The year was 2010. After finding out that Yahoo fantasy golf was little to no fun, James and Brent decided to create their own fantasy golf league. The result was a league where the result at the end of the tournament is what matters most. 4+ years later we find ourselves on the eve of our fifth Masters tournament, a tournament which, though early in the season, has defined the league over the first four years. It’s no secret that the Masters means a lot in the Spreadsheet Fantasy realm. As one of the four Major tournaments, it’s worth the most points, so naturally it has a lot to do with the outcome of the season. But did you know that through the first four seasons, the manager with the best score at the Masters has never finished lower than second? Success at the Masters can be an incredible kick-starter for both players and teams. Here’s how the first four years of Spreadsheet Fantasy at the Masters have played out.
2010 – The 2010 Masters saw Phil Mickelson take home the Green Jacket, and deservedly so after a daring 2nd shot from the pine straw on 13. In a moment where it looked like ‘Phil the Thrill’ would once again throw away a Major Championship by going for it when he didn’t need to, he hit a shot only he could hit to within four feet of the pin. He would eventually win by three strokes over Englishman Lee Westwood. Though the rest of his team performed underwhelmingly, the Osicki Explosion that James used on Phil Mickelson helped him to a 465 point week, moving him from dead last to just 25 points behind Brent for first place. The win was just what Mickelson needed to get him in gear, and together with runner-up Lee Westwood (picked up by James after the Masters), he would capture the first Spreadsheet Fantasy Championship.
2011 – Midway through the final round of the 2011 Masters, it looked as though James would be taking home his second straight Masters Championship, with Rory McIlroy confidently leading the tournament. Alas the pressure got to the young McIlroy and he faded down the stretch, bringing a slew of other players into the mix. Jason Day, Adam Scott, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy and Tiger Woods all finished within two shots of each other, but an incredible run of birdies on the final four holes from Charl Schwartzel won him the Green Jacket. Though he was unowned at the time of his win, he was promptly picked up by Fuchs, helping him to a 4th place finish at year’s end. The real winner of the 2011 Masters was Brent, who eclipsed everyone else’s totals, despite benching a 2nd place finish from Scott. Luke Donald, K.J. Choi, and Geoff Ogilvy also finished in the top ten for Brent at the Masters, and those four continued to be the a force for his team, as he would eventually finish second.
2012 – After two seasons in which James was the only Major winner, someone else finally broke through in 2012, as Dave had a monster week at Augusta. With a spectacular leaderboard including the likes of Mickelson, Kuchar, Westwood, Poulter, Scott, and Rose, it was playoff between Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen that would determine the eventual champion. On the second playoff hole, the self-taught Watson hit a phenomenal second shot from the pine straw, through a small gap in the trees, to land on the putting surface. Two putts later he would tap in to claim the Green Jacket as the 2nd Masters Champion in Spreadsheet Fantasy history. Until the 2012 Masters, James’ 465 points at the 2010 tournament was the highest single week total in SSF history, but Dave would shatter that mark, thanks to Osicki Explosions on Lee Westwood’s 3rd place finish, and Justin Rose’s top ten. Throw in Sergio Garcia’s top 15 and Dave wound up with an astounding 525 points, vaulting him up the leaderboard and into first place. He would eventually finish second, nearly 600 points ahead of third place.
2013 – After watching Adam Scott throw away the British Open eight months earlier, the 2013 Masters looked like it could again spell heartbreak for Brent. After Beast’s hopes were shattered when Jason Day bogeyed 16 and 17, it looked as though Adam Scott was primed for the win. A clutch putt on the 18th hole with rain pouring down conjured a shout and a fist pump from the Aussie as he led by one shot with only 2009 champion Angel Cabrera left in the mix. Joy turned to dread as Cabrera stuck his iron shot from the fairway to within a couple of feet. A few minutes later he tapped in to send it to a playoff. On the second playoff hole, both players found themselves with make-able birdie putts, and after Cabrera’s putt missed just right of the cup, Scott found himself with a birdie putt for the Championship. Unlike 8 months earlier at the British Open, the Aussie’s ball found the bottom of the cup and he raised his arms as the first Australian ever to win the Green Jacket. Like Phil Mickelson in 2010, Adam Scott found himself the beneficiary of a Konkel Explosion last year, earning him a massive four hundred points. After a decent start to the season, Brent’s team kicked into high gear after the Masters, as he would earn three more wins in 2013 and claim his first Spreadsheet Fantasy Championship by more than 500 points.
In addition to being one of the most special and unique traditions in golf, it’s also the first real test of the Spreadsheet Fantasy golf season, and can go a long way towards showing which teams will end up contending for the Richard J. Osicki Memorial Trophy. With Tiger Woods missing this year’s tournament because of injury, the field is wide open, meaning it truly is anyone’s game.