2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta: Top 10 Power Rankings

Mexico Open at Vidanta, Vidanta Vallarta,(Photo by Fernando de Dios/Getty Images)
Mexico Open at Vidanta, Vidanta Vallarta,(Photo by Fernando de Dios/Getty Images) /
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After we saw match play in March and two-man team play last week, the PGA Tour is back to its traditional 72 holes of stroke play until modified Stableford comes into effect for the alternate field Barracuda Championship in July.

This week we’re stepping outside the U.S. borders for the Mexico Open at Vidanta.

This event was first held in 1944 and has been held at various venues. It rose to PGA Tour status last year.

Host course this week is Vidanta Vallarta, which measures 7,456 yards for a par of 71. Likely to the chagrin of PGA Tour executives, this is a Greg Norman designed course. It’s located near the resort town of Puerto Vallarta.

The course features subtle elevation changes, water coming into play on several holes, and native plants. It has five par-3s and four par-5s.

It’s a fairly straightforward test of golf. Paspalum grass in play from tee to green, which is growing more common. Kiawah Island for the 2021 PGA Championship is a recent example.

It’s a stickier surface, so players who can hit it far through the air have an advantage. Jon Rahm and Tony Finau were atop the leaderboard last year.

Greens should roll fairly slow and don’t expect to be overly challenging.

Field strength for the Mexico Open at Vidanta is understandably weak.

There are only three players from the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

The world’s best just got done playing the Masters and RBC Heritage, with some even teeing it up in last week’s two-man team event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Next week is a designated event at the Wells Fargo Championship, so this week is logical for most stars to opt for rest.

World No. 1 Jon Rahm gives this event some credibility, but he’s only here to defend his title.

It could be a little breezy this week, but otherwise, the forecast looks benign with temperatures in the 60s-80s and lots of sun.

Let’s get into this week’s top 10.

Mexico Open, Vidanta Vallarta, PGA Tour, FedEx Cup, 2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta, Jon Rahm
Alex Noren, 2023 Masters Tournament, Augusta National, Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network /

Alex Noren arrives to the Mexico Open at Vidanta for the first time.

He’s teeing it up in his first event since the Masters a few weeks ago, so rest is on his side as opposed to much of the field that was in New Orleans last week.

Noren is one of just three top 50 players from the Official World Golf Ranking in this week’s field. The Swede was on fire late in 2022 and has shown flashes of that form in 2023.

Noren posted back-to-back top-fives to close out last year with one on the DP World Tour and one on the PGA Tour at the Cadence Bank Houston Open. He opened 2023 with another one on the DP World Tour.

More recently, Noren took T-15th at the Valero Texas Open.

The 40-year-old veteran is one of the craftier players in the field. Noren ranks 32nd in strokes gained per round on the greens (.439) and 16th in SG around-the-green (.385).

A downside to siding with Noren this week is a lack of distance. At least rain does not appear to be in the forecast, so he’s hoping the fairways are running fast.

The former Oklahoma State Cowboy is seeking his first PGA Tour win. He got a taste of contention at last year’s Barracuda Championship where he took solo second to lock up his card for this season.

I envision him getting into the mix this week, too. He’s a fringe player to potentially make this fall’s European Ryder Cup team.

Noren likely won’t get there via the DP World Tour points list, but he’s got a good world rank and could influence Luke Donald for a captain’s pick, as well.