Fantasy Golf Update: Sometimes you get lucky, others you get stuck with the check
Bubba Watson stuck me with the check this week. I had just returned from a self-imposed “Bubbation.” The pink shafted-swinger had let me down 2-3 weeks in a row, so I benched him just before San Diego (remember how that turned out? He won.) After Dustin Johnson, who seems to have private issues haunting him this year, bailed in the final round at Monterey, enough was enough. I benched DJ (who missed the cut this week) for Bubba, who didn’t make it to the tee for round two. Mr. Tall and Southern sustained an upper body injury (is this hockey?) and withdrew after an opening 76.
Truth, I was lucky to survive to the weekend with players in each bracket. As a reminder, you select 8 players each week. 2 each in the A and C brackets and 4 in the B bracket. You start 1 in the A and C brackets and 2 in the B bracket. Daily points are accrued by proximity to the low round. If some crazy Buffalonian goes birdie-mad and shoots 60, anyone higher than 69 gets zero points…the scoring system rewards the low scorer (even if no one selected him) with 20 pts., then 18, 16, all the way down to 2. We’ve had some rounds where no one had the low guy and he was 3-4 strokes better than the next best score, so daily scoring started at 14 points! No fun.
After Bubba’s withdrawal, I watched Angel Cabrera take a powder on his final Friday nine and miss the cut by a stroke (I’ll cry for you, Argentina, even if you are from Cordoba.) I was down to two B bracket players, but Steve Stricker came through on the number and Hunter Mahan played like a man possessed with par (always offsetting birdies with bogies) and survived. I was solid in the C box, until Fred Couples dived on Sunday and JB Holmes went Mahan on me for the weekend. As far as the A bracket, Luke Donald played like only Luke Donald can, following a Thursday 68 (we are so smart, even if I didn’t start him) with 11 more strokes on Friday to miss the cut by 2. Talk about getting on the bogey train and losing interest! Phortunately Phor me, Phil Mickelson came through, then played phing-phong on the weekend wth +3 & -3 (I had him both days.)
We had a log-jam on Thursday at 67…NINE GUYS (not a burger joint) tied there, so lots of points were to be had. Choosing Phil that day instead of Luke cost me six. That’s the modus operandi of my season so far. When I do pick the low man or men, I fail to start at least two of them that day. It comes down to luck and I haven’t had the good kind this year. Four 66s raised the bar on Friday, with Kevin Na and Fred Couples entering the fray as contenders. Saturday saw Stricker and Harrison Frazar drop the top bop one more stroke to 65, then came Erik “64″ Compton on Sunday. Both Saturday and Sunday saw the dreaded, multi-stroke gap between low and second low, costing players serious Fantasy points. Chaps who helped were the prescient Aaron Baddeley pick in the C bracket (he won, awarding 20 bonus points), the second-sight selection of Singh in the B bracket (second place for him; I had him at Pebble–see what I mean!? One week early) and the nod to Na in the same bracket. For all his fireworks on Sunday, Compton would have cost you most days and not been worth wait to Sunday (nor would you have waited, unless he were your only option.)
What’s the damage? I sit 35th of 47 after 7 weeks. A few of those guys bailed on the season after week one, so I’m pretty close to the bottom. The first trimester (Winter) is a loss, as I am 228 points out of the current tie for first. I have to laugh (my favorite quote from Caddyshack) as I am the commissioner, so I’m not setting a great example of foresight. I invoked the “Drop Your Low Round” clause in the league this year…trouble is, my low round and my high round bear much resemblance.
I am, if anything, not a quitter. I will use the remaining five weeks of the segment to fine-tune my selection process; I’ve not eliminated voodoo and santaria as options.
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