Masters week: Golf's verson of April Madness
Although it’s been warm here in the South for a while, this is the beginning of golf season. How do I know? I got my annual invitation to donate money to the winners of the Masters Pool.
I’m only so happy to do it, because even though I never win, it quadruples my interest in a tournament that I already find immensely interesting. After all, once you get a two or three of your players past the cut, every shot becomes that much more stimulating. I find myself not only rooting for my players, but rooting against the other guys’. Sportsmanship at its best – all for a $10 ante.
Who to pick is always a dilemma, and obviously I haven’t figured it out in the 10-plus years I’ve been entering our pool. Clearly, this year’s favorite is Tiger Woods (he is every year, no matter how down and out, he is), but unlike the past few years, I really believe he is back. It’s been my contention, even before the sex scandal, that he would have a difficult time winning four more majors to tie Jack Nicklaus’ record 18. But I’ve got to admit, he looks like the Tiger of old so far in 2013.
Still, if I take Woods, I’ll be one of many who enter the pool with the re-anointed No. 1 as their pick. It’s pretty tough to win if you’ve got the same guy everybody else does. So I always find myself hoping against hope that one of my darkhorses will surprise and I’ll knock out all those Tiger lovers. That always puts me in the position of rooting against Woods. It’s nothing personal, but it’s more important for me to win a few hundred dollars than Woods winning another major.
Our pool allows you to pick two players in each of four flights, so you have to take some long shots anyway, and that’s where you can really make some hay. My problem is when you get to that fourth flight, it’s full of guys I’ve barely heard of, or even better, golfers I didn’t even know were still playing like Larry Mize and Sandy Lyle. But hey, those guys are past Masters champions, so they’ve got lifetime invitations. How cool would it be if one them won?
Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but just think; less than four years ago, 59-year-old Tom Watson was an eight-foot putt away from winning the British Open. And yes, Watson is in that fourth flight of our Masters pool. I think I’ll go ahead and pick that guy.
Now for the other seven.
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