Open betting picks and predictions.

Mexico Open Betting Picks and Predictions: Will Taylor Pendrith Shine In Vallarta?

After successful stint in Southern California, the PGA Tour heads to Vidanta Vallarta for the third edition of the Mexico Open. This event marks our first national open and international trip of the year. Tony Finau will return to defend his title, but the presence of Jon Rahm, who won this event in 2022, and finished runner-up in 2023, will certainly be missed. After Will Zalatoris’ subsequent Sunday evening withdrawal, we can expect a sizable talent gap between Finau and his nearest peers, and the defending champion will look to become the first multi-time winner in this event’s brief PGA Tour history. Stephan Jaeger, Erik Van Rooyen, Thomas Detry, Nicolai Hojgaard, and Emiliano Grillo highlight an intriguing crop of challengers, and Finau’s lack of consistency with the flat-stick, coupled with Rahm’s absence, certainly provides some hope. With 500 FedEx Cup points and an invitation to the Masters at stake, will the streak of PGA Tour long shot winners continue?


  • Date: February 22-25, 2024
  • Where: Vidanta Vallarta - Puerto Vallarta, MX
  • Where to Watch: Golf Channel, NBC, Peacock

Genesis Invitational: Course Preview

Vidanta Vallarta

Vidanta is a fairly standard, tropical Paspalum resort course, not overly dissimilar to El Cardonal (host of the World Wide Technology Championship), Corales (host of the Corales Punta Cana Resort and Club Championship), and Coco Beach (host of the Puerto Rico Open). As a course originally conceived for resort play, Vidanta has unsurprisingly played as the 11th and 12th-easiest course on the PGA Tour each of the last two years. With that being said, the primary defense of Vidanta Vallarta is self-evident. The Greg Norman design features the longest set of par fours and par fives on the entire PGA TOUR. Vidanta has four par fives ranging from 548 to 637 yards, five par threes ranging from 174 to 226 yards, five par fours that measure over 450 yards, and three par fours that measure over 500 yards. With the extra par three, the 7,300 yards actually plays far longer than the scorecard suggests. It should not come as a surprise that players will be hitting a long iron approach shot on up to 45% of their shots this week. Yet Vidanta Vallarta is the token example of how length does not necessarily make a golf course difficult. At least three of those long iron approaches will be the second shot on a reachable par five, and there is such little trouble around these large and receptive greens. Subsequently, Vidanta still features a high greens-in-regulation percentage, and players must not be overly concerned with short game skill this week. No better illustration of this is that despite featuring the longest set of par fours and par fives on the PGA TOUR last year, the par fours ranked 28th out of 45 courses in difficulty, and the par fives ranked 30th out of 45 courses.

Vidanta embodies a rather manufactured homogeneity of strategic design, with length being the only true decider of success. It's an extremely long golf course, but that does not mean that it's a hard golf course. In its first year, three of the top four finishers possessed a ton of power off the tee and were elite long iron players. The following year, the accentuation of power off the tee and long-iron play was even more pronounced. Every single one of the top seven finishers was a top-20 long iron player in the field entering the week. This week, I will primarily be looking for players with a high carry distance, skill from 200 yards plus, and those who have previously experienced success on wide open, tropical, Paspalum resort courses.

Mexico Open Key Stats

  • Carry Distance
  • Strokes Gained Total: Paspalum
  • Proximity 200 yards plus

Mexico Open: Outright Picks


Taylor Pendrith always has my attention on wide open, longer, driver heavy golf courses due to his elite ability off the tee and long iron play. Pendrith ranks eighth in this field in carry distance and 10th in strokes gained off the tee on driver heavy courses with a low missed fairway penalty. His ability on approach is just as intriguing, and the Canadian ranks 12th in this field in overall approach play, and 24th in fairway proximity from 200 yards plus. The former Presidents Cup member is also one of the biggest risers in this field on slower greens, and it should not come as a surprise that he recorded a rock-solid 30th place finish in his lone appearance at Vidanta Vallarta, gaining over a stroke and a half both on approach and with the flat-stick.

Pendrith checks the recent form box as well, as he is coming off a ninth-place finish at the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, another long, driver-heavy golf course with a low missed fairway penalty, where he gained strokes in all four major categories. Rarely do we see a player with such a strong corresponding course fit and form at such appealing odds. Expect Taylor Pendrith to play a major factor in Mexico.


Formerly the number one amateur in the world, Davis Thompson is beginning to really find his footing on the PGA Tour. Thompson is coming off a 15th-place finish at the Phoenix Open, where he overcame the wrong side of a weather advantage, gaining a stroke off the tee and over four strokes on approach. Now he travels to a golf course that should fit his skill-set to a tee. Thompson is an incredibly powerful driver of the ball, and he ranks third in this field in strokes gained off the tee on driver heavy golf courses with a low missed fairway penalty.

The former University of Georgia standout is also an excellent long iron player, ranking 12th in this field in fairway proximity from 200 yards plus. Vidanta Vallarta should be an incredibly comfortable spot for Thompson, who also ranks top-10 in this field in fairway birdie or better percentage and strokes gained total on driver heavy golf courses that feature easy scoring conditions. Thompson is only just realizing his potential, and I’m expecting a breakout week for the 24-year-old.


Article Author


Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York. Andy came to OddsChecker in January 2022 after previously writing for Golf Digest, GolfWRX, Rotoballer, and the Score. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. In his free time, Andy is still grinding away at his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, and if not writing, can likely be found somewhere on a golf course.


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