“Nature seemed to have intended Texas for a vineyard to supply America with wines.”
– Stephen F. Austin
Greetings golf enthusiast and welcome back to the Fantasy Golf Sommelier for the Charles Schwab Challenge. As you folks may know by now, I absolutely love old classic courses like we have this week at Colonial Country Club and look forward to the week. When I was thinking about the topic for this week I immediately thought that this is literally the 4th event in Texas and I have yet to talk about Texas wines. You know why that is? To be honest, I assumed that Texas didn’t really have a presence in the wine industry. Well we all know what happens when we assume, and I actually found that Texas is one of the oldest wine producing states in the country and even had vineyards planted well before states like California that we all think about when it comes to wine. As a matter of fact, Texas is the home of the very first vineyard planted in North America by Franciscan Priests around the mid 1600’s. Of all the things we typically think of when it comes to Texas, wine is not one of them, but Texas is in the top 10 of wine producing states in the country and it’s high time people hear about it!
Most all of Texas wines come from the “High Plains” region that is near the city of Lubbock and along the border with New Mexico. As you might imagine the elevation levels in this have a favorable climate with plenty of sun and cool evenings that are ideal for growing grapes for wine. There is also the Texas Hill Country northwest of Austin and San Antonio which has a little more unpredictable climate but limestone soil that is ideal for producing good wines. Pretty much all varietals can be grown in Texas, but the one that most stood out to me was Mourvedre which is popular in the Rhone regions of France and is used to make some Great Fantastic reds and guess what else! Rose’! Mouvedre originated in Spain in very similar climates to Texas and is most commonly used as a blending grape, hence why you see it in Rose’ from Texas. Other popular wines from Texas would be Cabernet’s and Merlot’s and as you can expect because everything is bigger in Texas they tend to have extremely bold and big flavor that I imagine pair well with a juicy T Bone Steak or Brisket. So next time your perusing through the aisles of your local wine store, see if you can find a nice Texas wine, you might just find, like I did, that they hold up to the best even California can offer.
Now let’s get into the plays of the week for Colonial. 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 stumble on down into the sommeliers’ cellar of fine golf selections for the week…
Jon Rahm – $11,200 – 96 Points – Rahm is a top shelf play this week and will most definitely be a core play in a lot of lineups despite coming off a disappointing missed cut at the PGA Championship. In two starts at Colonial Country Club, Jon has finished in the top 5 both times and outside of last week he has still been in good form throughout the year making 11 of 12 cuts with 7 top 10 finishes. The ball striking has been tremendous and he is 3rd in the field in Opportunities Gained which is a proprietary stat our friends at FantasyNational.com came up with to measure birdie opportunities within 15 feet of the hole on the green or fringe. I like that Rahm is giving himself a ton of looks to score and I think that will continue this week in Fort Worth.
Kevin Kisner – $9,200 – 94 Points – Our boy Kiz pops again this week on a course he’s won on before in 2017 and he also compares to his home course Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, SC. Kiz should make for a great cash play with plenty of upside and the game to suit. You have to be accurate of the tee with the tight fairways at Colonial and Kiz has always been an accurate guy currently ranking 7th in the field in Driving Accuracy. We know he’s also one of the most consistent good putters on tour so if his irons are on I expect to see him contending and us throwing out plenty of #WhoLitTheKiz tweets on Sunday.
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.
C.T. Pan $7,300- 88 Points – The Pan finally gave the dfs world a victory at the Heritage just a few weeks ago and I think this is a very similar course to Harbor Town and suits C.T.’s game well. Pan is accurate off the tee and just good enough around the greens to be dangerous. I don’t mind the missed cut last week either as Bethpage was definitely not the course for him. Looking at last year Pan played well here with a top 20 finish and as an added bonus we must might have received a text from a caddie on the grounds that he thought Pan was a good bet this week. We here at TourJunkies.com like that kind of information 😉
The $10 Wine Special – Priced like a Sutter Home, plays like a Caymus!
Charley Hoffman – $7,600 – 86 Points – The Hoff is checking all kinds of boxes for me this week especially when it comes to ball striking (26th in the field), Opportunities Gained (20th), and also Strokes Gained Approach (24th). He’s been extremely solid all year and is on a current streak of 5 straight cuts made. Speaking of cut streaks, he’s also made the cut every year at Colonial since 2014. Current ownership projections have Charley less than 10% owned as well so I think he slides right in as a solid GPP play on DraftKings this week.
Michael Thompson – $6,800 – 85 Points – Michael Thompson might be a pretty boring name to think about but he is as solid as they come on the shorter courses on tour like Colonial and I think $6,800 is tremendous value for him. He’s made the cut in 3 of his last 4 starts at Colonial with a T32 last year and a top 10 in 2014. Thompson ranks in the top 15 in the field in Driving Accuracy and is also top 30 in Scrambling so if you’re looking for a cheap play to round out your rosters I wouldn’t look much further than this dude in the 6K range.
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).
Bryson DeChambeau – $9,400 – 79 Points – So I re-shafted my putter this week (going arm lock baby!), and the only grip they had was the one Bryson uses. I almost decided against it just because of that so that might tell you a little about how I feel about Bryson this week. Look, I know Bryson is extremely talented and will probably win a lot on tour, but he has shown that he can be pretty streaky and with 2 straight missed cuts at last weeks PGA Championship and the Heritage the signs are there that it’s not time to be on Dechambeau. Heading into the week he ranks near the bottom of the field in Scrambling and putting and also hasn’t been all that great when it comes to hitting greens as he is 90th in the field in Greens in Regulation. Avoid the scientist again this week and wait for him to show signs that he’s out of the lab and the game is back on track.