And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself
Well...How did I get here?
- "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
Once upon a time we tweeted to Shane Ryan on a whim, asking if he thought Team USA had any shot to win the 2014 Ryder Cup. He responded basically saying that they do have some chance given (a) these are pros and (b) crazy things happen. That led to this exchange:
@ShaneRyanHere yeah. Europe as 2-1 fav's feels about right. We keep coming back to this: if there were a draft, 4 of first 5 would be Euro— Hole19Golf (@hole19golf) September 22, 2014
Just like that, a spontaneous, cross-atlantic Ryder Cup Fantasy Auction was hatched (pun not only intended but premeditated).
We quickly decided on 6 participants rather than 4, and hashed out some rules:
- Win = 3 pts, Tie = 1 pt, Loss = -1 pt (most points wins)
- 50 fictional dollars (or rupies, or bitcoins) to bid on players at auction
- Bids in $1 increments, fixed bid rotation
- No restrictions on number of players you can have on your team
- No actual money buy-in, since, um, we don't really know each other
5 of the 7 most expensive players were Europeans: McIlroy, Garcia, Stenson, Rose, and Kaymer. So we were a little off- it wasn't quite 4 of the first 5. You get the the point: the Euro's are stacked.
1b. We kindly ask that somebody please explain to us why Matt Kuchar is worth 16 fake dollars in a Half-Baked Stranger Ryder Cup Fantasy League. We just don't get it.
The average price paid for a European player was $12.50 compared to $11.50 for an American player. And that’s with the 4 cheapest guys being European.
[2065, golf museum tour in Paris, where golf has improbably blossomed thanks to Victor Dubuisson, aka The Alchemist, having been a titan of the sport] "Welcome to the 2014 room. Women are now allowed to be members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. Also, Rory McIlroy will cost you double Phil Mickelson in a Ryder Cup Fantasy Auction."
(You know you're going to get crushed when...) Your 2 highest ranked players, Jim Furyk and Bubba Watson (5 and 7 in the OWGR, respectively), sell for 10 bucks each. That's a 57% and 50% discount on Europe's Top 2 players. Heck, that's a full $2 lower than the overall average purchase price across all 24 players.
Why? Because these are one's predominant thoughts after mentioning their names in the context of the Ryder Cup:
Furyk: “He can’t reach Par 5s in 2 and has a 9-17-4 Ryder Cup record (30% win rate).”
Bubba: “He's basically not-playable in the rain and basically not-playable in the alternate shot format.”
It was interesting to see that 2 distinct team composition strategies emerged. 3 teams ended up with 3 players, and 3 teams ended up with 5 players. Not a single team ended up with 4 players. Teams either paid more early to ride better players that will play more matches, or laid in the weeds and bought 5 players in the middle and end of the auction, all for about average price.
2 teams were left holding cash. Both had $7 reserved, assuming that would be enough to snag a fourth player at the end, only to realize that players at the end were going for more than that.
Can't wait to see how this plays out!