Insight on Show 2 by Big Break's Kelly Jacques

By Big Break ProducerOctober 16, 2014, 8:43 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 GolfNow.com, Golf Channel’s official online tee-times provider.

Big Break Myrtle Beach: Episode 2

Welcome back Big Break enthusiasts! Week 2 is upon us and it did not disappoint! Players tested their nerves and their skills in an attempt to stay out of the dreaded elimination challenge. But for 2 unfortunate players, that’s exactly where they ended up.

 

Out of the gates, the day started with a twist during breakfast. Charlie was told that if he doesn’t use his Super Immunity and makes it to the final four, he will be awarded $10,000! This has the possibility to be a game changer. What was just a lifeline, has now become a lifeline or a pretty pay check. One or the other. I’m looking forward to seeing which path he chooses when faced with that decision! He says this twist did not change his mindset and would be willing to risk the $10,000 if it gets him one step closer to winning the $100,000 in cash and prizes! Charlie’s maturity is continuing to impress me, but only time will tell if it pays off in the long run.

 

The immunity challenge was first on the agenda which consisted of 2 challenges. During the first challenge, the players had a choice to hit a shot to the 115 yard hole on the left or the 110 yard hole on the right. The closest two golfers at both greens would be safe and move onto the next show, with the closest overall player taking home $2,500 from Macanudo! One by one the golfers hit their shots, but they had no idea what distances the other competitors posted, until they were finished. They only knew which hole the previous players hit from. These distances are so close that it really comes down to preference and what you’re most confident with. For the second episode in a row, Emily went against her gut and chose the hole on the left. This resulted in the worst shot of all the players at 30’10”. I think she definitely learned her lesson here…stick to your game plan and play to your strengths! She is too good of a player to make that mistake again. The golfers who gained immunity were Dave, Tessa, Caroline and Toph, with Dave taking home $2,500 after sticking his shot to 5’7”.  One shot down and these four get to relax the rest of the day while the remaining 8 have to keep grinding.

 

For the second immunity challenge, the players were once again faced with a decision to make. Hit a 60’ double breaking, downhill putt or a straightforward uphill chip. The four golfers who end up the closest from either location are safe and move onto the next show. While the closest shot earns the golfer $2,500 from Travelocity and the golfer who hit the worst shot is automatically headed to the elimination challenge. They say that putting always gives you the best odds, but I am not surprised that everyone chose the chip. I would take the straightforward uphill chip all day over a long downhill putt that can run away from you.  Krista was the first to go and caught her chip a little heavy, leaving herself with 5’6” which landed her in the dreaded elimination challenge. The four golfers who advanced were Jimmy, Christian, Katy H and Emily who hit her chip to 3”, landing herself the $2,500 cash prize!

 

The remaining four players were off to the range and Krista had the hard decision of who she wanted to play against in elimination. This is where things get interesting. Anthony proceeds to tell Krista that he will beat her if she picks him for elimination. Really?! Wow, that was bold, but then again he’s only a 19 year old kid with a lot of maturing to do! Of course…what happens? Krista chooses Anthony!! Way to go girl! Way to stand up and make him prove himself! I love that decision but if it were me, I would have chosen Katie D since she doesn’t have much tournament experience the last few years due to her teaching job back home.

 

In elimination, the golfers play two holes of stroke play to determine the winner. They start off with a mid-length par 3. Anthony hit first and stuffed it to 8’, while Krista hit it over the green. She said it caught her off guard when Anthony hit it so close. She preceded to bogie the hole and Anthony drained his left to right breaker. This shows her inexperience. You always have to expect your opponent to play their best against you. Never let them into your mind because that is the only thing that you can truly control in this game. Unfortunately she continued to let the nerves get the best of her and she played the second hole (par 5) just as poorly. Anthony hit an incredible second shot from 240 yards out, just to the front of the green. He made another birdie to finish the two holes at two under and sent Krista packing.

I was definitely surprised by the young and outspoken Anthony Quezada. He ran his mouth a few times but at the end of the day he backed it up. After his performance this week, I guarantee he earned some more respect from his fellow competitors. Respect for his game that is. He believes he is the strongest golfer on the show and he is letting everyone know it. Dave said it best, “Just shut it and play golf”.

A congrats is due to Anthony, but you have to feel bad for Krista Puisite from Latvia because no one wants to be the first eliminated. The other competitors were surprised by her performance and thought she was too good of a player to go home first. That just shows you how unpredictable Big Break can be. She’s only 23 years old and has the talent to make this a career. She won her first two events as a professional on the SunCoast Tour in Florida and just recently finished T32 at Stage II of LPGA Q-School and will be advancing to final stage in December! Awesome job Krista! She shot an opening round of 79 but followed that up with 70-70-70 to make the cut. It looks like the pressure she faced on Big Break may have really helped her! In 2012 I finished T17th at Final Stage of LPGA Q-School and that was by far the most stressful and exhausting week of my golfing career. So I know from experience what it will take for her to get that card, and I think she’s got it! Krista, as a part of the Big Break family, I will be pulling for you!! Stay in the moment, play your own game, and remember that everyone will make mistakes over the 5 days. It’s about minimizing those mistakes and never losing your confidence. You have prepared your whole life for this moment, take it all in and recognize how far you have come. Don’t doubt yourself and know that you are just as good as any golfer there; you played your way to that spot. Now own it!

I encourage everyone to follow Krista and root her on as she prepares for the most grueling week in golf. 

Until next week…

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.