Insight on Show 5 of Big Break Myrtle Beach

By Big Break ProducerNovember 11, 2014, 9:42 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 5

The teams are back! I love when the producers make the individual competitors work together! My immediate thought went straight to Anthony. Is he even capable of working as a team?

 During breakfast, the players had to choose a colored ball…just like in episode 1. They were then told to pass the ball to the person on their right. The players who now held the same colored golf ball were teammates!

 The teams were:

Jimmy, Toph and Christian

Anthony, Katy and Tessa

Emily, Charlie and Carolin

 Toph was not a happy camper that Christian was on his team. Christian has been flying under the radar so far and really hasn’t proved himself in this competition.


Immunity Challenge 1

During the first immunity, the teams had to chip as many shots as possible onto the putting surface. Each chip had to be shorter than the last as the teams cycled through each player. The rope represents the last chip. If the next player hits it over or even taps the rope, they are done. The team that posts the highest number of chips wins immunity and $2,000 courtesy of Macanudo! Jimmy, Toph and Christian were up first. Jimmy hit his first chip all the way across the green. He hit an extremely aggressive shot, as the ball came to rest right against the collar. One more inch and their number would have been zero! With the rest of the green to work with, I thought they would have posted a decent number. Nope, Christian hits the second chip over the rope…and over the green. This gave their team a whopping 1 for their score. You have the whole green to work with! It seemed like the nerves just got to him as he folded under the pressure.

 Next up was Anthony, Katy and Tessa. Anthony hit his first chip to the center of the green. Yes this was a mistake, but the last thing you want to do is shoot yourself out of the competition by being too aggressive. I’m surprisingly ok with this shot. Tessa hit second and hit an awesome shot just a few feet short of the rope. They finished up with 6 successful chips. I was very surprised by Anthony. He was actually a good teammate! I would have never guessed that he had a nice, supportive side to him. He gave credit to his whole team for the win. It makes me wonder if his attitude would be completely different if the season was team based! However, I will admit I enjoy watching Anthony and his over the top attitude. It keeps things interesting!!

 The remaining team of Emily, Charlie and Carolin brought up the rear. Following in Jimmy’s footsteps, Emily hit the first chip up against the back collar. That was definitely a miss hit, but impressive none the least! I bet you could give Emily and Jimmy 20 more shots and they couldn’t repeat those close calls. Even with the whole green to work with, they posted a dismal 3. I was very surprised by this result. Going into today, I thought this team was the strongest. This shows just how much nerves are a factor!


 Immunity Challenge 2

Anthony, Tessa and Katy move onto the next show. The remaining competitors chose 1 player to partner up with in the second immunity challenge. The winning team moves onto next week and the losing team goes straight to elimination. Toph and Christian were the last 2 players, so they had to become partners by default. Once again Toph was not happy that they got partnered up, especially after Christian’s poor showing earlier in the day. Christian said he felt like he was the weakest link and he felt bad for Toph. Everyone has bad shots but you must have confidence in yourself!

 One member of the team had to run to the tee box and hit the approach shot. The second player had to run to the ball and finish out the par 3 as fast as possible. The objective is to finish the hole as fast as possible in the fewest amount of strokes; with each stroke tacking on an additional 10 seconds. I love watching speed golf incorporated in Big Break. It’s fun to see how the players approach the challenge!

 Jimmy sprinted up the tee and hit a great shot just short of the pin. He took a while to line up the shot so it was a good thing he hit it close! Charlie, hit his first putt past but made the comebacker for par. They finished the hole in 50 sec and the 3 shots are an additional 30 more seconds; for a total of 1 minute 20 seconds. I think it was smart for Jimmy to take a few extra seconds to bring down his heart rate and make sure he hit a quality shot. Great job!

 Next up, Emily sprinted to the tee and hit her approach to the back right fringe. Carolin hit a great first putt down the hill, but waited for the putt to almost stop before she ran after it.  She did make her come back putt, but a few seconds were definitely wasted. The girls finished in 3 shots, and finished the hole in 51 seconds, for a total of 1 minute 21 seconds. One second slower than Jimmy and Charlie…should’ve run after it Carolin!

 Last up was Toph and Christian. Toph hit the best approach shot of the group just past the hole. Christian barely missed his first putt but made the testy 3 footer coming back. The pair finished the hole in 46 seconds for a total time of 1 minute and 16 seconds. They really pulled it together and each won a $2,500 shopping spree to Dicks Sporting Goods!

 Carolin and Emily was sent straight to elimination and had to choose 1 player to join them… either Charlie or Jimmy.

Charlie had to decide before the girls made their decision if he was going to use his super immunity. He decided not to use it and the girls chose Jimmy. I agree with his decision. This shows how confident he is in his game and this may have intimidated the girls as well. By not using his super immunity, Charlie is one step closer to the $10,000 reward! 


Elimination Challenge

Emily, Carolin and Jimmy had to battle it out in a stroke play format from two different locations.

 Location one was from 121 yards on a severe side hill. This is one of the tougher shots in golf. In order to make solid contact you need to make sure your hips stay engaged and you get through the ball. Most players have a tendency to use all arms here. This will result in a ball that comes off dead left.

 Jimmy hit first and found himself in the left bunker. He hit an awesome bunker shot under the pressure, just past the hole. He continued to step up his game, as he made his ten footer to finish the hole in three.

 Emily hit second and hit an impressive iron shot pin high to the left side of the green. She just missed her birdie putt, and had an uneventful three as well.

 Carolin on the other hand really struggled from this position. She chunked her first shot short of the green and chunked her chip short of the green as well. She continued to struggle as she left her putt 5’ short and missed the breaking putt to finish with a 5. She dug herself an unnecessary hole after location one.

 Location two was a straight forward par 5. Jimmy had to hit from 538 yards while Emily and Carolin hit from 449 yards.

Emily made a very interesting comment. She said this drive was harder than her first shot at the U.S. Women’s Open! That’s a bold statement, but I have to agree with her.  I was fortunate enough to play in the 2012 Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run. Of course there was pressure, but nothing compared to the pressure of Big Break. In a tournament, no matter how big, you’re playing at least 36 holes. When you make a mistake, you can take your medicine and bounce back. The pressure from Big Break comes from the knowledge that one bad shot or one bad hole can send you home.

If these players can learn to perform under this type of pressure, it will greatly benefit them moving forward in their careers.

 Emily proceeded to hit her drive straight down the fairway. Good girl! She hit another impressive iron shot just passed the pin for her eagle putt! Beast mode! Jimmy hit his drive dead left into the junk. What?! You have a 2 shot lead with one to play….play smart! With that shot he let Carolin back in as he had to take an unplayable. I’m sure it stung to take that penalty, but it showed his maturity and discipline. He could have easily left his 2nd in the junk, potentially punching his ticket home. Instead he took his medicine, and hit his 3rd shot down the middle.

 Carolin was last to hit and hit her drive center cut.  I’m sure she felt that glimmer of hope as Jimmy let her back in! She hit a strong second shot just short of the green.

 Jimmy almost dunked his 4th shot from 92 yards and finished just past the hole. This was clutch and still had a putt to save himself. Carolin had a straight forward chip …and chunked it to the middle of the green! Just like the last hole! Emily ended up 3 putting for a par but that is all that she needed to do to move on.  She finished the two locations with par - par. For her first time in elimination she handled herself well. We finally got a glimpse of the strong player that we know she is.

 For Carolin to have any chance of forcing a playoff with Jimmy, she had to make her lengthy birdie putt. Guess what? She drains it…putting the pressure back on Jimmy! He had a 5 foot downhill par putt that he had to make to avoid the playoff.  He drops it right in the center…beating Carolin by one and sending her home.

 This was the first time I was surprised by who was eliminated. In my opinion, Carolin was one of the strongest competitors on the show. She’s young and has many years of great golf ahead of her. I wish her nothing but the best. With her bright smile and engaging personality, I know she will gain a lot of supporters!

 Until next week!




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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.