Greetings golf enthusiasts and welcome back to the Fantasy Golf Sommelier’s cellar for the Memorial Tournament. It’s hard to believe but we are now just over a couple weeks away from the US Open and several players ranked in the top 20 in the world will be in the field this week to fine tune their games leading up to the third major. The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, or “Jack’s Place”, as it’s affectionately known is one of my favorite tournaments of the year and almost has a major feel to it because of the field and the course which is always in fantastic condition. I wouldn’t expect anything different either with Jack Nicklaus being the tournament host and designer of the course. I’m at that age where I can still remember Jack playing competitively. I was there when he won the 1986 Masters and it was unreal to watch. I still would give the slight edge to this years Masters over 1986, but it’s pretty damn close between the two. Jack is the GOAT though in golf as far as I’m concerned until Tiger breaks his majors record, which might never happen. We hear about the term GOAT all the time. It could be when discussing Jack or Tiger, MJ or Lebron, or Tom Brady (he’s the GOAT period). Now, if we had to debate the GOAT of wines, it would literally be an impossible task with so many fantastic wines in the world, but what I can do is give you some of my favorites I’ve had recently.
Let’s start with probably the obvious and a winery that’s in the description below for the $10 Special plays of the week, and that’s Caymus Vineyards. There wines ain’t cheap but they are absolutely spectacular, especially there Cabs which you will literally savor every last drop if you decide to pay up for a bottle. Next I gotta give a shout out to our friends over at L’Ecole No 41 Winery out of Walla Walla, Washington. They reached out to us out of the blue a month or so ago and just wanted us to try their wines, no strings attached. Well let me tell you, I was not disappointed as they are, as I like to say, Great Fantastic. I especially liked the “Semillon”, which is white varietal, similar in characteristics to Sauvignon Blanc, I had never even heard of before that is refreshing and perfect on a hot summer evening. We always say “no free ads” on the show, but this is a free one so check them out and you can even use the code Fore and get a 15% discount on orders from the website. Finally, I’m going to stay in the state of Washington and tell you about a small winery called Basalt Cellars that is an absolute gem and the wine is second to none. Now, I do have soft spot for this one, because perhaps a certain favorite caddy of ours significant other works here and has graciously sent several bottles of their wine, but that’s neither hear nor there. ALL 100 of you people that read this article must get your hands on a bottle because it will blow you away. Small wineries to me are the best, and I can tell you from experience from experience in California Wine Country, that these wineries just have so much heart and sole put into every bottle. I could be wrong but I imagine employees of these wineries are involved in literally every step along the journey, from harvest to corking. That kind of attention, hard work, and passion is immediately evident with the very first sip of a Basalt Cellars wine. They have a great Rose’, but my favorite would probably be the Rim Rock Red, which as the title suggest, is a Red blend that is in the top 5 of blends I’ve ever had. So check them out here and thank me later! That’s all I got this week folks. Bome.
Now let’s get into the plays of the week for the Memorial. 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…
Tiger Woods – $11,200 – 95 Points – The big cat is back this week after a disappointing missed cut at the PGA Championship and I’m loving him this week on a course he’s won 5 times on. Tiger is always a polarizing figure whenever he tees it up but in the PGA DFS world I have found it to be quite interesting that his ownership levels continue to be at levels less than 15%. I’ll take that any week on such a high profile guy who is playing as good as anyone in the world. I’ve mentioned the history already, but he’s also checking boxes in my favorite stats this week including Strokes Gained Approach, Scrambling, and Proximity to the hole which will be key this week on the small and extremely undulating greens at Muirfield Village. Tiger may be a little too pricey to play in cash this week, but he should definitely be in play for your DraftKings GPP lineups, especially with a ton of value in the 6K and 7K range.
Matt Kuchar – $9,400 – 95 Points – Kuch will probably garner a lot of ownership this week, but I’m eating the chalk despite the lofty price tag. He’s played consistently well recently with 4 straight finishes inside the top 12 and zero missed cuts so far this year. Over his last five starts at the Memorial, Kuch has gained almost 40 strokes on the field and hasn’t finishes worse that a T26 in 2015 and every other finish T15 or better. That’s some damn good form and history to go on folks, but if you’re a stat lover then we got you covered there also as he is top 15 in the field in Strokes Gained Approach, Par 5 scoring, Proximity, and Opportunities Gained. Love him or hate him (a year ago could you imagine that being a line about Kuchar?!), Kuch is a Great Fantastic play this week as a cash core, or in your tournament lineups.
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.
Ryan Moore – $7,300 – 88 Points – I gotta admit, this one scares me a little based on recent form, but Ryan is a guy that I typically like to play on a course he’s traditionally fared well on and is checking boxes, regardless of where the form has been leading up. If you look at his last 5 starts at the Memorial, Moore has made 4 of 5 cuts with 3 finishes inside the top 20 and I think he offers a good amount of upside relative to price to throw in some tournament lineups this week. The stats won’t wow you but he is 23rd in the field in Strokes Gained Approach and in the top 40 in the field in Par 5 scoring, Proximity, and Scrambling. He may make you nervous, but I think it’s the week to pop that cork on Ryan and let him breathe!
The $10 Wine Special – Priced like a Sutter Home, plays like a Caymus!
Keith Mitchell – $7,100 – 88 Points – Mitchell was one of the hottest players early in the season but has been relatively quiet lately as far as the PGA DFS chatter is concerned with 2 missed cuts in his last 5 starts. He did finish T8th though at the Wells Fargo on a course I think you could compare to Muirfield in Quail Hollow and I like his chances to outperform the cheap price this week. Keith’s Off the Tee and his approach game has been fantastic all year (ranked 4th and 27th respectively in the field), and he’s also checking the box in Par 5 scoring and we know you have to score on these par 5’s to have a chance this week. All things considered I believe it’s time to jump back on the Mitchell bandwagon and take advantage of the discount we are getting for the former Georgia Bulldog this week.
Joost Luiten – $6,500 – 86 Points – This may be the cheapest guy I’ve ever put in this section, but there’s just no way to avoid it when DB and I BOTH had Luiten written down as a cheap option this week. That’s pretty much unheard of so I just can’t avoid it. There’s good reason behind it though as he’s popping right now in Ball Striking (40th), Strokes Gained Approach (16th in the field), and Proximity (3rd), which should serve him well on what has traditionally been known as a second shot golf course. Joost has also been playing pretty well this year having only missed one cut in 9 starts between the PGA and European tours including 5 top 15 finishes. We mentioned on the show that the Studs and Duds strategy will probably be the way to go this week so you’ve got to find a few duds to slide into your tournament lineups and Luiten should be exactly what you need to take home all the monies this week. 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).
Justin Rose – $10,800 – 78 Points – I REALLY wanted to go Bryson for the second week in a row, but I’m going to give the defending champ a break this week and go with Rose instead. This a strong field and you could probably make a case to play almost everyone above 9K, but I think Rose will be high owned and fading could gain you a great edge this week. Justin has played very solid at “Jack’s Place” in recent years with a T6 in 2018 after a two year hiatus and a solo 2nd in 2015 coming off a missed cut the year before. That’s all fine and dandy, but Rose really hasn’t played all that well recently relative to his price outside of a 3rd place finish at the Wells Fargo (a week in which he publicly admitted he had no idea what his swing was going to produce no less). I mentioned on the show that this is somewhat of a gut call week for me on some guys and I just feel like you can get much bang for you buck than playing a shaky Rose at 10,800 on DraftKings.