Now that it’s been announced that the Match Play will be heading to heading to TPC Harding Park in 2015, it’s time to add some flavor to the seeding process. Even though Finchem announced that the format has changed, it’s not enough to really garner any serious attention. Disclaimer: What we’re going to suggest is not realistic, and is flat out not going to happen, but you can’t possibly tell me that this wouldn’t be must see TV, and infinitely more exciting than the current seeding process, or any previous match play event (we mentioned this idea on our podcast with @KylePorterCBS). If the tour needs help making it happen, we have an NLU resource out in San Fran that will gladly MC the proceedings.
The new format follows the World Cup model, where the players will be split into four man groups, and the winner of the group heads to the round of 16. As exhilarating as this process is, wouldn’t it be more exciting if there was subjectivity in choosing the matchups? What if we let the players decide? That’s right, we need to have a draft!
Picture this: It’s Tuesday night at a swanky San Francisco hotel (think Ryder Cup Gala, wives and girlfriends required), Big Cat is sipping on a Mai Tai, the Mechanic is guzzling a bottle of red, and Duf Daddy is sitting in the back row slamming a PBR and tossing trail mix at Keegan who is sitting nervously in the front row. Yes, we’re serving up drinks to all of these guys (even you, Kuch), and playing this out like your $50 fantasy football league. In fact, we get to find out which of these guys fit the stereotypes of the guys in your fantasy league.
- Phil is going to be the overprepared guy that sits near the front and mocks everyone’s decisions. He’s got two binders in front of him covering all 63 other players in the field, their tendencies, their match play records, and their personality type. He’s also going to keep force feeding drinks to his future opponents, hoping for a hangover (unless it’s the Mechanic, who likely plays better hungover).
- Keegan is going to be that guy that can’t make a decision (like the guy who picks someone who has already been drafted), and won’t be able to pull the trigger when it becomes his turn.
- Kuchar will be the one to make the low-hanging “Houshmazilly…championship!” joke.
- Webb Simpson will be the new guy in the league, doing anything he can do avoid controversy or ruffling any feathers.
There’s also a decent size crowd attending (picture the stands at the final table of a World Series of Poker) that has also been boozing, enticing the players to act, and booing them when they chicken out.
The players are seeded 1-64, and the highest ranked players (ranked 33-64) are put up on the board spread out evenly throughout the bracket. Players ranked 1-32 are given a silent buzzer (think Jeopardy), and for every round, the players have 30 seconds to decide if they want to buzz in and put their name on the board. If more than one player buzzes in, the priority goes to the lowest seeded player (top ranked). Basically, Adam Scott can pick whatever match up that he wants, but he may want to wait out a few rounds so he can get an idea of where the top players are going.
The key is that the top players get to call out their opponent, and their bracket. The twist is that the player must deliver his nameplate to his opponent and look him in the eye and ask him to accept the challenge (think “Do you accept this rose?” from the Bachelor, even though the higher ranked player has no choice). The cycle continues until everyone is picked. The crowd will erupt whenever a player gets called out, and will boo if you chicken out and don’t step up. Imagine if Tiger gets a chance to call out Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. You can bet your ass that drunk Tiger is going to make some awkward joke when he delivers the nameplate, then proceed to Ames him the following morning.
Think about it! Phil is going to be furiously calculating his odds with Bones as the names start going up on the board:
Bubba is going to send Ted Scott to hand off the nameplate so he can blame him when he loses the match. Keegan and Duf are going to try to rig it so they play each other in the second round. But the best part will be the big guns basically calling out players they see as the weakest. It’s going to be pandemonium!
When it becomes a player’s turn to choose their opponent, a short, pre-recorded video clip will play (think a hybrid of this and a Monday Night Football player introduction) to introduce the player. Picture Dufner’s: “I’m Duf, I’m the stuff, and the girls just can’t get enough” as his smokin’ wife comes up, Duf re-enacts his ass grabbing from the PGA Championship as she kisses him on the cheek.
Steve Sands will be standing by, ready to interview each player after they make their selection. The Golf Channel can have their own booth with Brandel Chamblee ready to dissect every pick. I’m telling you. This would be an absolute must see.
Any questions, Finchy? Leave us some of your ideas in the comments below.