Dating back to 1944 the trophy has been lifted by some of the game’s very best including David Graham, Lee Trevino, Roberto di Vicenzo and Ben Crenshaw.

At various times the tournament has been part of the PGA Tour family via the secondary Nationwide (now Korn Ferry) Tour and the satellite PGA Tour Latino America but 2022 is its debut on the main circuit.

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Inaugural PGA Tour event (Alvaro Ortiz won last year on the PGA Tour Latino America).

COURSE: Greg Norman might be on the nose at PGA Tour headquarters, but his course designs aren’t.

For the third time this season a Shark designed layout will play host to a Tour event, this week the Vidanta Vallarta course joining TPC San Antonio and Mayakoba on the Tour’s rotation.

RIGHT: Abraham Ancer is part of the local Mexican contingent hoping to the lift the trophy this week. PHOTO: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

Normally a par-73 for resort guests with six par-5 holes and five par-3s, two of the usual three shot holes have been reduced to par-4s to bring the total back to par-71.

At a shade over 6,800 metres on the scorecard it has plenty of length but that is rarely a deterrent to a PGA Tour field.

Wide fairways with greens on the large side will also aid scoring and while 51 bunkers were added when the Tour announced the event was coming here it would be reasonable to still expect a low scoring week.

While not coastal, winds will be a factor as the course sits just two kilometres from Banderas Bay and runs along the Ameca River.

What may prove interesting this week is the choice of grass for the greens. Paspalum has been used for both fairways and putting surfaces and it is a difficult grass to get running as fast as most PGA Tour pros are accustomed to.

Players often describe Paspalum as ‘sticky’ so look for those with adaptable short games to feature on the leaderboard.

RELATED: So-called expert golf tips for this week

PRIZEMONEY: US$7,300,000

PLAYERS TO WATCH: It’s a less than stellar field this week spearheaded by World No.2 Jon Rahm.

The only top-10 player in the field, there are six players from the world’s top-50 meaning it should be a competitive affair.

Simple mathematics ensures Rahm will be the clear favourite but there is much intrigue among the rest of the field.

Matt Jones makes his first start since playing well in Texas before The Masters. PHOTO: David Cannon/Getty Images.

There are five Mexican players teeing up and this will be a highly emotional week for them given the tournament’s newfound prestige as a Tour event.

Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz are both PGA Tour winners and will be joined by Roberto Diaz, Jose Antonio Safa and Ortiz’s brother, Alvaro.

Ancer is easily the highest ranked of the four at 20 in the world and would seem the player most likely to shine this week.

However, Carlos Ortiz was a prolific winner on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2014 so knows how to get across the line in a golf tournament as confirmed by his Houston Open win in 2020.

He held off Hideki Matsuyama and Dustin Johnson that week so is capable of playing under pressure and there will be plenty of that this week.

Patrick Reed is among the major winners in the field, alongside Gary Woodland and Graeme McDowell, and while he has been at less than his best in 2022 has the sort of touch around the greens which might pay dividends at this course.

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: David Graham (1980); Jarrod Lyle (2008).

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Greg Chalmers, Mark Hensby, Aaron Baddeley, Brett Drewitt and Matt Jones.

Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 5.30am –8.30am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 5.30am – 8.30am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 3am – 8am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 3am – 8am)
*AEST, check local guides