Tale Of Our Woes

WGC Accenture MatchPlay Championship

Sponsored by Colin Stuart Montgomerie, 0-time winner on the PGA Tour and major champion of woe

Matt Kuchar lifting the trophy after a strenuous week

Matt Kuchar lifting the trophy after a strenuous week

By Lewis Pacelli

By the time Sunday evening became Monday morning, the longest weekend of our year finally ended in another rousing triumph for DownThe18th.

Matt Kuchar ended Hunter Mahan’s unbelievable winning streak at the WGC Matchplay to pick up his first trophy of the season.  Watching two of our bets battle it out against each other in the final was a rewarding sight, especially as the 40/1 shot came out victorious!  Yet, to say that celebrations were muted seems bizarre, but because of the remarkable journey we went through since Wednesday, our voices had left us, our hearts could take no more and our blood pressure had only just simmered down.

Snow was the first winner of the week

Snow was the first winner of the week

On the first day, there was only one winner in the 64-man field – The weather.  Snow transformed the Arizonan desert into a white wonderland and play was postponed, forcing all the matches to squeeze together over the next few days. On Thursday, Shane Lowry dispatched number 1 seed Rory McIlroy, who looks a mere shadow of his former self, whilst Charles Howell III beat world number 2 Tiger Woods. In fact none of the top 4 seeds made it past the second round!

Our third pick, Charl Schwartzel lost to rookie Russel Henley in the first round, leaving us with 3 of the lucky 15 and singles left…

Every accumulator you lay, you have very little hope of it ever really coming in. Especially when there are over 4/5 bets.  Every Monday morning after the weekend’s sport, you hear a colleague or mate bragging about that “1 who let me down” or “I nearly won 4 figures”.  Let’s be honest, we have all done it but on Friday evening DownThe18th could proudly say that the 8-match accumulator at 76/1 came in.  But boy did we have to wait for it. Everyone was in the clubhouse apart from Jason Day and Bubba Watson, both of which let leads slip, taking their matches to playoffs.  Bubba missed 2 match-winning putts, yet sunk a 10-footer to stay in it against Jim “Mr.Consistency” Furyk. Once Day holed a 12 footer for the win, it was all up to Bubba and after letting a ridiculous advantage evaporate, he somehow found the courage to win on the 22nd hole.  We were screaming for joy and throwing Budweiser bottles in the air. (We don’t recommend doing that. They break…)

On Saturday we still had a chance for our Lucky 15 as three of our bets were in the hunt to win their brackets.  Sir Ian Poulter, Kuchar and Hunter all breezed past their opponents, before individually winning their brackets, causing yet more mayhem in our house.  Watching Hunter on the 18th was beyond horrendous, knowing how much money was on the line, as he stood over his putt for the match.  But this is what betting is about isn’t it? Any sport, any occasion, the thrill is when your bet is close to victory, yet could go either way.

One thing we really want to stress after this ridiculous weekend is how matchplay could really be the future for golf.  Purists will certainly disagree, however the sport needs to appeal to a younger generation, as they will be the ones watching and playing in the future.

What we learnt this week:

  • SkyBet offer a free £10 bet for any new customers. No deposit is required, so sign up and use it.  Certainly worked for us…
  • Next time you see your GP, ask for a subscription to blood-pressure pills, they would come in very handy
  • When one of your housemates keeps blabbering on about “He is gonna win this”, “He will hole this”, “No way is he losing this” or “He can’t fail from here” make sure there is wood in a reachable distance from you.  You will need to touch it.
  • Accumulators do occasionally come in
  • Betting on Bubba Watson is not good for the heart rate, but is certainly entertaining
  • Colin Montgomerie talks a lot of bollocks
  • Enjoy the moment when you win big bets, because likelihood is, won’t happen quite like it again, for a while
  • Don’t throw Budweiser bottles in the air
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