Mexico Open at Vidanta In-Play Tips

19:40 – April 29, 2022

With poor weather forecasted for tomorrow afternoon in Girona, the tee times for round three of the Catalonia Championship have been moved forward and play will start at 10:00 am local time (8:00 am UK time).

Sky have also moved their scheduling forward and the live coverage starts at 9:00 UK time. Here’s the 36-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 7:30 p.m.

Laurie Canter -7 5.59/2
Oliver Becker -6 8.07/1
James Morrison -6 16.015/1
Ryan Fox -5 11.010/1
Daniel Gavins -5 21.020/1
Adrien Saddier -5 24.023/1
Ivan Cantero Gutierrez -5 100.099/1
Thomas Bjorn -5 110.0109/1
-4 and 25.024/1 bar

On the last occasion that the DP World Tour visited the Stadium Course at Catalonia, in 2014, the eventual winner of the Open de Espana, Miguel Angel Jimenez, beat Richard Green and the halfway leader, Thomas Pieters, in a playoff and both he and Green came from off the pace. Miguel had trailed by four at halfway in a tie for eighth and Green had been five back in 10th, but that’s as far back as any of the four winners have trailed by here.

Thomas Bjornwho’s back in-contention this week for the first time in a very long time, won the Sarazen World Open in 1999, having sat second and two off the lead at this stage, Brian Davis won the Open de Espana a year later, having sat fifth and three off the lead and Thomas Levet won that title here in 2009 having led by two through 36 holes. Bjorn, Davis and Levet all led after round three and Jimenez sat second, trailing by two.

I’m not in the least bit surprised to see Laurie Canter in-contention here. He has a couple of Q-School top-20 finishes at the venue and he came close to winning at two of the tracks that I highlighted as decent corelating courses in the preview – Valderrama and Wentworth – but therein lies the issue with the 32-year-old Englishman.

He traded at 1.511/2 at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last September before coming up short and a month later when he was matched at a low of 1.75/7 as he blew a three-stroke 54-hole lead in the Andalusia Masters at Valderrama. He should eventually get across the line on the DP World Tour, but he was expensive to follow in-contention way before those two latest examples and he’s short enough with so much golf still to play.

The presence of James Morrison is a bit frustrating. He often pops up and contends in Spain and he was a juicy price before the off but I’m happy to leave him out now. He made a number of long par saving putts today to keep in the hunt.

With as many as 25 players within five strokes of the lead heading into the weekend this is a really tough tournament to untangle but I’m happy to chance last week’s winner – Pablo Larrazabal.

Pablo was poor yesterday he celebrated his seventh DP World Tour title and his first in Spain in style after Sunday’s victory in Tarragona so a slow start was not unexpected. He played much better today and although he too relied on the putter on several occasions, his bogey-free three-under-par 69 was a great knock.

It’s fantastic to see Thomas Bjorn bang in contention again and he’s a tempting price at 100.099/1 dept. The last time the DP World Tour pitched up here, in 2014, Jimenez broke his own record for being the oldest winner on the Tour (50 years and 133 days) for a second time. It would be some story of Bjorn at the age of 51 broke it!

I’ll be back in the morning with a look at the Mexico Open once they’ve reached the halfway stage.

08:35 – April 29, 2022

There was a scoring differential of just 0.54 strokes between the AM and PM starters at the Catalonia Championship yesterday on the DP World Tour and two of the three first round leaders, Jeff Winther and Darren Fichardt, began in the afternoon.

Oliver Bekker, who also fired a six-under-par opening 66, posted his round in the morning and he’ll be teeing it up this afternoon in round two, after the wind has picked up fractionally.

As highlighted in the In-Play Tactics section of the previewwhat little evidence we have suggests we should probably be concentrating on the early leaders so I’m more than happy to kick things off with a small play on Winther.

The 38-year-old Dane has only ever led or co-led a stroke play event once before after the opening round on the DP World Tour and that ended nicely.

He led the Mallorca Open by a stroke after round one in October before going on to win what, to date, is his only DP World Tour title, so he’ll have positive vibes about showing the way in Spain.

Winther is a best price of 14/1 on the High Street this morning so I was more than happy to take 19.5 on the exchange.

Over at the Mexico Open at Vidanta on the PGA Tour, the draw bias was far more pronounced with the morning starters averaging 69.18 compared to 71.39 shot by their afternoon counterparts.

With it’s wide-open fairways, which the pre-event favorite, Jon Rahmcompared to Kapalua in Hawaii in his post-round interview, the scoring was very good before the wind picked up in the afternoon.

jon Rahm in Mexico.jpg

Rahm was one of six players to open the tournament with a seven-under-par 64 to share the early lead, but he holed a lot of footage on the greensincluding this eagle two at the seventh hole, and he might be worth taking on today.

Rahm has led or co-led after round one on the PGA Tour eight times previously and he’s only gone on to win once, producing finishing positions that read 3-3-1-5-7-3-9-2.

And as Justin Ray highlights below, he’s only one form eight when starting an event with a 64 or better.

I definitely don’t want to back him at around 2/1 given it won’t be easy this afternoon and I’m happy to lay him at around 1.558/15 in the Top 5 Finish market.

The weather forecast suggested only a slight increase of wind yesterday and the same is predicted today but the course is so exposed and so close to the coast that the conditions were very different yesterday and of the top-20 after round one, only three teed it in the afternoon.

One of the three was one of my Find Me a 100 Winner picks, Kurt Kitayama, who’s tied for the lead after round one so it’s going to be a big day for him today. If he can back up his opening 64 with anything close to that he’ll be bang in contention going into the weekend if the conditions today are similar to yesterday.

Given he went off at around 25.024/1, I’m happy to have a small bet on Gary Woodland at 27.026/1 this morning. Having been extremely well-backed before the off, I thought he was a fraction short but after his four-under-par 67 yesterday afternoon, if the draw bias is similar today, and he performs to the same level, once the stagger unwinds, that price might look generous.

I’ll be back later today or tomorrow morning once we’ve reached the halfway stage of both events.

Catalonia Championship Pre-event Selections:
Adrian Otaegui @ 32.031/1
Nicolai Hojgaard @ 46.045/1

In-Play Picks:
Jeff Winther @ 19.5
Pablo Larrazabal each-way @ 25/1

Mexico Open Pre-event Selections:
Cameron Champ @ 60.059/1
Davis Riley @ 70.069/1

In-Play Pick:
Gary Woodland @ 27.026/1

Find Me a 100 Winner Selections:
2 pts Aaron Cockerill @ 130.0129/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

2 pts Peter Uihlein @ 160.0159/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

1 pt Kurt Kitayama @ 240.0239/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

* You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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