World No.2 Jon Rahm favorite as Mexico Open jumps to PGA level

World No.2 Jon Rahm favorite as Mexico Open jumps to PGA level

World No.2 Jon Rahm favorite as Mexico Open jumps to PGA level
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At this week’s US PGA Mexico Open, where a record 10 Mexican golfers will compete in a new tour event, world number two Jon Rahm is the overwhelming favorite.

While the tournament has been held since 1944, this year’s edition at the par-71, 7,456-yard Vidanta Vallarta resort represents a step up from developmental tours.

Rahm, the defending US Open champion, makes his first appearance since sharing 27th place at the Masters. He finished second at the Tournament of Champions in January and tied for third at Torrey Pines in June, where he earned his first major trophy.

“It was a good start to the year,” Rahm said. “It hasn’t been my best, but I’ve been practicing hard, feeling confident. I keep putting in the work so very positive about the future. I’m happy with the state of my games right now.”

He’s also happy to be back in Mexico, which is hosting a new event following the Mayakoba Classic, which was won by Norway’s Viktor Hovland last November.

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He’s also happy to be back in Mexico, which is hosting a new event following the Mayakoba Classic, which was won by Norway’s Viktor Hovland last November.

A prior WGC Mexico event was last staged in 2020 with Patrick Reed the winner.

“The game is where it needs to be in order to improve and get where we need to be,” Reed said. “The game’s there, just need to go ahead and put it all together and get out there and shoot some numbers.”

The two most recent Mexican winners of US PGA competitions, 2020 Houston Open champion Carlos Ortiz and last year’s WGC Memphis winner Abraham Ancer, lead the host nation entries.

Alvaro Ortiz, the winner of the Mexico Open last year when it was a developmental tour stop on a different course, is also in the field. The record Mexican lineup also includes three other developing tour players, three amateurs, and a club professional.

“It’s huge having two PGA Tour events in our country,” Ancer said. “It’s really important. It creates more awareness for the whole country.

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“And it also creates opportunities for more Mexicans to play an event in our country and to experience what playing at this level is, and the lessons you learn in an event like this are priceless.”

Ancer was nagged by back issues in missing the cut at the Masters while Carlos Ortiz has battled a shoulder injury and a kidney stone.

“I’m finally getting healthy. I don’t want to jinx it,” Carlos Ortiz said. “But I’m finally in good shape. I feel good. There’s no excuses now.”

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