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The Fantasy Golf Sommelier – Travelers Championship

Greetings fellow golf addicts and welcome back to this weeks edition of the Fantasy Golf Sommelier for the Travelers Championship. Last week was another mixed bag of success and failures for yours truly but guess what? That’s f’in golf! Congrats to Webb Simpson though on a great week and I couldn’t be happier for him and his incredible caddy Paul Tesori (who’s also a great human by the way). It’s nuts when you think about how crazy golf is. Webb pisses all the fantasy people off at the Colonial where he was a lock in most people’s minds to do well, misses the cut, and then rewards all the people that stayed with him by winning the next week. That’s just one of the reasons PGADFS and PGA Tour golf are so much fun. It also got me thinking of how F’d up and crazy the year of our lord 2020 has been so far. In your wildest dreams would you have even imagined this year? That being said, I thought a good theme this week would be to look into some off the wall facts that involve wine you might not know just to lighten the mood a little. So here is my random streaming findings, in no particular order, and mostly thru google searches and going down some rabbit holes…

So apparently they make a wine flavored Kit Kat and you can get them in Japan. It sounds disgusting quite honestly but when I think about it more now I really want to try it. Here’s one I thought interesting because of a common thought, but not all wine gets better with age. It’s actually recommended that 90% of wines should be consumed within the first year of production. So yeh, that expensive bottle you’ve let collect dust on your wine rack waiting for that “special” occasion? You might need to hurry up and find a special occasion now and drink that shit! Speaking of that, there is such thing as a “cork tease”. That’s a person who constantly talks about the wine they will open but never do. Another interesting fact, all wine, regardless of being red or white is stored ideally at the same temperature yet they are typically consumed at completely different temperatures. One glass of wine consists of a cluster of grapes. A cluster of grapes contains 75 grapes. So basically I’ve consumed at least a few million grapes (probably underestimating this number to be honest). Alright just a couple more and let’s move on to the picks this week. The phrase “drinking to one’s health” comes from Ancient Greece, where a dinner host would typically take the first sip of wine to assure his guests it was not poisoned. This led to a similar tradition in ancient Rome: the bumping glasses with a “cheers” greeting which also prevented poisoning, as wine would then spill into different glasses. And last but not least! There is actually something called oenophobia which is the fear of wine. In case you haven’t noticed, I do not have this fear. I do suffer all the time from trunkslamphobia, the fear of missed cuts. Let’s hope that’s not the case this week though and we all get those greens screens and everyone thru to the weekend (and no more damn postive Covid cases)! Stay healthy people!

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 stumble on down into the sommeliers’ cellar of fine golf plays for the week…

Justin Thomas – $10,800 – 96 Points – I don’t think this is any revelation here but JT is my favorite play this week and I think the best bet to win the tournament. I mean, anybody who says they shot a “bad” 66 on Saturday at Harbour Town, and then follows that up with a 63 the following day is pretty much in complete control of their game and will contend anytime they tee it up. Of all the studs teeing it up this week, Justin also has the most history playing here with his best finish being a T3 back in 2016. You know I’ve always got to tell you about some box checking and JT is a box checking stud this week ranking 4th in Ball Striking, 4th in Strokes Gained Approach, and 3rd in Opportunities gained which is a FantasyNational proprietary scoring stat that I love this week.

Dustin Johnson – $9,400 – 94 Points –  This was one of DB’s favorite plays on the pod, and I’m in total agreement based on what we saw last week at the Heritage. DJ has had a slow start getting back in a groove this season, but he started showing some signs of life with 4 straight rounds in the 60’s in Hilton Head last week. He did most of his damage gaining strokes off the tee and on approach but lost strokes with his putter so if he can get that going I think he’ll be right in the mix on Sunday. I love this price also and the ownership isn’t looking to bad either with a current projection of about 10% in GPP’s.

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. 

Marc Leishman – $8,000 – 91 Points – I feel like ole Leish just always comes into tournaments underrated and low owned and to me that’s the recipe for success in GPP’s on DraftKings this week for the Travelers. Coming off a missed cut at Colonial (he skipped the Heritage) should also contribute to even lower ownership and Leish just like everyone I’m touting in this article has the perfect game for this course. He is #1, yes numero uno in this field in Strokes Gained Approach, 5th in Ball Striking, 17th in Opps Gained, and 16th in Par 4 scoring from 400-450 yards. I’d say that’s pretty damn good. Screw the missed cut at Colonial and play Leish this week. I think it’s a great fantastic bet he’s gonna end up giving you some green screens come Sunday.

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

Brian Harman – $7,600 – 89 Points – If you were to create the perfect course for Harman to play well and win on, TPC River Highlands would basically be it. I’m not saying that either just because it’s short. Brian has been incredibly solid here in the past with 3 top 10 finishes in his last 5 starts at the Travelers. He’s also checking the box in Opportunities Gained, Par 4 scoring on par 4’s 400-450 yards (remember there are 8 in that range this week), and is putting tremendously well right now on all surfaces. I think you can safely lock Harman in your cash or GPP lineups this week on DraftKings.

Doc Redman – $6,700 – 86 Points – The Doc has been hot lately coming off a T21 finish at Harbour Town and I don’t expect him to cool down on yet another course that suits his game to a tee. Just look across the board at his stats over the last 24 rounds and that’s really all you need to throw him in some lineups this week. Redman is ranked 27th in the field in Ball Striking, 15th in Approach, 6th in Par 4 scoring in the 400-450 yard range, and 11th in Opportunities Gained meaning he’s getting a ton of birdie looks inside 15 feet. If you want a solid and cheap 6K guy to throw in your tournament lineups this week, Redman is the prescription the doctor is ordering for you.

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).

Paul Casey – $8,900 – So I will admit, I really don’t mind the price for Casey who is definitely a course horse at TPC River Highlands and is checking boxes in several stat categories, but I think the ownership will be way too high for a guy just getting back to playing after almost a 4 month break. Putting is obviously key every week, but I think the importance is even greater on these firm and fast greens. We’ve had conflicting reports from caddies on how these poa annua greens will putt with some saying they are more like bent, but the latest update that is they definitely have a poa feel to them and Casey ranks 110th in the field over his last 100 rounds on poa greens. Not good. He’s also not putting all that well in general more recently ranking 124th in Strokes Gained Putting over his last 24 rounds. Also not good. I can’t necessarily hate the play this week if you decide Casey is your guy, but I think you avoid him and gain some leverage elsewhere in the large DraftKings GPP’s.

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