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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Three Out of Four Ain't Bad

After three days of pool play at the WGC-Dell Match Play, my picks haven't done too badly.

The Walter Hagen Cup

As you may recall, earlier in the week I picked my own "Final Four" to make it to Sunday. And while we've only made it to the "Sweet Sixteen" -- for those of you unfamiliar with NCAA college basketball playoffs (aka "March Madness"), those are how the brackets are designated -- I've done much better than normal.

Three of my picks -- Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day and Zach Johnson -- breezed through their pools, each sweeping all three of his matches on his way to today's Sweet Sixteen. Only Lee Westwood failed to make it, finishing 1-2-0 -- but then again, Lee was my flier pick so his chances were pretty long to start with unless he found his Ryder Cup form.

While I'm excited to have three picks make it this far, they're a long way from safe:
  • Jason Day's back is still an issue, and he may have been bailed out when Casey conceded after only six holes. (You may recall that Casey was my flier last year and nearly made it, only to fall sick on Saturday. The Match Play doesn't bode well for Casey's health, apparently.)
  • Zach Johnson drew Rory McIlroy for today's first match, which could be really bad if Rory starts hitting fairways and greens.
  • And Louis Oosthuizen drew Jordan Spieth first today, who seems to have figured out the swing problems he's had the last few weeks.
Still, I find myself facing a possibly pleasant predicament: I don't think my picks have ever done this well this deep into the matches, and I may have to single out one of them at the end of today as my choice to win! I may have had two make it to the Final Four before, but it's rare I even get one pick there. My best finish so far was in 2014, when Victor Dubuisson finished runner-up to Jason Day.

Can I do better this year? That remains to be seen. But for the first time, my odds are looking pretty good to have a winner among my picks.

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