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 GolfNow.com, 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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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

''Wind was down again,'' Landry said. ''It's like a dome out here.''

Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

''It's tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,'' Rahm said. ''Everything was just a little bit off.''

Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

''You need to hit it a lot more accurate off the tee because being in the fairway is a lot more important,'' Rahm said about the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, a layout the former Arizona State player likened to the Dye-designed Karsten course on the school's campus. ''With the small greens, you have water in play. You need to be more precise. Clearly the hardest golf course.''

Landry pointed to the Saturday forecast.

''I think the wind's supposed to be up like 10 to 20 mph or something, so I know that golf course can get a little mean,'' Landry said. ''Especially, those last three or four holes.''

The 30-year-old former Arkansas player had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. After winning his second Web.com Tour title last year, he had two top-10 finishes in October and November at the start the PGA Tour season.

''We're in a good spot right now,'' Landry said. ''I played two good rounds of golf, bogey-free both times, and it's just nice to be able to hit a lot of good quality shots and get rewarded when you're making good putts.''

Rahm had four birdies and the two bogeys on his first six holes. He short-sided himself in the left bunker on the par-3 12th for his first bogey of the week and three-putted the par-4 14th – pulling a 3-footer and loudly asking ''What?'' – to drop another stroke.

''A couple of those bad swings cost me,'' Rahm said.

The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Rahm made his first par of the day on the par-4 16th and followed with five more before birdieing the par-5 fourth. The 23-year-old Spaniard also birdied the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.

''I had close birdie putts over the last four holes and made two of them, so I think that kind of clicked,'' said Rahm, set to defend his title next week at Torrey Pines.

He has played the par 5s in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies.

Johnson has taken a relaxed approach to the week, cutting his practice to two nine-hole rounds on the Stadium Course.

''I'm not saying that's why I'm playing well, but I took it really chill and the golf courses haven't changed,'' Johnson said. ''La Quinta's still really pure, right out in front of you, as is the Nicklaus.''

Playing partner Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament of since late October.

''The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game,'' Mickelson said. ''I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.''

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 70 at Nicklaus to match Mickelson at 6 under. The Southern California recruit is playing his first PGA Tour event. He tied for 65th in the Australian Open in November in his first start in a professional tournament.