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…