Insight on Show 6 of Big Break Myrtle Beach

By Big Break ProducerNovember 17, 2014, 8:30 pm

Former Big Break Ireland competitor and LPGA/Symetra Tour professional Kelly Jacques is back to lend her insight on Big Break Myrtle Beach. Here's what she has to say about episode 6:

 I can’t believe we are in week 6 already! This season is flying by and with only three girls left, I was excited to see how this episode played out! Pair that up with a calmer, nicer Anthony, I’m not really sure what to think!

Immunity Challenge #1
During the first immunity challenge, the players are playing for a total of $5,000 in travel credit courtesy of Travelocity. They would chip from two locations. The player, who finishes the closest to the hole has the first opportunity to make his or her putt. The first two players to hole out win immunity.

The first location had the golfers concentrating extra hard as they had to hit through an opening in the ruins. Tessa went first and hit her chip to 22’1”. No one hit it close, with Christian being the closest at 18’1”. Jimmy ended up the farthest away as he was the only one to not make it through the opening. That had to be pretty embarrassing to be the only player to hit the wall. It will be interesting to see his ability to let go of the past and move forward with equal confidence.

Christian had the first opportunity to make his putt for immunity, but barely missed. Toph and Tessa both missed as well. Charlie then made his 23’ putt dead in the heart. He won $2,000 in travel credit and became the first to be immune and onto the next show. He said that if you want it to happen, you make it happen. His game continues to impress me! Moving down the list of players, Emily barely missed her putt and Anthony makes his 33’ putt from off the green to capture that second immunity and $1,500!!!! When the pressure is on he delivers!!! Wow Anthony, people love to root against you, but everyone has to respect your game!! I’m thoroughly impressed…again!

The remaining players moved onto the second location. It was the same format, with the first two players to hole out moving on to next week! It was a fairly straightforward chip from the side of the green. Katy was up first and she left her chip to 10’4”. You could tell she was disappointed in her effort as that was definitely not going to hold up. Toph hit second and stuck his chip to 1’3”. Well that’s a tough one to beat! Tessa hit a poor chip but Emily followed it up with a shot to 1’8”. Christian proceeds to step up and makes the chip!! That is so clutch after watching Emily and Toph hit great chips in tight. That chip in won him immunity and $1,500 in travel credit courtesy of Travelocity. I feel like this was perfect timing. He has been playing mediocre golf and has been flying under the radar. By making that chip, Christian just upped his stock in this game. Toph ended up being second closest to the pin and made his shorty to also walk away with immunity and $500.

The four players who earned immunity in this first challenge (Charlie, Anthony, Christian and Toph) were treated to a spa day! For many of them, this was their first experience getting a facial and pedicure. I thought this was pretty hilarious…4 boys win a spa day. I’m sure the girls were quite jealous when they found out about their relaxing afternoon!

Immunity Challenge #2
In the second immunity challenge, each remaining player would hit their drive, then an approach shot to the green. The players got one mulligan to use, either on their drive or approach. If they use their mulligan, that ball is now the ball in play. The player who ends up closest to the hole is safe and will win $2500 courtesy of Macanudo. The player whose second shot ends up farthest away from the hole is sent to elimination.

The remaining players of Jimmy, Katy, Tessa and Emily all hit their drives down the middle. Jimmy hits his approach to 13’9”. He decides to take his mulligan and improves his distance to 7’2”. Great job stepping up your game and taking advantage of the mulligan! Emily missed the green on her first approach and went pin hunting on her mulligan. She stuffed her second shot to 5’10”. Tessa hit her first approach to 16’11”. She had to take her mulligan but hit it even further away to 20’8”. Katy was in the easiest position, as she was the last to hit and knew exactly what she had to do. She hit her first approach way short at 35’. She had no choice but to take her mulligan. She improved her shot to 8’2” but still finished 1 foot outside of Toph.

Since Tessa’s ball finished the farthest away from the hole, she was sent straight to elimination. With Toph and Emily immune, she had to choose either Katy or Jimmy to join her. She ends up picking Katy, and Katy does not hide how mad she is. Katy said that because she was chosen, Tessa doesn’t respect her as a golfer. Are you kidding me?!?! She had two players to choose from and Jimmy just came off an impressive performance in elimination last week. You have never been in one! I guess I just don’t understand how choosing you is disrespecting you as a golfer? As a competitor you should always be ready to rise to the challenge.

Elimination Challenge
In the elimination challenge, Tessa and Katy had to battle it out in the traditional 2-hole stroke play shoot out.

The first hole was a 370-yard par 4. Tessa hit it right onto the cart path and her approach shot left of the green. Katy hit a perfect shot down the center and hit her second pin high left. They both made par and moved onto the second hole all square.

The second hole was a 428-yard par 5. Tessa and Katy both hit their drives over the steam, down the middle. Tessa hit first from 158 yards and left her approach shot plugged in the short right bunker. I felt so bad for her here! That is the last thing that needs to happen in a 2-hole shoot out. She surprisingly hit an amazing shot out and onto the putting surface. Katy apparently didn’t learn anything from the swirling wind and hit her second shot short as well from 149 yards. She had an awkward chip over and down a side hill. She also hit a great third shot, leaving her with a very makeable 6 footer up the hill. Tessa proceeded to barely miss her birdie putt and to everyone’s surprise, Katy missed hers as well! I was very surprised that Katy didn’t take advantage of the situation and eliminate Tessa right there. I’m sure Tessa felt like she just dodged a bullet!

To break the tie, the girls had a sudden death playoff and went back to the same hole they just finished. Tessa hit her drive confidently down the middle. You could see the wind was removed from Katy’s sail as she hit her drive 34 yards shorter than just moments ago. Her approach was from 183 yards and she sailed her approach over the green left. Tessa had 154 yards and hit a great clutch iron to the front of the green just below the hole. Katy had a straightforward bump-and-run chip and hit it way past the hole. Tessa’s fate was now back in her hands as she had an eagle putt to win and eliminate Katy. She said her hands were shaking like crazy trying to line up the ball. She took a few extra seconds to calm her nerves and when she stepped up to her putt her hands weren't shaking anymore! This is a great tactic to calm your nerves! I think it’s important to have steps in place to fall back on when things start sliding or your nerves kick up! When you practice these strategies, you will have a lot more confidence in your game under many different circumstances! It pays off huge here as Tessa made her eagle putt! I was excited to see how she was going to respond in elimination. She has earned her immunity in the first immunity challenge in the last five episodes! This is the first time we really got to see her play golf and she didn't disappoint! Great job Tessa!

Even though the girls are falling fast, I’m confident with Tessa and Emily being the only ones left. I feel like their games are solid right now and I hope they can hang on and start knocking off some of the boys! I’m excited to tune in next week to find out!!

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in four months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."