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fantasy golf sommelier

Northern Trust 2020

Greetings fellow PGA DFS golf enthusiast and welcome back to this week's edition of the Fantasy Golf Sommelier for The Northern Trust at TPC Boston. As we've had almost every week since the restart the field is incredibly strong this week and I'm excited watch some great golf again on another fantastic course. We had a decent week in the FGS last week almost hitting on Billy Ho and then getting a solid finish from my boy Bud Caawwwleey as well. Of course Sergio was the pop the cork play and he pretty much sucked it up outside of making the cut, but that's neither here nor there. We only pay attention to the winners here in the FGS, screw transparency. Now let's move on to the wine topic at hand for the week.

I think it was on twitter or something, but I recently came across the fact that Luke Donald of all people has a wine label. Immediately struck by that, I then out of curiosity searched to see how many golfers or former golfers had their own wine label and there are actually several. I've always known Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Ernie Els, and Greg Norman had dabbled in wines, but was surprised in addition to Luke Donald that Nick Faldo (We love his followers!), Retief Goosen, and freakin Mike Weir also have popular labels. So now I'm dead set on trying all of these and reporting my findings in a future FGS.

I'm sure Jack and Arnie wines are fantastic because, well they are just good at everything they do. I can also say I've had a Greg Norman wine before and they are pretty damn good. They are a little pricey though which might account for the quality (not always though folks, that's a FGS free tip, never judge a wine just by the price). I often say don't pop the cork on any new wine you're trying and have a preconceived notion about what it will taste like, but in the case of these golfers with their own labels, I'm gonna have some preconceived notions.

Like let's take Mike Weir wines for instance. I have never tried them but I'm guessing you better pick out a few good years in the early 2000's because the latest vintages are shit (sorry Canadian friends, we love you). I can also imagine at a Nick Faldo wine tasting his labels will surely list how many majors he's won on them and then, as you're drinking the wine, people come out of nowhere and just yell at you if you don't feel the same way about the wine as they do, or, god forbid, offer constructive criticism. The one I would definitely have no clue what to expect would be the Retief Goosen wine. I can only assume though that it's what boring would taste like in a bottle. Luke Donald would clearly state on his label that his wines are #1 one in the world, or at least they were at one time so you know they have to be of high quality. Ernie Els wines are most definitely smooth and easy to drink but have just enough bite to give you a f'in terrible hangover. Finally, Gary Player wines are probably just as good as good as the Norman varietals, but the aftertaste will leave you overcome with a feeling of being inadequate and in need of a good talking too and an intense workout.

Of course, I may need to actually try all these first to see if my highly trained FGS palate is correct, but I'm feeling pretty damn good about my initial non-biased research. Stay-tuned to the FGS though for more detailed and thorough analysis in the future.

Alright! That's all I got for this week. Time to get into The Northern Trust 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 traipse on down into the Sommeliers’ cellar of fine golf plays for the week…

Bryson DeChambeau - $11,100 – 95 Points – Like him or not Byrson has been one of the best golfers in the world since the restart and that should continue this week at the Northern Trust where he's basically the defending champion from when we last played here in 2018. There's a slight difference though from 2018 though, Bryson is now beefy Bryson and hitting it MUCH further than he was then which should serve him quite well again this week as the bombers definitely have a clear advantage over the rest of the field. With projected ownership currently at less that 15% owned I also think Bryson will make for an excellent DraftKings tournament play and will be a staple play for me in almost all my lineups this week.

Patrick Cantlay - $9,200 – 93 Points –  Patrick is coming off a disappointing week at the PGA where he was one of the highest owned players in DraftKings tournaments so I think there's a huge leverage opportunity here based of recency bias and what should be a big drop in ownership. Cantlay is still one of the elite players in this field having not missed a cut in a single start this year. Bentgrass has historically been Patrick's best putting surface and he's also checking the box in Approach (24th), Off the Tee (26th), and in Birdie or Better percentage (22nd) which will be key this week as I think scores will be low if the weather stays as it is right now.

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. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick $8,100 - 90 Points – Matthew burned a ton of folks missing the cut at the PGA a couple weeks ago as he was about 15% owned in tournaments and coming off two solid top 10 finishes. Well now no one is talking about him as he's projected around 5% owned and I think makes for a perfect fit to pop the cork, let it breathe, and play some Fitzy this week. I think the price is just about right for Matthew with such a strong field and he still has a lot of upside, and could actually win here if the start align correctly. I mentioned on the pod that scores should be pretty low and Fitzpatrick is checking the box in Birdie or Better percentage and Par 5 scoring. He's also been pretty good with his irons as well lately ranking in the top 30 in the field in Greens in Regulation. Let's hop back on the Fitzy train this week and hopefully take it all the way to green screens on Sunday!

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

Byeong Hun An - $7,300 – 89 Points – Benny An is a guy that DB both loved on the pod and it's for good reason as he has been playing incredibly well with 2 straight top 25 finishes including a solid 22nd place at the PGA which had the strongest field all year. He also played well in 2018 at TPC Boston with a 31st place finish. I don't expect much ownership on him this week either and he has all the tools to play well again as despite being known as a terrible putter in general, bentgrass is actually his best surface and he's been great with his irons recently ranking high in Approach, Greens in Regulation, and also proximity.

Denny McCarthy- $6,700 – 88 Points – I gotta admit I definitely had a case of FOMO leading up to last weeks Wyndham Championship with ole Denny right after lineup lock with zero shares and I got what I deserved as he had a fantastic week finishing T9 with an excellent Sunday round. McCarthy has been playing well in general also making the cut in his last 4 starts and 17/22 cuts this year. Pretty damn good I say for a guy in the 6K range despite the super strong field. Denny isn't gonna pop a whole lot in the stat categories but the dude is putting as good as anyone on tour this year (#1 in the field in Strokes Gained Putting) having not lost a stroke putting in a single event dating back to the Arnold Palmer and before that, believe it or not, The Northern Trust last year on a different course. All that said if the putts continue to drop for McCarthy as they have for a while now, I think you will get some tremendous upside and value throwing him in your DraftKings tournament lineups this week.

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).

Rory McIlroy - $10,800 - 80 Points -  I gotta be honest this might be a little bit of a self-serving pick this week as I'm pretty much on Rory and play him every single week he tees it up, but maybe if I put him in this slot he'll actually show up. That said, I do think he's a viable fade this week with projected ownership of around 15% and not so great recent form for his standards with 3 straight finishes no better than a 32nd at the Memorial a few weeks ago. We mentioned on the pod that outside of the bombers having an advantage, recent form with iron play will definitely be key and Rory is just not striking it all that well ranking 78th in the field in approach and 59th in Greens in Regulation. Bentgrass is also Rory's worst surface by a long shot so despite great history at TPC Boston, I'm going to (try my damndest) to avoid Rory this week in my DraftKings lineups.