PGA DFS Core Plays: Mexico Open

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Top-ranked DFS player, Notorious, breaks down his favorite PGA DFS picks at various salary ranges for this week’s tournament. Who should you be building around? Find out below.

There were too many heartbreaks for me to recap last week, so instead, let’s dive right into this week’s event. This is the third time the Mexico Open has been a part of the PGA TOUR rotation. Jon Rahm and Tony Finau won the first two editions, so we’ll see if we can add another elite golfer to the list of victors at the Norman Signature Course at Vidanta Vallarta. This is a beautiful venue and one that can only be reached by the world’s longest golf cart suspension bridge. While the course is right on the coast, most of the holes are inland. This plays more like a Florida course than it does a true coastal course.

Measuring 7,456 yards, this par 71 has been a paradise for bombers off the tee. The average width of the fairways here is 41 yards and the rough is very playable. Add in the overall length of the course, and it’s easy to see why the likes of Rahm, Finau, Cameron Champ, and Patrick Rodgers have fared well here in the past. I will note that the DFS community tends to latch itself onto narratives in events like this, so just know that golfers with distance off the tee are going to garner more ownership than you might expect. This doesn’t mean we can’t play the bombers in tournaments, but know that you aren’t being sneaky by rostering someone like Sam Stevens.

Noto’s PGA Model Download & Video for the Mexico Open

While I am playing into the bomber angle like everyone else, I do think good long-iron play can negate a lack of distance off the tee. In 2023, over 40% of approach shots were hit from more than 200 yards. This is an easy course relative to PGA TOUR standards, but this is not a pitch and putt like we often see in birdie-fest. Golfers need to be dialed in with their long irons to contend here. I came up with an expected Strokes Gained: Approach metric based on the expected approach distances this week if you want to check that out in the model download. The top three in that metric are Finau, Mark Hubbard, and Jhonattan Vegas.

With little to no wind in the forecast this week, we can expect some low scores. Golfers who make a lot of birdies are certainly appealing, but oftentimes, in these birdie fests, it comes down to who can make the fewest mistakes. Overall, I’m looking at driving distance, Strokes Gained: Approach (emphasis on 200+ yards), birdie or better percentage, bogey avoidance, and Strokes Gained: Putting. Scrambling is not expected to play a big role this week, and that’s for two reasons — the greens are easy to hit on average, and the scrambling success rate has been very high here the last two years.

PGA DFS Picks: DraftKings & FanDuel Core Plays for the Mexico Open

Field Size:

Cut Rule:

Weather Forecasts

Norman Signature Course – Vidanta Vallarta

Event Notes

What to Look For

Core Plays

Tony Finau

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DraftKings — $12,000 / pOWN: 41.5%
FanDuel — $12,300 / pOWN: 53.1%
Driving Distance — 38
SG: APP — 1
BOB% — 21
SG: Putting — 108
Stat Rank — 7
Noto Rating — 88.8

Finau is going to be extremely popular this week. We have him projected for 42% on DraftKings and 53% on FanDuel, and that’s in large-field tournaments. In cash games and single-entry contests, he will be even higher than that. Try as I might, I can’t make a case for any of the other spends over Finau. He has gained over 6 strokes ball-striking in back-to-back events, he’s one of the best in the field off the tee, and he’s the best in the field on approach. More importantly, he’s the class of the field and has finished 1st and 2nd at this event in the last two years. I know it’s golf, but it’s hard to see a bad performance, given the course and field.

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About the Author

Notorious
Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

Derek Farnsworth (aka Notorious) is a lead RotoGrinders Expert and one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Master’s Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the DFS industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in several sports and multiple Live Final appearances. Noto provides expert NBA, NFL, MLB, and PGA analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards. Follow Noto on Twitter – @RG_Notorious