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Feb 24, 2018; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; A general view of the Honda Classic logo and car display in the lake during the third round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National (Champion). Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2018; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; A general view of the Honda Classic logo and car display in the lake during the third round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National (Champion). Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Fantasy Golf Sommelier – Honda Classic

Greetings all and welcome to this weeks addition of the Fantasy Golf Sommelier for the Honda Classic! We’ve hit the Florida swing and will be on the east coast now so here’s a PSA…Make Sure You Get Your Lineups Locked in before you go to bed because the pros will be teeing it up bright and early Thursday morning. Alright, there’s your non wine advice for the week. You’re welcome. Moving along, if you read the last FGS I brought up White Claws taking over the world and also the fact I’m seeing more and more canned wines out there. Well, low and behold, some company called MANCAN caught wind of this and sent me some of their canned wine to try. First off, that was very nice of them to do. I always appreciate freebies. Second off, let me say this nicely, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Drinking wine out of a can is just awkward and weird. I tried their white and their Rose’ and I didn’t finish either can. Now, maybe it would have been better out of a glass but if they say you’re supposed to drink it out the can then that’s how I’m going to try it. They also sent me a red which brought up another quandary. Am I supposed to refrigerate that shit? I mean, that’s typically what you do with cans right? I don’t know about you people but I never drink Reds cold. If I’m missing out on something let me know but cold red wine sounds awful.

I bring all of this up again though to make an actual point (I think), and that is you should never close your mind to new ideas.  Whether it’s how you drink wine, the vintage you like, capped or corked, cold or room temperature, and even out of a can. You without a doubt will never know until you try it. That goes for this great DFS Golf game us addicts love so much. There’s no ONE strategy or way to do things and you have to be willing to change it up every now and then keeping an open mind to knew ideas. One of the great things about our new Nut Hut chat feature is that you will immediately get reminded of this and it’s refreshing to see and read new ideas, strategies, and thoughts on players that you might have missed because of whatever preconceived notion you might have had or perhaps just wasn’t paying attention to. To be honest, I didn’t really expect it, but it’s the first tidbit I noticed when we kicked things off and it’s literally my favorite thing about the chat. The interactions are quite valuable for your weekly research and we have some pretty damn sharp listeners and followers I can definitely tell you that! So if you feel inclined, grab you a case of MANCAN wine, crack them open, and come join the fun in the Hut. I promise you’ll be glad you opened your mind to it.

Alright folks! That’s all I got for this week. Let’s dive in to the Honda Classic plays of the week. 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 strut on down into the sommeliers’ cellar of fine golf plays for the week…

Rickie Fowler – $10,800 – 96 Points – So Rickie is deep in the process of a few swing changes courtesy of our good friend and podcast guest John Tillery, but I think PGA National is a track he absolutely loves, feels comfortable on (won here just a few years ago), and is also a great pivot off the higher priced and probably higher owned Fleetwood. Speaking of Rickie and his new coach, we are hoping to get some news straight from John on Rickie’s game today so stay tuned and make sure you’re signed up for the Nut Hut Chat to get all the inside info before lineup lock! If you look at Rickie’s stats leading up to this week, he’s not popping all that much but his ball striking and specifically Strokes Gained Approach have improved a good amount over his last 12 rounds. He’s also traditionally a good putter on Bermuda ranking 4th in the field over his last 100 rounds. All that said, Rickie will be a core guy in my DraftKings tournament lineups.

Daniel Berger – $8,900 – 94 Points –  DB and I both have been singing Berger’s praises all year and we aren’t about to come off that this week. Daniel loves this course, has proven that he can play well here AND he’s pretty much delivered all year in regards to exceeding value relative to price. Berger typically putts well on Bermuda and is also popping over his last 24 rounds in Ball Striking, Scrambling, Driving Accuracy, and Greens in Regulation. I do think there’s definitely a chance he’s chalk this week but I still love him in cash and tournament lineups regardless of ownership.

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. Berger traditionally putts well on Bermuda and is also popping over his last 24 rounds in Ball Striking, Driving Accuracy, Scrambling, and Greens in Regulation. 

Ryan Palmer – $8,300- 92 Points – There’s always that guy that scares the hell out of you to play every single week on tour and Palmer is the guy for me this week. I basically just turned my nose up at him as an auto fade every time he popped up in my early research but as I’ve looked more and more at him, I think he really makes since as a sneaky, low owned play this week especially with his experience at PGA National. Palmer has good history on this course with finishes of T25, T26, T37, and T4 last year (missed cut in 2018), and I think the key to that is he is typically accurate off the tee (so avoiding the trouble that is on almost every hole at PGA National), and solid in terms of Approach and Greens in Regulation.  Bermuda is also his best putting surface compared to bent and poa. Palmer’s form has been pretty good as well with a 21st at the Farmers on a difficult track, and a 4th at Sony to kick off the year. Right now I’m seeing projections of around 10% ownership and while he still scares me, Ryan is looking like a solid tournament play on DraftKings this week.

The $10 Wine Special – Priced like a Sutter Home, plays like a Caymus!

Bud Cauley – $7,300 – 88 Points – Yessir folks! I’m back in the game on Bud Cauley! Or Bud Cawwwleeey as DB says I make it sound like whenever I mention him on the pod. I love a lot of guys in this 7K range this week. Especially the lower end and cheaper plays and Bud is definitely one of my favorites of many. Cauley is steadily getting into good form with a T25 at the Waste Management and a respectable T51 on a tough course at Riviera. The key for Bud now though is he get back on Bermuda which he’s pretty much grown up playing (grew up and lives in FL currently) and ranks top 30 in the field over his last 100 rounds. Cauley is also checking boxes in several stat categories I like this week including Scrambling (12th in the field), Par 4 scoring (32nd), and Bogey Avoidance (10th).  Bud has been in the field 3 straight years at the Honda with a T12 last year and a T27 in 2017 (2018 he withdrew due to injury so we really can’t factor that in anyway). I think you’ll see another solid week for Cawwwleeey and he definitely has the potential to exceed value relative to his price this week on DraftKings.

Taylor Gooch – $7,200 – 88 Points – Just like Cauley, Gooch is another low end guy that is in great form with 10 straight cuts made and 4 top 20 finishes during that span including a top 10 in his last start at the Genesis and a 17th place finish at the American Express this year. Taylor has also played twice at the Honda with a missed cut in 2018 but a T20 last year. As we mentioned on the pod, I think experience is definitely key on this course and I think you see that with the dramatic improvement Gooch made between his 2018 start and last years good finish. Taylor is also checking all the boxes this week ranking in the top 25 in the field in Bogey Avoidance, Greens in Regulation, and Par 4 scoring. He’s also typically a good scrambler (37th in the field) which will be another key stat to lead in at PGA National. I’ll definitely have some ownership in Gooch for my tournament lineups. Bome.

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).

Tommy Fleetwood $11,600 – I think this is kind of a no brainer this week with long locks Tommy’s lofty price (how about that for some alliteration kids!). I will say it does scare me a little to fade Fleetwood as this should be a perfect course for his game, but we are still early on in his 2020 PGA Tour starts and I think DraftKings may have whiffed pricing him this high. It will be hard for him to exceed value outside of winning and this tournament is known for the carnage even with the top guys in the field. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we actually see a trunk slam and Fleetwood doesn’t even see the weekend. Tommy will definitely check boxes in the stats we like, but he is 62nd in Bogey Avoidance and 64th in Driving Accuracy which causes some concern. I will say the ownership doesn’t currently look to be that high, so you can definitely gain some leverage compared to the top guys, but I’m still staying away in favor of a more balanced build in both cash and GPP’s.

 

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