Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 2

By Big BreakMarch 6, 2014, 7:10 pm

Former Big Break Ireland competitors Annie Brophy and Kelly Jacques are back. Only this time, it is not to play on Big Break, but to lend their insight and provide some fun facts about the ladies of Big Break Florida. Each week, Annie and Kelly will give you their thoughts on that week’s show, including what the pressure is like each week, since they have been there before. They also will provide you with some behind-the-scenes info on the ladies – Annie and Kelly have played alongside most of them on the Symetra Tour the past few years. While they have no knowledge of any results on the series, they will offer up thoughts on their favorites – and some non-favorites – on Big Break Florida. When not providing their Big Break commentary, Annie and Kelly currently work for, Golf Channel’s official online tee-times provider

Episode 2: First Elimination

Kelly: After last week’s first episode, I was very excited about the level of golf we were going to see this season. This episode didn’t disappoint either! There were so many great shots and a lot of girls are starting to show their true colors!

Annie: There have been some great shots (Jackie’s hole-out comes to mind) and also some pretty terrible shots (missing greens from 80 yards, ladies? Three-putting from 20 feet?) But, you and I both know there’s nothing quite like the pressure you feel on Big Break. It’s always easier to be sitting behind a TV and criticizing than it is to be in front of the cameras hitting the shots yourself.

Kelly: I think one of my favorites this season will be Jackie. She is definitely going to be one of the top contenders and she has one of the best attitudes on the course as well.

Annie: Of all the girls on this season, I think Jackie and Sadena have the best chance to win the whole thing. I played with Jackie quite a bit on the Symetra Tour. She’s won tournaments out on the Symetra Tour and has conditional status on the LPGA due to her performance at Q school after Big Break was filmed. I hope we see her in the finale!

That being said – anything goes on Big Break! One bad shot at the wrong time can send you home.

Kelly: I’m also very impressed with Sadena. She seems very composed and confident in her abilities under the pressure. She won the Macanudo Challenge last week and won a challenge this week as well, 2 for 2!

Annie: She’s a player! We are both from Washington, but opposite sides of the state. I had played a lot of Washington junior golf growing up, but had never even heard of her until high school state my senior year. She was two years younger than me, and she beat me in a three-hole playoff at our high school state championship. I cried. If she sends any girls home in tears this season on Big Break– tell them to give me a call.

Kelly: What did you think about having to make the decision between keeping the money or taking Immunity? I think she made a great decision with keeping the money and choosing to play. It showed the other girls that she’s here to win it. Go big or go home! I think she could have taken the money the second time around as well and earn Immunity through the next challenge. However it’s a fine line between being confident and being greedy, but I like her chances.

Annie: I love that she took the money and decided to keep playing the first time around and then went on to win Immunity. I’m not sure how many of the other girls would have made the same decision. Not only does it give Sadena more confidence in her game, but it solidifies her as one of the top players in the minds of the other girls.

So Kelly, there are two girls who turned pro to play this season of Big Break: Dallas and Kylee. Kylee played on the Cactus Tour last year as an amateur and her collegiate experience at Arizona State is really going to help her on Big Break in terms of dealing with the pressure I think. Dallas on the other hand, she turned pro for Big Break right out of high school. Personally, I think it’s a terrible decision. How much fun was college golf?! I wouldn’t trade those four years for anything! It’s also tough to deal with the pressure of Big Break without much playing experience, and I won’t be surprised if she gets the boot in the next few episodes.

Kelly: I’m always surprised at the girls who turned professional to be on Big Break! It’s obviously a chance of a lifetime, but what about getting a golf scholarship to go to school, being a part of a college golf team, and gaining experience? Unless you’re a teenage phenom, I don’t understand that decision. Stay in school girls and boys! Big Break has been around for 21 seasons. It will still be around when you graduate with a college degree!

With that being said, Dallas was immune after her solid play in the first challenge! Huge congrats! That has to be such a confidence booster going forward, knowing she beat out girls with years of experience on them. But I still stand firm on my opinion.

Annie: Preach! Couldn’t have said it better.

Kelly: Sometimes on Big Break, the eliminations seem unfair, but so far I really like how they are structuring the challenges. If you did well in the previous week, you get rewarded with an advantage to help you succeed in the challenge at hand.

Annie: I will say that I was disappointed no one went home the first episode. I’m glad it wasn’t Renee, but the head-to-head competition adds some suspense and drama to the show. Because no one went home the first episode, I do believe this means later on in the show, there will be an episode where two girls will go home.

Kelly: What are your thoughts about the second Immunity Challenge where the girls bet on who they think will succeed and who will fail? I thought that was evil...but genius! It really gives you a good idea of who the supposed weak link is. That has to be frustrating seeing girls not have any confidence in your abilities. Way to go Lauren for hitting a great clutch shot when no one thought you were going to pull it off!

Annie: Kudos to whoever thought up this challenge! Especially for an all-female cast, quite literally making the girls “pick sides” was entertaining to watch. I was rolling my eyes when Lindsay didn’t move benches and then made the comment that she just wants to be friends with everyone. That comment made me think that she might be one of the weaker girls this season. Can’t be more concerned with making friends than winning if you want to take it all the way! However, the elimination challenge made me change my mind about Lindsay.

Kelly: I thought Lindsay 100% made the right decision when convincing Courtney to choose Mary for the Elimination Challenge! I know that may not be a popular stance, but if someone shows any weakness, you HAVE to take advantage and capitalize on them! Especially in this type of situation where every shot and every decision can make the ultimate difference in your success on the show! I think that decision showed how smart Lindsay is and she is one to look out for. Not necessarily for her game, but for her strategy!

Annie: Absolutely! Genius strategy. Courtney was so rattled it was comical. Lindsay knew in order to stay, she didn’t have to beat Mary, she just couldn’t lose to Courtney. Lindsay didn’t even play that great in elimination, Courtney just imploded. And how brutal was Courtney’s final interview? So insecure it was painful. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Kelly: I know we both played with Mary a few times and have some mixed feelings about her...but you have to give her some props for showing up when it really mattered! Through her intimidating demeanor and her clutch performance, she definitely sent a strong message to the other girls. Don’t mess with me!

Annie: I hope Mary lasts a long time on this season – she makes for some great TV! She has had no filter so far this season, and I love it. Every time she opens her mouth, I can’t help but laugh. Although I have been surprised with her play so far – it hasn’t been as good as I’d thought it would be. She’s one of the better players on the show, but up until the Elimination Challenge, she hasn’t shown it. I was glad to see her step up. #beastmode.

Kelly: Fun fact about Mary. Does anyone know why she wears rain pants 99% of the time? She played really well one tournament as an amateur and had them on. She decided they might be her lucky charm! Annie, did you have any superstitions? I always had to eat the same thing for breakfast and the same thing during the round. Greek yogurt and 1 banana before, and 2-3 more bananas and a protein shake during. Oh silly superstitions!

Annie: Ha! I had no idea that’s why she wears them! I’ve never seen her in anything BUT rain pants until Big Break Florida! I was glad when she put them back on in the second episode. All felt right in the world.

I never really had any superstitions. I always liked to think that I had control of my golf game rather than the coin I use to mark my ball or what I ate for breakfast. Maybe that’s why I only made a few paychecks out on Tour.

Kelly: No one wants to be the first person to go home and I hope Courtney keeps her chin up and keeps that great attitude of hers. But with her lack of experience, I’m not surprised that she was eliminated first. Big Break tests you so hard mentally. If you don't have complete confidence in yourself and your abilities, you probably won't be sticking around long. Courtney, I wish you the very best, and I hope you cherished every moment on Big Break. You will be able to draw on these experiences for the rest of your life, so use that to your advantage. Set those goals, work your tush off and keep those “freakin monkeys” on your side!

Annie: Wow, Kelly. That was much nicer than I was about to be. Big Break is an incredible opportunity, and I do wish her the best. But I will say I’m a happier spectator not having to hear “freakin monkeys” one more time.

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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.