Bandwagoning the Bracket: WGC-Dell Match Play

I’ve put my love of golf to the test this week by doing the unthinkable: I’ve entered a bracket bet against my boyfriend.

He’s decidedly not a golf-watcher (but will blow off dates for baseball. BASEBALL. On TV, not even real, in-the-stadium games) so I went into this with relative confidence.

However…our brackets ended up almost identical.

I created my bracket based on the knowledge I have of the players and the game – I took their current playing into consideration, along with past success in match play, performance on this course and their groups. There were other factors that helped me decide (namely, who do I like better) but for the most part, I created my fantasy bracket as objectively as possible.

After I locked in my picks, I poked around the golf world to see how my bracket compared to other published lists. For the most part, my first round was on point, but the differences increased rapidly from there. I did notice, however, that even the analysts and writers who talk golf for a living had very few things in common, and I only saw two people with the same overall winner predicted.

The bandwagoning boyfriend (we’ll call him BB) proposed that we put money on various elements of this week’s tourney. I made it VERY clear that he was not allowed to use other brackets as a crutch, but in the interest of fairness, I conceded that researching players individually was okay. Looking back, that may have been my first mistake (that, or agreeing to this in the first place).

We compared notes and, much to my legitimate shock, the biggest difference was the overall winner: I’m gunning for Rickie Fowler and he’s backing Jason Day for another win this week.

If you know anything about me, you know Rickie is my favorite golfer and has been since day one, but that’s NOT why I chose him. His pathway, at least the path laid by the winners I’ve chosen, is the easiest route to the win in my opinion, along with the fact that he’s well-rested and thirsty for some success as we enter Masters mania.

As for the bets, we’re throwing down on: overall points – basically, who calls match winners with the most accuracy; overall winner; and number of birdies in the final round. We haven’t decided on the prizes yet, but I’ll update y’all as soon as we stop arguing about it.

*Update* There are back massages and chores on the line here, but really I’m just worried about my pride.

My projected champs, going into the round-robin:

GROUP 1
Jordan Spieth

GROUP 2
Jason Day

GROUP 3
Rory McIlroy

GROUP 4
J.B. Holmes

GROUP 5
Rickie Fowler

GROUP 6
Bill Haas  

GROUP 7
Matt Kuchar

GROUP 8
Jimmy Walker

GROUP 9
Patrick Reed

GROUP 10
Danny Willett

GROUP 11
Branden Grace 

GROUP 12
Kevin Kisner

GROUP 13
Marc Leishman

GROUP 14
Zach Johnson

GROUP 15
Brandt Snedeker

GROUP 16
Louis Oosthuizen

I’m off to watch the broadcast and pretend it’s a REALLY interactive webinar. Tweet me @golfbandwagoner during the matches if you want to chat about the inevitable upsets and bracket breaking – work is secondary this week.

*Update* I lost literally every bet. I had more successes in the first round than BB did, but between him choosing the overall winner and Fowler’s early exit, the damage was done.

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