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Last Week’s Wrap

While most of the tips had a solid week, they were never really in the hunt. The only current truism in golf did however deliver, as Cantlay botched yet another decent lead to capitulate in the final round. It’s gotten to the point that he’s a must-lay if he’s anywhere near the top of the board down the stretch – the guy just doesn’t have the stuff to get it done when the pressure is on.

This Week’s Event

After the stacked fields of the two Signature status events we’ve had over the past three weeks we were due a let-down and this week is it, with a decidedly dodgy field heading across the border for the Mexico Open. Jon Rahm would usually show up to give this event some interest but with his defection to LIV instead we’ve got a field headlined by the great Tony Finau.

I shouldn’t be so hard on Tony who has posted a second behind Rahm and a win over him in his two appearances here, so he’s a deserving favourite. The Vidanta Villarta track is a Greg Norman design however leans hard into the resort-style mould rather than being one of The Shark’s more thoughtful efforts.

The par-71 reaches nearly 7,500 yards and with five par-3s among the 18, the remaining holes boast some big distances. There won’t be much discussion going on in the tee box this week – caddies will be handing over the big stick and standing back. After hitting as far as possible, players will still be reaching for a low iron, with approaches over 200 yards far more common here than a regular Tour stop.

Greens are paspalum, which golfing nerds will tell you present unique challenges. The model doesn’t get down to grass level so I’ll leave turf overlays up to the sod specialists. While wind can play a role here, the forecast is looking pretty benign so it’s a week we can lean hard on the stats and target the long hitters.


With only two events played at this venue, there isn’t anything substantial in the way of history to look at. Even with a tiny sample, Big Tony has played so far above himself here he’s actually receiving a non-insignificant overlay. The other standout is Brandon Wu, who is receiving the biggest overlay on a single digit history the model has ever spat out – his T2 and solo third here amounted to a ridiculous 3-stroke per round outperformance of his (admittedly very low) baseline prediction.

With nothing of note to mention regarding underperformers I’ll head straight into the course fit stats. Unsurprisingly we find an absolute huge premium placed on driving distance – in other words, players who regularly drive further than average perform well here. As with most courses that favour distance, we find that accuracy isn’t as strong as a requirement it is for the average Tour course.

The result is big overlays for long hitters – Nic Hoojgard, Cam Champ and Ryan Fox are the names most familiar to punters and all will be taking in at least a quarter shot bump to their baseline skill due to their prodigious length off the tee.

Known short knockers Moore, Reavie and Rai are receiving similarly sized hits to their baseline skill and will need to putt the lights out to make up for the big disadvantage they will face here.


Volumes have been pretty muted as bettors aren’t finding many familiar names on the board. After opening in single digits, Tony has drifted and looks like he’ll start at around $11, which isn’t long enough according to the model output.

The attention has been all on the previously mentioned Hojgaard, who has been steadily backed in from 20s down to his current $17. Keith Mitchell has also received love and his price has reduced significantly to a number well under where the model has him pegged.

It’s another dodgy week for value so I’ll be having a few small plays.





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