Greetings fellow golf enthusiast and welcome back to this weeks edition of the Fantasy Golf Sommelier. We are in Memphis this week for the WGC FedEx St. Jude invitational and the first thing I think of when I hear Memphis (other than Elvis and Graceland of course), is Barbecue. Memphis is May is probably one of the best times to be in the city and they have all kinds of things going on, but the biggest is the annual BBQ competition that brings in chefs from all over the country to try and when the ultimate prize of being “World Champion”. I also thing of Rendezvous Ribs which is hands down one of my favorite Rib joints in the country and is a must go to if you’re ever in Memphis. Don’t expect to drink any wine there though if you’re inclined because I’m pretty sure all they serve is pitchers of Budweiser. Side note, one of the few appetizers they have is sliced sausage and cheddar cheese sprinkled generously with their signature dry rub and it’s freakin awesome (also very easy to replicate for cookouts, etc.). You don’t often think of wine either when it comes to BBQ so I thought this week I might offer up some good pairings as we are definitely moving towards peak BBQ season, especially with football and tailgate season just around the corner.
First off, when I’m thinking of BBQ it’s typically in the form of Pork. Whether that’s ribs or Boston Butt it’s just how I envision my BBQ. I know it’s different though around the country so I do think most of these ideas will translate well to dishes like Beef Brisket or BBQ Chicken. If you’re a red wine drinker also you’ll like what I’m about to say, whites just really don’t pair all that well with Barbecue, especially pork. So stick to the Reds and you can’t go wrong for the most part. The best pairing is definitely a good Pinot Noir, specifically a bold one that will balance out the fatty meat we normally see in ribs and pulled pork. It also pairs well with the typical sweet, smoky, spicy, and tangy flavors we get with your go to sauces. If you’re like me and prefer a South Carolina mustard based sauce, an Italian Chianti pairs extremely well and is definitely worth a try. Finally, for you beef brisket lovers, look for a good Shiraz (Syrah) to round out your meal. Shiraz is the Australian term for wine made from the Syrah varietal and as we know, Aussie’s definitely know how to bring it with the Que so trust me and roll with whatever wine they tell you to drink. Alright folks, that’s all I got for this week. Good luck, and may your wine glass always be full and your screens green! Bome!
Now let’s get into the plays of the week for the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. 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 selections for the week…
Patrick Cantlay – $9,800 – 96 Points – Despite a disappointing T41 at the Open Championship last week, Cantlay has had probably his best season on tour and is primed again for another great week here in Memphis. He may be slow when it comes to pace of play, but he’s dialed in with his game right now ranking in the top 15 in the field in Ball Striking, Strokes Gained Approach, Opportunities Gained, and Par 4 scoring. I do believe he’ll be somewhat chalky this week but I’m fine with that and will look to play him in both cash and tournament lineups on DraftKings.
Bryson Dechambeau – $8,800 – 95 Points – Well look what we have here. The scientist has graduated from the habitual Boone’s Farm fade of the week to a top shelf play. It’s not every day either where DB (who absolutely can’t stand Bryson) and I both have him as a favorite play on the podcast, but it happened (I swear, you can even listen to it if you want to check the tape), and I’m sticking with that conviction for my WGC lineups. I’ve mentioned several times when he’s been the fade of the week that Bryson is just a streaky player where everything has to be in sync for him to play well and be comfortable on a golf course. That wasn’t the case a couple months ago, but he’s got it together now despite the missed cut at the Open, which let’s just be honest is not the type of golf that suits his personality and game. TPC Southwind should be a much better fit for him to continue his good play and Bryson is also checking all the boxes including Ball Striking, Strokes Gained Approach, and Driving Accuracy. Ownership should be low as well making him an excellent tournament 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.
Rafa Cabrera Bello – $7,900- 90 Points – RCB burned a ton of folks (including myself) last week at Royal Portrush so I’m sure anyone who’s reading this and were burned are cringing right now, but I think Cabrera Bello will quickly put that behind him and also is slightly more rested than the guys coming in this week later because of the trip back across the pond. Before the Open Rafa was playing some great golf finishing 9th at the Scottish Open, 4th at the Irish Open, and 3rd at the BMW International. He’s also played the FedEx St. Jude at TPC Southwind once before finishing T4 in 2017 so he’s obviously shown he can play well on this course. All said and done I think we see a nice bounce back week from the Spaniard.
The $10 Wine Special – Priced like a Sutter Home, plays like a Caymus!
Billy Horschel – $7,500 – 92 Points – It always pains me to write up a Florida Gator but I’m putting all that aside this week when it comes to former pod guest Billy Ho (he was an excellent interview by the way and I even had to read out one of my trademark apologies). Billy has been solid all year long making 18/20 cuts and while there of course is no cut this week, the track record speaks to his consistency which also includes 5 top 20 finishes. I love the cheap price for him also when you consider his upside and course fit. Billy has played here the last couple of years and like RCB above tied for 4th in 2017. The stats are consistent as well with Horschel as he is ranked in the top 20 in the field in Ball Striking, Approach, and Driving Accuracy. Consider him a solid plug in for you cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings this week.
Hao Tong Li – $6,600 – 88 Points – One of the things you have to be aware of in these WGC events with no cut is in order to win the big dollars in the Tournaments, other than probably having the winner, you have to have scorers and extremely low owned guys that can give you some upside in order to differentiate your lineups. Hao Tong Li fits that bill in my opinion this week and the cheap price also allows you to fit in a couple studs who obviously have a much better chance to win. Hao Tong is ranked 21st in the field in Opportunities Gained so he’s definitely giving himself chances to score and when you throw in his accuracy off the tee and ranking in the top 20 in Par 4 scoring Li really makes sense as a good bet to outperform at TPC Southwind and hopefully help you win all the cash money 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).
Jordan Spieth – $8,600 – 74 points – So yeh, fading Spieth might be a little bit of a cop out as he’s been pretty much terrible all year except in the majors, but we’ve have seen a little bit of an ownership bump on him with his play at the Open and the price just isn’t that appealing to me this week. Jordan has been horrendous off the tee ranking nearly dead last in the field in Driving Accuracy and Strokes Gained off the Tee. He’s also 60th in the field in Ball Striking and Approach which just doesn’t add up to be the right formula to succeed at TPC Southwind.