🎉 Fiesta Like There's No Mañana
Zurich Review & Mexico Preview | Stats, Trends & More!
The TOUR heads South of the Border for Mexico’s national championship. This is an event rich with history but has only been an official PGA TOUR event since last year.
Jon Rahm looks to defend, and if he does, it’ll be his 7th worldwide win in 15 starts.
I hope you enjoy.
🏆 Last Week’s Optimal Lineup
👁️ Best Ball Bizarro World
It’s no surprise that Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele finished T4 last week in New Orleans, but how they did it was very surprising.
They shot 67-66 (143) in the best ball format and 63-66 (139) in the Alternate Shot format. That’s … not supposed to happen.
This has been a team event since 2017 and this is the first time that a team, who made the cut, was better in alternate shot. It’s the lowest alternate shot score (129) in tournament history and 11 shots better than their alternate shot score when they won in 2022.
Here are the best alternate shot differentials in tournament history — noting that the top four were all last week.
😻 Longing For Long Irons
Vidanta Vallarta is ~7,400 yards on paper and has some beefy holes. There are six par-4s that are 450+ yards with three different par 3s checking in at 195+ yards. Two of the par-5s are 603 yards and 637 yards.
The general thought process is that there will be a lot of long irons hit this week because of the percentage of shots from 175 and further. Here are the best players from 175+ on TOUR.
🏹 Strength is in the Eye of the Beholder
Let’s be clear — this is a weak field. But there’s still going to be a winner and there’s still going to be a trophy handed out on Sunday evening. The Strength of Field for this week will skew towards the low end so far in 2023, so let’s look at the best players in Weak Fields:
Jon Rahm has 20 worldwide wins — 11 on the PGA TOUR and 9 on the DP World Tour. His average margin of victory is 2.3 strokes and he’s only ever gone to two playoffs — winning them both.
Name either golfer he has beaten in a playoff.
(Answer at bottom of the email)
🎰 Rahm’s Short Odds
Jon Rahm headlines this incredibly weak field, as he did last year. When he won this event in 2022, he was +350. Since then, he has won 6x worldwide and is back to being the #1 player in the world. So we knew he was going to be short again this week and he is — opening at +280.
his marks the 4th time since 2019 that a golfer has opened at +500 or shorter -- all of them are Jon Rahm.
2022 Mexico Open (+350): 🏆
2021 Fortinet Championship (+400): MC
2020 TOC (+500): 10th
I’ve been tracking the odds for every event dating back to 2019 and here are the 23 instances of golfers opening at +700 or shorter (non-TOUR Champ).
Three wins — average finish: 22.4
🦗 Cracking The Paspalum Code
Vidanta Vallarta features “wall-to-wall paspalum”, a type of grass that we generally find on golf courses in warm, tropical locations near the ocean. It’s salt tolerant and usually has a wider blade of grass than other strains. It’s a fairly rare surface on the PGA TOUR and it causes one big problem for statisticians.
Since it’s usually only found in Bermuda, Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc — we often lack the Strokes Gained Putting data since the TOUR doesn’t always take ShotLink to those locations. So we need to find another way to determine the “Paspalum Specialists”.
I’ve compared each golfers non-paspalum baseline to their results on courses with paspalum (min 16 rounds). We are using SGTOT, which has it’s flaws for this purpose, but will show us golfers who are outperforming themselves on this surface. It’s not a massive leap to take to assume that these golfers are also putting better on the surface.
Sorted by the best players in the field who qualify.
⚠️ In Case You Missed It
👓 I dipped my toe into becoming a meme influencer this week by letting you know how I truly feel about the betting market.
🎽 I’ve contacted the winners of the Dodgers “Homakawa” jersey. Thanks for all the support and we’ll do some more giveaways soon.
Andrew Landry — 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge
Dustin Johnson — 2020 BMW Championship