Mexico Open at Vidanta - Final Round
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Tony Finau finished the Mexico Open at Vidanta with a three-stroke victory over the field. Shooting a Sunday 66, Finau served notice he is someone to consider as we approach The PGA Championship in two weeks. Only the runner-up Jon Rahm has as many wins as Finau since July on TOUR. Tony’s victory marked his fourth win in seventeen starts. In those four wins, his average margin of victory is four strokes!

The best futures odds on Finau are +3000 (Bet365). Finishing second, Rahm has certainly cemented himself as the betting favorite for our second major championship of the season (+900 Caesars). The Masters champion will take next week off, but Finau has one more warm-up week for the PGA Championship at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. Another brutally long course that will test all the skills needed to contend at Oak Hill Country Club.

Long iron play was the theme of our futures research last week at the Zurich Classic. Our host venue in Mexico, Vidanta Vallarta, was also a lengthy test. Long iron play was important, but the driver really sold the story. In 2022, eight of the top 10 finishers averaged more than 300 yards off the tee on TOUR. The theme held true again as seven of the top 10 this week also average more than 300 yards this season. For Finau to outdrive this group and win by three is impressive.

Oak Hill in two weeks has seven par 4s over 460 yards. Both par 5s are over 600 yards! To beat the bombers at this venue will be nearly impossible. Of those bombers, Finau stands out in the middle tier of the odds board. Outside of his ability to drive the ball long and straight, he has gained on approach in fifteen of those last seventeen starts. Wells Fargo will continue to define his recent form, but based upon his ball striking you should grab Finau’s future odds ASAP.

In eight career PGA Championship starts, Finau has three top 10s and made the cut seven times. In those eight years, only six other players have three top 10s or more: Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey, and Matt Kuchar. Koepka, Day, and Thomas have all won the PGA. Finau’s form places him in a terrific place for a run in Rochester. There’s a couple more on that list we can watch on the betting board as well.

  • Justin Thomas is our defending champion. We will all be interested to see him play Quail Hollow. The 2017 PGA Champion at the same venue is sitting on the board at +2100 (Fanduel). A proven PGA contender with two wins in the last six years, Thomas needs more than his short game to win at Wells Fargo or Oak Hill. A mediocre finish in Charlotte and that number will rise. A solid top 10 and it might fall. 

  • We mentioned Brooks Koepka after the Masters. Another perennial PGA contender, Brooks just finished third in the last LIV tournament. Another low mid-tier guy at +2200 (BetMGM), Brooks has one more LIV start before the two-time PGA Champion descends upon New York. Most would say now is the time to get him. He looks to be back in that form which landed him both wins (the last in New York) and seven top 15 finishes in the PGA Championship. 
  • Another to consider is Jason Day. He had an incredible spring gaining an average of seven shots over his last ten starts. Was it an injury or fatigue he faced at the Masters? Wells Fargo will tell us as the next designated event has Day in the field. His game is perfect for Quail Hollow, which also means it is well-suited for Oak Hill. The injury questions have inflated his number to +4000 (Draftkings). 

The tournament team at the PGA of America led by Kerry Haigh has a signature to their championship. These players have shown recent success in the tournament, and each has a minor question or two to be answered in the coming two weeks. Finau is still my favorite of the four, but it just goes to show how active the betting futures board can be.

It’s amazing how well the PGA TOUR schedule is perfectly suited to the buildup for Oak Hill. Long iron accuracy in New Orleans, and the long ball off the tee in Mexico. The combination of both is what Quail Hollow Club measures. See you in a week when the Wells Fargo gives us another great insight into the 105th PGA Championship.

Keith Stewart, PGA covers the PGA TOUR and LPGA from a betting perspective. Published by Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and PGA TOUR, Keith is also the founder of a golf betting media company called Read The Line. 

The Professional Golfers’ Association of America (“PGA”) is not an online gambling operator, and is not a gambling site of any kind. Odds are provided for information and entertainment purposes only. Odds were sourced from FanDuel and DraftKings and last updated 12 a.m. EST April 30, 2023. PGA makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of information given.

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