Greetings fellow golf enthusiast and welcome back to this weeks edition of the Fantasy Golf Sommelier for the 3M Open in the great state of Minnesota. First off, I have to say Happy 4th to all and since DB thinks Minnesota is basically in Canada, Happy Canada Day! to all our Canadian friends which was just this past Monday. With the holiday week the FGS is going to be a little light on the content, but I’m still going to bring the heat with the picks because things can only get better after last weeks disaster (they have to right? Pretty Please Fantasy Gods!). I freakin love Minnesota by the way. Especially after spending four glorious days there in Late September 2016 for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine. Minneapolis is a fantastic city and places like Chaska where Hazeltine is are must visits if you’re ever in the area. I would compare it to a top notch Caymus Vineyards Cabernet, that just melts in your mouth and pairs well with a fat juicy steak. Speaking of Caymus, it’s always interesting to me as to what really is behind the price of a wine. I’ve mentioned several times before in the FGS that Caymus is definitely some good shit, but it’s pricey and so not everyone would ever want to fork out the dough you have to for a glass of wine. But regardless, what really is behind that high price? Well several factors actually and not the least of which that (shocker), sometimes it’s just simply the value of the brand or name.
DB and I got into a debate on the pod this week about Brooks Koepka and whether or not to pay up for him at his price this week. Without going into the details because you can listen to it on the pod, it’s all about price vs. value and upside potential. With wine it can be quite similar. Are you willing to pay up for the brand, and if so what are you expecting the outcome to be? In the case of wine I think if you pay up you need to first have the knowledge to understand what the hell it is you’re actually paying up for. Do you actually gain some sort of satisfaction with the taste, flavors, and effects of the wine. Otherwise I wouldn’t even bother because you’re just wasting you money. Several factors go into the price as well just like we see with pricing for PGA DFS. One of the biggest factors is product quantity as usually some of your most expensive wines aren’t just churned out one after another like a Sutter Home or something. They are produced in very limited quantities and thus the harder to get, the more expensive they are. That doesn’t necessarily make a wine great though just because it’s not produced in mass quantities. Technique and time are also huge factors and I think really where the rubber meets the road with good wines. The art of wine making has been passed down for generations and while technology has changed, it’s still a basic chemical process that the best wine makers in the world have perfected. Add in the luxury of time, because we all know wine does get better with age, and you really can produce top notch wine that deserves the price tag. Lastly the territory is certainly a factor behind wine pricing. You just can’t plop down vineyards anywhere in the world and expect great wines. There’s a reason France, California, and to some extent Washington and Oregon have the ability to produce top notch wines and it’s strictly climate that just can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world. What it all comes down to though is simply whether or not you just want to pay up for a good bottle of wine and hope that it just blows your expectations out of the water. So basically if you want to pay up for Brooks Koepka this week, I say f’in go for it and just see what the hell happens. I mean shit, that’s what we do every week anyway.
Now let’s get into the plays of the week for the 3M Open. As always, we are going to use the classic Wine Spectator 100 point scale for the picks (think of it like a confidence factor):
- 95-100 Classic: a great wine
- 90-94 Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style
- 85-89 Very good: a wine with special qualities
- 80-84 Good: a solid well-made wine
- 75-79 Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
- 50-74 Not recommended (or a very shitty wine)
So, here we go, let’s meander on down into the sommeliers’ cellar of fine golf selections for the week…
Jason Day – $10,900 – 96 Points – I’m a huge fan of some Day this week coming off a top 10 finish at the Travelers in his last start. He’s checking all the boxes also as far as off the tee (6th), Ball Striking (16th) and Par 5 Scoring. Day is also extremely comfortable on bentgrass greens where he currently ranks number one in the field when you expand it out to the last 100 rounds on bentgrass greens. I will also mention this a lot with the player write ups this week but scoring will definitely be a factor as these guys should get to about 20 under on this course, and Day is top 5 in the field in DraftKings scoring. I think you can safely play as a core guy in your tourney lineups this week.
Joaquin Niemann- $9,300 – 92 Points – How can we not continue to ride the hot streak Niemann is on right now? We can’t and I love him again this week with the way he’s been playing. The stats have been there all year, but he just hasn’t been able to put a solid 4 rounds together that result in top finishes and money in your pocket. Joaquin has been striking his ball and I despite the weak field, I’m still loving his price tag this week. If you’re playing cash also I would start your lineups with this dude and build from there.
Pop the Cork on him and Let it Breathe – This is the guy we didn’t mention on the pod but after further review, popped later in the week and is a sneaky good, possibly low owned play.
Charley Hoffman- $7,800 – 88 Points – I’m gonna go with Charley Hoffman this week here. I don’t know why either. I just don’t believe in my heart of hearts that he continue to disappoint me like his last 3 starts. He will be extremely low owned also and absolutely nobody is talking about him. Maybe it just takes 3 missed cuts in a row for him to finally blossom into an exquisite play? Sometimes you just have to be patient and let these guys breathe people! F it. I’m playing him. (side note for you stat people. He is still top 10 in the field in Approach, Ball Striking, and Opps Gained)
The $10 Wine Special – Priced like a Sutter Home, plays like a Caymus!
Nick Taylor – $7,200 – 91 Points – Since according to DB this weeks event is a home game for Canadians, I can’t not have a Canadian as one of my plays of the week and my guy in this range will be Nick Tayor (Bonus: I like Hadwin off the higher priced shelf). Taylor has been a solid cut maker all year getting to the weekend in 18/23 starts this year with 6 finishes inside the top 35. He won’t jump off the page with his stats outside of Driving Accuracy but he is very consistent across the board and always in play to exceed his value anytime he tees it up.
Josh Teater- $6,500 – 86 Points – I gotta be honest I’m almost ashamed of myself for recommending Josh freakin Teater here but this week I think he’s worth a gamble at TPC Twin Cities. Teater is 20th in the field in Strokes Gained Approach, 37th in Ball Striking, and in the top 50 in Opportunities Gained which means he’s at least better than 2/3’s of the field in giving himself scoring chances which you have to do on this course. He’s also been in very good form having made 4 straight cuts with two top 35 finishes and a T17 a few weeks ago at the Charles Schwab.
Boone’s Farm Vintage Fade of the Week – Boone’s Farm is basically convenience store wine we drank in college and possibly could kill you (not really, but it’s gross).
Tony Finau – $9,200 – 79 points – So being short on time I’m going to be short and sweet here on Tony like I was a few weeks ago with Phil Mickelson and it worked out pretty well with a missed cut. Fade Tony. He’s just in a slump right now and I don’t think that changes this week. Wait until we see a little better form and perhaps an 8-9K price tag in a regular tour event and then pounce on him.