Insight on Show 1 by Big Break’s Kelly Jacques

By Big Break ProducerOctober 13, 2014, 5:57 pm

Former Big Break Ireland competitor and LPGA/Symetra Tour professional Kelly Jacques is back to lend her insight on Big Break Myrtle Beach.  Each week, Kelly will give you her thoughts on that week’s show, including what the pressure is like, since she has been there before. She also will provide you with some behind-the-scenes info on the cast – Kelly has played alongside a few of them on the Symetra Tour the past few years.  While she has no knowledge of any results on the series, she will offer up thoughts on her favorites – and some non-favorites – on Big Break Myrtle Beach.  When not providing her Big Break commentary, Kelly works for, Golf Channel’s official online tee-times provider.

Big Break Myrtle Beach: Episode 1

Welcome back Big Break enthusiasts! Another season is upon us and based off the first episode, it’s not going to disappoint! In this 22nd season, we have 5 All-Americans, a 19 year old who turned professional after high school, a 35 year old mom of 2, the Latvian Amateur Champion, two guys with type 1 diabetes, an LPGA Class A teaching professional, a USGA Champion and the stories go on. These contestants have very different backgrounds and stories but they do have one thing in common…they came to win. They are willing to endure the intense pressure and put their game to the test for the opportunity to win over $100,000 in cash and prizes and the coveted prize of getting to tee it up with the best in the world on the PGA/LPGA Tour!

 Big Break Myrtle Beach - Episode 1

Let the viewing begin!

The twists and turns start right away with the reveal of the Super Immunity. This will give one contestant the opportunity to bypass an elimination challenge in the future. This is huge!!! They are playing as individuals this season, so having that security blanket has the potential to change the whole game, and it was all decided the first episode.

The players were asked to choose a colored golf ball. It was revealed the next morning that the color they chose, determines who they will be competing against in the first challenge….the glass break! They were in groups of three and the fastest two contestants to break their glass moved on and were still eligible to win the Super Immunity. The two standout players here were Carolin and Charlie. Carolin, who has a bright smile and an even brighter personality, took the fast approach and broke the glass on her first try, setting the bar high. Charlie stuck with his methodical game plan and it paid off…this time. He broke the glass on his first try as well but took his time. Some people did not like this approach but I think it was brilliant, but only because he stuck with his game plan. Under that type of pressure in a timed event, is hard to do. Kudos Charlie!

Four players moved onto the second of three stages to determine the super immunity winner. Thanks to producer Chris Graham, they were faced with a risk reward shot from behind a tree. Their ultimate goal was to get their second shot as close to the pin as possible, with the top 4 advancing. Everyone chipped out except Jimmy who advanced it closer to the green, but left himself with a tough short wedge from the rough. In a normal situation, I would definitely say chipping out to set up your second shot is the play. However, he had nothing to lose! There wasn’t elimination that day and no order of ranks would be set based off their performance. So why not?! I think that was a risk worth taking…it didn’t pan out this time…but way to have guts Jimmy, go big or go home!

Tessa and Charlie were at the top hitting it 1’1’’ and 3’ respectfully with Dave and Carolin making the cut as well at 4’9’’ and 5’5’’. Tessa, way to make your quiet presence known and stick it! She seems rather shy, but if she keeps hitting shots like that, who cares! I’m guessing this full time LET Player is going to let her game do the talking.

The remaining four players battled it out in 1-on-1 matches. Charlie beat out Dave with a birdie and Tessa beat out Carolin with a par. Charlie and Tessa advanced to the reachable par 5 for the final match. Charlie pulled 3-wood and split the fairway a good 300 yards. I think this rattled Tessa; she looked comfortable all day but started looking uneasy. Caroline hit it down the right side then into the left greenside bunker. Charlie proceeded to make birdie and capture the sought-after Super Immunity. This prize is huge. It not only gives him a safety net, but it will free him up to play his game, while the other players will continue to stress over every shot, knowing one bad swing can send them home.

After episode 1, I’m impressed with Charlie Harrison from Atlanta, Ga. He’s solid tee to green and has the confidence to do very well in this competition. Before the show he said, “It’s uncomfortable to feel nervous, but if you can be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, then you’re going to have a pretty good time out there”. For never having a lesson, I’m impressed, and at this time I’m going to say he is the one to beat, especially with that attitude.

Until next week…

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm