Greetings fellow golf addicts and welcome back to this weeks edition of the Fantasy Golf Sommelier for the RBC Heritage. I don’t know about you folks, but last week was a blast and it felt so good to be back with some live golf. Congrats to Daniel Berger as well on the win in a fantastic finish including the playoff with Morikawa. Berger has been trending all year and someone we’ve been on a lot so it was nice to see his hard work payoff. Hopefully you also followed the 70-1 play that DB had on him in DB’s Big Balls Betting Card in the Chalk Bomb email! We had mixed results in the FGS last week with Xander, Ancer and Woodland really coming thru, but Webb and Adam Long were absolute killers to a lot of my lineups and Jordan finally decided he could be good at golf again. Oh well, we get another shot this week in Hilton Head on a fantastic track and I’m pumped and hopeful again for a great week and some green screens!
How about 2020 though folks? What a f’d up year! I was just thinking the other day how much wine consumption there has to have been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. You might have guessed it that not only wine consumption but alcohol in general has gone up exponentially these last 3 months. Just google search “alcohol and the pandemic” and you can get all the information you need. Now, that could be construed as bad, but in some ways it’s been good when you think of folks just getting together thru virtual happy hours, or just spending more times with their loved ones over a good bottle of wine. I know personally I have had virtual happy hours with folks I haven’t seen in years and a lot of it was just born out of the unfortunate circumstances of this weird year. In a strange way it’s been good for the soul, and taught us all that we can in fact slow down, and just enjoy the things we pretty much take for granted in this world where everything needs to be fast and right at your finger tips. I know you people like stats so in case you were interested, wine sales are up 27% this year when compared to 2019. The amazing thing that’s absolutely hilarious to me is also that boxed wine sales are up 53%! Yep, Americans are finally waking up to the fact that boxed wine can actually be good! I’m here to tell you, don’t hate on it either, and you get like 3 bottles in one box so you don’t have to go to the store so much to get it! My favorites by the way are Bota Box and Black Box but if anyone out there has any other suggestions I’m all ears! In other news, don’t forget by the way that this Sunday is Father’s day which is always a special day and one that we often get the US Open final round if it weren’t for the Rona. I can remember so many years spent with my dad watching US Open final rounds and seeing new dads become champions, or dedicating their wins to their fathers and just overcome with emotion because their fathers meant so much to them. I hope all of you enjoy this Sunday and hopefully get to spend some time with your father, perhaps on the golf course or just sipping on a nice bottle (or box) of wine. Either way, cherish the time, I know I will.
Alright! That’s all I got for this week. Let’s dive in to the RBC Heritage 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 swagger on down into the sommeliers’ cellar of fine golf plays for the week…
Hideki Matsuyama – $9,500 – 94 Points – This will be Hideki’s first post pandemic start after skipping last week’s Schwab Classic and I think Harbour Town is a perfect place for him to get hot again after that scorching first round at the Players before the shit hit the fan. Much like a lot of the top players in the field this week because this tournament typically has traditionally been a week after the Masters, Hideki doesn’t have much of a track record here, but he definitely has the game to perform well on this course. Matsuyama ranks 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained Approach, 7th in Ball Striking, and 11th in Greens in Regulation. All of which are extremely important stats with the tight fairways and small greens we have this week. As of this writing Hideki is also projected around 12% owned which I’m all over for tournaments on DraftKings.
Patrick Reed – $8,800 – 93 Points – Love or hate him, Patrick Reed has been playing great all year with a win at the WGC Mexico and kept it rolling (literally with the putter) last week with a sneaky T7 finish. Reed gained a whopping 7.1 strokes on the field putting last week and I’m going to bet that the putter stays hot and he has another great week in Hilton Head. Reed’s approach and ball striking has also been pretty good and it’s pretty much a lock that even if he does miss some of these greens that he’ll be great from a scrambling standpoint as he is one of the best in the game around the greens right now. Again, like Hideki we don’t have a lot of history to go off here but whenever Reed tees it up he’s playing to win and at $8,800 he is safe for me and cash and also a great GPP play.
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.
Viktor Hovland – $7,600 – 90 Points – Hovland was the hot name and topic early on in the season, but despite a win a Puerto Rico earlier this year, his ownership has been pretty low (7.1% last week) and I think Viktor should again be a great leverage play this week. Hovland improved greatly as the week progressed at Colonial so his game is definitely in good form and he’s checks all the boxes this week as well ranking 17th in Approach, 4th in Ball Striking, and is typically a pretty accurate driver which can be very important on the tight fairways here at Harbour Town.
The $10 Wine Special – Priced like a Sutter Home, plays like a Caymus!
Ian Poulter – $7,600 – 88 Points – If you want a solid 7K guy that you can lock into cash or GPP lineups this week I don’t think you can find anyone better than Poulter in this price range. Poults has a stellar history at Harbour Town as it is a perfect fit for his style of play. Ian’s stats won’t necessary pop this week for you but to be honest I just don’t care with him on this course. Throw in a solid first week back on tour with a T29 at Colonial and a missed cut is about a worrisome as a cloudy day for Mr. Poulter.
Matt NeSmith – $6,600 – 86 Points – In case you haven’t been paying attention to the pod (shame on you if so!), this guy has been a sneaky and super cheap play for both DB and myself several times this year and paid off almost every time. DB mentioned him last week and he came thru with a T49 finish which is all you really need from a guy in this range and I think we can easily get at least that again this week. Matt might be a rookie on tour but he’s no rookie to this layout and type of course as he grew up just a couple hours away from HHI in North Augusta, South Carolina and has surely played a few rounds out here and should be extremely comfortable on the Bermuda surface. NeSmith is also checking several boxes this week including Strokes Gained Approach (10th), Ball Striking (22nd), and also Par 4 scoring (26th) which is an underlying stat I’m also looking at. If you’re in a bind and want a great cheap option look no further than our boy NeSmith.
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 – $10,700 – I’ll be the first to admit that while I was high on Bryson last week at Colonial, so much so that I agreed to that top 15 bet with DB which was probably stupid (even though I won, again), but I was still VERY worried about how his game would look after gaining all that weight and muscle. That all changed though after watching him in the first round. My god what a display off the tee and with his wedge game. It’s incredible to say the least. That being said I think we see a little bit of a setback this week in the new Bryson “Hulk” DeChambeau. You just can’t take some of the lines cutting corners like he did at Colonial here at Harbour Town and I think he’s due for a letdown week. Bryson is currently projected as the 4th highest owned player also in tournaments and I’ll gladly fade that to gain an edge in ownership in GPP’s despite what we saw last week.