Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL - Episode 1 Analysis

By Kelly Jacques, Sara BrownFebruary 4, 2015, 8:32 pm

Big Break Ireland contestant, Kelly Jacques returns this season to break down each episode of Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL. This time two-time Big Break contestant and host of School of Golf, Sara Brown joins in the fun to provide additional insight. Don’t miss their expert commentary every week after each episode and make sure to tune in Mondays at 9PM ET. 


Kelly: I’m so excited that another season of Big Break is here! This season Sara Brown and I will be breaking down each episode to discuss the standout moments!

Sara: Kel, I am soooo excited to get Season 23 of Big Break started as well!!! And WOW the 1st episode did not disappoint!

Kelly: After watching the player’s bios, I can’t decide who I’m pulling for! Every player has such a compelling story and they are all so different! What are your thoughts?

Sara: I agree! What a great group of guys we have on this cast! From a war Veteran who fought and lost his leg for this Country and for our freedom, to a singer songwriter; we have a Dad trying to make it on tour for the first time at the age of 40, some trick shot bros and many of the guys have college and professional wins under their belt! Kelly, just all around good stories from this bunch. Not to mention they are a great looking group of guys…sorry but I had to point that out! :D

Kelly: Sara did you know that the trick shot brothers you mentioned have over 8 million total video views?! They are probably the most well-known contestants this season! If you haven’t seen them in action, check them out at! Not only have they excelled at trick shots, they are pretty darn talented too! George was a three time NCAA-All-American at South Carolina! Wesley hasn’t’ had quite the same success, but is hanging on, trying to make it to the big tour.

Onto the show! How about that great shot from Chad in the first round of the Immunity Challenge!? He hit it to an unbeatable 4 inches!! WOW! Being the last to hit, he knew exactly what he had to do and he pulled it off!

Sara: I actually got a chance last week to see Chad while he was on Feherty Live in Phoenix. I really admire who he is and it's not just because he fought for his country. It's because he was hysterical on Feherty and just seems like a genuinely awesome guy who wants the same as everyone else. He may have just one leg to do it with, BUT he has a great prosthetic to help.  

In the first round of the Immunity Challenge, he proved he also has GAME!!! You said it best Kel, he knew exactly what he had to do and he NAILED IT!!! That's a huge confidence boost for Chad!! But keep in mind, now EVERYONE will be keeping an eye on him. Including me!!!!

Kelly: In the second round of the Immunity Challenge, George hit a horrible shot, only to have it snuggle up to 8 feet!! He beat Brandon by 2 inches to capture a coveted immunity spot! In Big Break it’s hard to not let the lucky shots from others affect you, but it’s definitely necessary! Many times those that win are the ones that have the best misses!

Sara: You're right, it definitely wasn't George's best shot and I think Brandon hit what he thought was a good one. SIDE NOTE: I loved that he channeled his Big Break predecessor Don Donatello and said, "Pull it tight"!

The third and final challenge was won by a very impressive 257 yard 2 iron by Brandon. He is a little vocal and I think you can see the contestants have already said that a few times.  BUT…he should be a fun one to watch. Only time will tell :) 

Kelly: At the end of the day, Kyle found himself at the bottom of the totem pole. He chose Zach to join him in the first elimination challenge of the season. It looked like it was a tough decision for him!

Sara: I think it's so hard especially that first show to pick someone to play against. You haven't really seen their games and unless you knew them from before you kind of just pick and pray you stay on top. So I honestly felt Kyle just picked at random. Maybe he fears the Stache on Tyler I don't know HAHAHA!!

Kelly: That’s hilarious; you may be right!

Zachary’s approach shot to the par 5-18th really impressed me! His ball was buried in the left hand rough and not only got it out, but he stuffed it! That’s not an easy hole either! I used to work at PGA National and played that championship course probably 100 times. That 18th hole is no joke, with bunkers lining the left and water lining the right! Great job Zach!

The players ultimately tied, meaning no one was eliminated in episode 1. I’m happy for them, but someone has to be the first to go, and I have no idea who the weakest link is yet!

Sara: Kelly, I know you didn't like that someone wasn't kicked off the first show, BUT I loved that part!!! It gives them more time to get their nerves in check and more time to showcase their talents!!! 

The one thing I'm looking forward to about this season is their "Mulligan Medals"!  I’m excited to see if/when it’s put in play. This could be a huge game changer throughout the show and I can't wait to see what happens!!! 

Now hurry up and get here Monday, Kelly and I are ready to watch some great golf on Season 23 of Big Break The Palm Beaches Florida!!!


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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.