Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 3

By Big BreakMarch 13, 2014, 1:45 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.

Kelly: Last week did not disappoint, and neither did this week!

Annie: You’re right. First week we’ve seen tears. The flood gates are open!

Kelly: I’m loving the theme of the immunity challenges so far – strategy, strategy, strategy! I thought it was great that the girls had no idea who chose what shot to hit in the first challenge.
I figured only Mary and Sadena would choose the long drive. Sadena is one of the longest on Tour so I’m not surprised she won. Into the wind, no roll, at sea level and gripped down to hit a 276 yard drive...that is seriously impressive. Beast mode! Watch out girls!
Annie: She kills the ball, it’s not even funny. I think I said the same thing last week. 275 is definitely not as far as she can hit it either. I hope some of the guys out there watching this season have a new found respect for women’s golf! These girls are good!

Kelly: I am very surprised however that Jackie chose long drive! She is sneaky long and extremely accurate, but come on girl! You holed out that 95 yard shot in episode 1, play to your strengths! In her defense, when you are on Big Break, you hardly get any sleep which can definitely affect your decision making abilities. Many nights the interviews run into the early morning hours and then you have to turn around and get up at 4-5 am. So Jackie, I’ll give you a free pass on the premise of no sleep :).

Annie: Jackie is one of the longer girls on Tour – I appreciate that she went to the long drive challenge. Perhaps pretty silly in hindsight given Sadena’s length. Very few girls could stand a chance against Sadena and her driver. I’m glad it didn’t end up hurting Jackie in the long run. She was sitting at the bottom of the leaderboard for a while – had me sweating!

Kelly: Fiamma, congrats on winning the easiest immunity challenge ever! But I totally get why you were still nervous, sometimes it’s harder to execute a shot when you only have to hit a green, or just good job!

Annie: Pretty easy way to make it onto the next show. I love that in her interview she said she wished she had competed against someone. Really? Was easy immunity so miserable? I did notice she didn’t take the money to keep competing.
How about our girl, Renee, with her great bunker shot?! THAT’S the Renee we’ve been waiting for. I wasn’t surprised that she passed up on the money. She hasn’t seemed very comfortable with her game so far on the show. Hopefully that changes soon!

Kelly: Yeah Renee! It was great to see one of my best friends show her true colors with her rock star short game. Hitting a greenside bunker shot to 2’3’’ is clutch! She is known to chip in A LOT on Tour and has one of the best short games I’ve ever seen. If she can just gain some more confidence in her abilities she’ll be a tough competitor.

Kelly: I’m going to skip over to fashion for a sec... How many LuLu[lemon] skirts do these girls have??!! I mean, I know they are adorable and comfortable and flattering and fashionable and cute and ...okay...maybe LuLu should just sponsor Big Break next season, I don’t think anyone would oppose!

Annie: It’s a little obnoxious, but I live in Lulu, so I can’t really talk. It’s tough to find cute, feminine, comfortable golf clothes, and Lulu skirts are perfect. Good thing the Tour doesn’t have any rules about length of skirts. Lululemon: helping to promote women’s golf one short skirt at a time.

Kelly: On to the second immunity challenge, once again a strategy challenge. It’s interesting to see how these girls think under pressure. I’m so confused by Mary in the final location. I’ve never seen her back down and play for second so I was very shocked to see her play not to lose. She better get that out of her system if she wants to win this!
Annie: I disagree. I think this was really the first time we saw Mary with a game plan and not make ego-driven decisions which could get her into trouble. Big Break is interesting because hero shots don’t help you win on the third show. But bad shots and lack of strategy CAN send you home. So Mary – good work!

Kelly: I’m not sure how everyone else views Lauren after this week’s episode, but I definitely see her as a weak link. Solely because of her willingness to let everyone see her get upset and make a scene. I get is emotional and golf is tough, but in a competition like this, that is rule #1 to survive. DO NOT SHOW YOUR WEAKNESSES!! If she wants to do well not only in this competition, but also as a professional golfer, she needs to get her emotions in check. Even if you have to feed yourself fake confidence, do it! Act with confidence, think with confidence, and speak with confidence. By doing this you will eventually convince yourself that you got this!

Annie: One of my first golf coaches used to tell me “Fake it ‘til you make it” when it comes to confidence. I will say I was impressed by her performance in the elimination challenge – I thought she really stepped up. And I also thought she had on a great outfit – I did comment on that out loud as I was watching. But I was less than impressed with the crying. I was so confused about why she was crying. Did I miss something? Was she sick? Had she been eliminated? Maybe her dog died? Nope. She’s just “not playing good.” Oh. Okay.

Kelly: After Lauren’s breakdown, I think Dallas made a good decision picking her for the elimination challenge. You can tell Dallas is a young player, sometimes that fearless attitude can pay off, but in this situation it definitely backfired. To go for the green when you can’t get there and the green is guarded by bunkers and water=not smart. However, I am impressed at her recovery shot that found the green, but I have a feeling she might hit recovery shots quite often.

Annie: Ahhh – Miss Personality. I agree. Given the circumstances, I think she made the right decision picking Lauren. I think her choice to go for the green in two and the subsequent pull-hook showed Dallas’ lack of experience. Dallas made a couple comments I probably made to my college coach my freshman year. I was a more aggressive player and loved big risk – big reward shots. But that’s a pretty stupid way to manage a golf course. She’s young and doesn’t seem to know much about competitive golf period – didn’t even know the girls out on Tour traveled for months at a time in season.

Kelly: All in all I am not surprised that Dallas is the one to head home. She has the least amount of experience of all the girls and that really showed. I’m glad to see that she is being honest with herself about possibly not wanting to play professionally. There are so many talented girls trying to make it, that if your heart is not 100% in it, I think it’s a waste of time. Find something that you love Dallas and pursue it with everything you have, if that’s not golf, that’s okay :) You have a great head on your shoulders and I’m proud of you for keeping it all in is just a game.

Annie: Ha, Kelly I love how positive you are to wrap these blogs up. I can definitely relate to her realization at the end of the show, but I think it’s too bad that by being cast she took the spot of another girl who is committed 100% to playing competitive golf. I know a lot of girls who would love to be on Big Break, and it seems like Dallas really didn’t know what she was getting herself into by turning pro for this show. That being said – it’s tough to make the realization that professional golf isn’t for you on national TV – so good for her for having the guts to say it.

That’s all for this show! Looking forward to next week already.

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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."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.