VIDEO: WUP Masters Pool first-round standings and other related musings/ramblings
By Stephanie Wei under The Masters

As I wholeheartedly warned everyone, I’m winging everything with regard to my Masters coverage this week and trying to be “adventurous,” but I guess I haven’t really done anything crazy yet and I’m not sure how that necessarily deviates from my playbook at past majors in recent history. So far, I’m using the same platforms I have in the past, but I’m just not physically in Augusta, so I’m not sharing a house with my colleagues/media buddies, whom I can force to participate in some shape or form with the live streams.

However, I was definitely hit with a strong dose and much-needed self-awareness check when I reflected on my post-round live stream via Periscope. Two things stand out: 1) Wow, I am really good at talking about nothing for lengthy periods; 2) My ADHD is escalated as I’m obviously easily distracted by the comments and change topics mid-thought when I see a question or comment that piques my interest.

Good news is at least I can work on aforementioned weaknesses and/or find a way to use them to my strength perhaps. I mean, how and why have I not started a podcast yet (the same one I’ve been trying to do for like five years before they were mainstream)? My ability to rant and ramble at length with hot takes is something I’ve yet to fully tap into! I’m obviously pseudo-joking here, but I somehow talked for 45 minutes on my own and it felt like maybe 15 minutes. Apologies to friends and people in real life that have to put up with me. And thank you to my social media pals for watching and participating — it was fun. I mean that.

[Aside: Would you believe that I was super shy growing up and to an extent as a young adult? I No exaggeration, I was painfully shy for most of my childhood. My teachers in grade school used to joke to my mom at parent-teacher conferences that I was so quiet they’d forget I was in the classroom. But I also was a good-goodie and excellent student, so I was also like a teacher’s dream to an extent — one less person to worry about because I wouldn’t be up to anything besides reading or whatever I was supposed to be doing. I started to grow out of it in middle school, but I was still extremely shy around strangers, and up to my senior year in high school, I would still balk at asking a salesperson to point me toward the bathroom and would make my friend do it (she can attest — we discussed it just the other day).

Throughout college and the years following, the idea of sharing anything I’d written in the public domain scared the shit out of me — I wouldn’t even go on long riffs on Facebook in the very early days when it was actually extremely private and limited to a few schools in 2004-2005. I felt this way until around 2008 when my friend basically FORCED me to write for her website — she doesn’t take no for an answer. So I should actually thank her. But you probably are shocked to hear that talking and writing publicly were once unthinkable and panic-attack-inducing. Yep, I have plenty of friends who will attest to all this. But I digress, per usual.]

Below you can watch a replay of the live stream if you’d like. I’ll be “experimenting” or trying to use both Facebook Live and Periscope and/or Instagram Live starting Friday if I can get my act together to purchase a simple piece of equipment to make it easier; otherwise, I’ll just do what I do best: Figure it out on the fly with whatever I have in my apartment!

A few things in case you didn’t see my random afterthoughts in my previous post.

Huge shout-out to all who joined the last-minute WUP Masters Pool. I think around 420 people signed up with around 11 hours before the first tee time Thursday, so I appreciate the support and I’ll definitely be more organized for The Players and the three other majors this summer. Feedback is always welcome as I’m just making things up as I go — well, not “making it up,” but just going with the flow.

Many thanks to all those who generously contributed/donated — any amount helps keep WUP running. Still welcome and open to do so at any point via the links and instructions here.

You can check out the standings of the WUP Pool throughout the day, as its updated in real time (or pretty darn close to it). Nice start by Deanosaurus and Andrew77, who are tied for the first-round lead at three-under. But as Rory McIlroy wisely pointed out, “They don’t give out green jackets on Thursdays.”

Another shout-out to my buddy Kenny Ebalo, who is right behind them tied for third. No surprise. It’s a tradition unlike any other that I call and/or text Kenny early in the week at every major and ask for his picks because he’s really good at this stuff and knows his shit. What I’ve failed to learn over the last 5 years is to NEVER QUESTION or DEVIATE FROM HIS ADVICE.

Seriously, this happens at every major for as long as I can remember. It’s hilarious. However, I have had success independently from him at the Open Championship the past two years, so at least there’s that and it’s the only week I actually put down real money. Thank god we don’t have bet shops every kitty corner in NYC; otherwise I’d either be walking around with Phil-Mickelson cash in my wallet and/or completely broke and running from a loan shark’s thugs chasing me with a bat. Given the odds, it’s a safe bet the latter would be the likely scenario.

Via Periscope, I announced the latest cool prize that will go to one of the winners of the WUP Masters Pool. What is it? Oh, you’ll have to watch the video above to find out, but you can fast forward and it’s near the start. Probably around the 10-minute mark-ish? It shouldn’t be hard to find the part where I’m holding up a box and talking about the product. It’s awesome and I’m obsessed with this secret prize and it’s super golf-geeky in a good way, so that’s great news for those in the Pool that have a chance to win still! (And another reason you should sign up for the next WUP Pool!)

Wow, it’s late. It’s been kind of a crazy day in non-golf news and I feel bad talking about the Masters when serious stuff has been going down… Goodnight to all and I’ll see you soon bright and early for second-round coverage of what’s supposed to be another blustery, demanding day at Augusta National.