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Sometimes it's tough treading water in a golf pool

Continuing my theme of betting on the PGA Tour – last week I told you about my buddy Andy Bankuti and how he touted Keegan Bradley (Srixon Z-Star) to rise up the rankings but forgot to push the send button on him ahead of the ZOZO Championship in which the odds were 40-1 – this week I’ll talk about a PGA Tour suicide pool that resulted in another bad beat.

The pool is a variation of an NFL suicide pool in which you pick a team each week and go forward if it wins. The PGA Tour pool requires picking a player and hopes he survives the cut or you’re eliminated. Last year I played in the PGA Tour suicide pool and got knocked out in the first week when I picked Dustin Johnson (TaylorMade TP5x) and he failed to make the cut. I was rolling along nicely in this year’s suicide pool until Sahith Theegala (Titleist Pro V1) failed to make the cut in the Sanderson Farms Championship. Mind you, I didn’t feel as bad as last year when I was one and done.

Two contestants were left in this year’s pool which had 42 contestants. I think the entry fee was either $40 or $55, but the CJ Cup was a bit of an anomaly because there wasn’t a cutline. However, the pool organizer said in these types of events, the cutline was the top 75% of the players after the second round.

One player picked Seamus Power (Titleist Pro V1x) and the other chose Jordan Spieth (Titleist Pro V1x). Power made the 75% cutline, but Spieth didn’t. Power finished tied for 49th overall after finishing at even par following a three-over par final round. Spieth finished tied for 52nd at one-over par after carding a two-under par on the last round. I’m sure the player who picked him – and ultimately ended up getting nothing in the pool – must have been wondering why it took him so long to heat up.

That’s the thing about betting: you always look at what went wrong. When you win, you simply enjoy the moment.

I had asked the pool organizer whether the two players had asked him if they could split the pot ahead of the CJ Cup, so if one failed to make cut they both split the winnings. In other words, you can gamble on winning it all or deciding ahead of time to take a sure thing and split the winnings if both players want to do that. The pool organizer told me none of the players asked him about doing it.

Well, the winner benefitted from Seamus’ power.

I’m not sure what would have happened if both players failed to make the cut.

I’m guessing the pool organizer would have gone into his rule book and decided they tied for first.

Anyway, I can’t wait for the next pool to begin.



Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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