Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Masters Pool

For the past 20 years or so, friends of mine from the local golf course have done a Masters Pool. Two years ago I was finally invited to join the pool and have been quite successful in drafting a team. In 2003, I had a late 1st round pick and chose Mike Weir. Last year I had the 3rd pick and took Phil. Any pool where you have the champion usually results in you contending for 1st place. The rules of the pool are pretty simple:
- Maximum of 12 teams with each team drafting 6 players
- Standard snake draft format (1st pick in round 1 gets last pick in round 2)
- After every team drafts 6 players, the remaining players are bid on
- Prizes for low daily team (4 scores), daily low individual and for champion
(A player must make the cut for a 1st or 2nd round score to count)
- Side action with other teams is encouraged

Basically what happens is after the top 72 players are drafted you are left with the former champions over 55 years old, the amateurs and the ‘is Austin Eaton related to Mark Eaton of the Utah Jazz’ type guys. But you must have 4 players make the cut so the bidding gets kinda high for Ben Crenshaw, Sandy Lyle and even Gary Player.

This year pretty much everyone agreed you need a top four pick to have a chance. I drew #9 which spells trouble especially since I won the last two years and everyone wants some side action with me. Here is how my team unfolded:

Round 1 (#9) – Sergio Garcia – This was a no-brainer with the Big Four gone as well as Goosen, Toms, Weir and Olazabal. I would normally like Harrington but with his father dying back home, I don’t think he will be 100% there. Plus, on Monday I pick Garcia as a player to make some noise. He did fire a 66 on Sunday last year.
Round 2 (#16) – Chris DiMarco – I was eyeing Darren Clarke but he went the pick before. DiMarco has played well before at the Masters. It seems that the claw putting grip has held up for him on the glass the call greens.
Round 3 (#33) – Jim Furyk – This was a steal this late in the 3rd Round. He hasn’t quite regained his form after this surgery over a year ago, but he has won a major and he can flat out roll it.
Round 4 (#40) – Ian Poulter – He is another guy that I said you might hear from this week. For those who don’t know him, he’s from England, he has played on a Ryder Cup and he has some funky outfits and hair.
Round 5 (#57) – Chris Riley – He is probably the best player than no one talks about. He consistently finished in the top 30 on the money list and has played well in majors. He’s not a contender but his is a cut maker.
Round 6 (#64) – Trevor Immelman – I wanted Graeme McDowell here but he went two picks earlier. At this point it’s a total guess. Trevor has won a World Cup plus my boy DT caddied from him a few years back in the US Junior Am. It was either him or Ben Curtis (who has made 1 cut this year and about $9,000).

After that, it was all bidding. I jumped on Ryan Palmer as my 7th guy. Not sure why but you have to have more than six players. I don’t expect to have the champion this year but I think I got good picks later with Furyk and Riley. I just need at least 4 to make the cut to have a chance. Man, I pray none of these guys wins the Par 3 contest on Wednesday


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