Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 4

By Big BreakMarch 19, 2014, 4:00 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.

Annie: Another great episode of Big Break Florida! It looks like the girls are starting to feel more comfortable with the cameras around and are focusing on playing golf rather than getting caught up with the pressure of the show.

Kelly: I’m loving this season so far and I think what’s drawing me in are the new and strategic challenges! With that said, I thought the first immunity challenge where the girls bid against each other was genius. It was interesting to see their confidence in themselves and others and at what point that confidence dropped off.

I was surprised to see Fiamma miss the green from 95 yards. They have all hit this shot multiple times so far, dial it in girl!

Annie: Time to lock it up, Fi! It seems like most of the shots we’ve seen this season have been from inside 100 yards. I’d like to see these girls hit something other than a wedge. It would help separate some of the better ball strikers from the others.

Kelly: I was disappointed to see Jackie not bid at all and let Kylee hit the shot. I would’ve understood if the distance was 12 ft or less...but 16ft? I think this was a decision that she immediately regretted! Again...this was the distance that she holed out from earlier! Of course Kylee kept on with her solid play and gained $2,500 and immunity. Easy day. :)

Annie: I thought it was pretty funny Jackie was so quick to challenge Kylee with that shot to 16 feet. Apparently Jackie has been less than impressed with Kylee’s golf game thus far. Obviously she underestimated her, but I’m still not sure I’ve seen enough of Kylee to make a decision one way or the other.

Who were you most impressed with during the immunity challenge?

Kelly: I love Tonya’s mindset! She wants to have her destiny in her own hands and who can blame her! Even though it didn’t work out for her this time, it still shows the confidence she has in her own game. I just love her story as well. She has had a ton of success in college and then ran into a lot of setbacks that kept her from playing golf. To see her back in action and overall playing really well is so great to see. Can we also say how phenominal she looks for having two young children!? Tonya, tell us your secrets!!

Annie: How about Lindsay turning down $10,000?! Oh, the shame! I wonder if she’d make the same decision again after watching this episode. It seemed to me like this was Lindsay once again not wanting to rock the boat with the other girls. I would have loved to see the drama unfold after she took everyone else’s money. And please tell me you heard her say that an afternoon of immunity was “priceless.” Well, no, it actually cost you $8,000. But glad you enjoyed the afternoon stroll through the marsh.

Kelly: To finish out the first immunity I could not believe that Lindsay did not take the 10k!! I think her being “tired” was an excuse for not wanting to make anyone mad and playing the social game. You came on this show to play, so why not take that money and play! Especially when I don't think she would have found herself in the elimination challenge anyways. In my opinion that spoke volumes about her confidence and she was acting more out of a fear of losing than confidence in winning.

Annie: Maybe she just really wanted to ride a Segway..?

Kelly: Maybe. Ok, on to the fast play immunity challenge… I was extremely impressed with Fiamma for stepping up her game and winning. Coming off a poor performance earlier in the day, she proved how relentless she is. I thought her approach of having confidence in her shot and running right after she hit was great!

Annie: Fiamma definitely redeemed herself there! I was impressed with Tonya during this challenge. Up until this episode, I don’t think we’ve seen a whole lot of her. She’s a bit of a dark horse in this competition. Like you mentioned before, she’s definitely proven herself as a player in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to performance now. It’ll be interesting to watch her as the season unfolds.

Kelly: It was a little painful to watch Renee struggle in this challenge. Her short game is so good but she is also a very deliberate player. Players like that are naturally going to struggle when being timed under pressure. Hopefully for her livelihood on the show there will be no more timed challenges!

Annie: Oh, Renee. I hope she can get her nerves in check, but she just hasn’t seemed confident so far on the show. She should be cleaning up with all these short game challenges, and yet we’ve already seen her in two elimination challenges! Come on, Renee! You’re better than that!
How great was her little pep talk from Jackie right before she went into elimination? Love to see the camaraderie and sportsmanship regardless of the cut-throat nature of this competition. Good work, girls.

Kelly: Once Renee was in the elimination I thought it was a no-brainer that she picked Lauren to join her since she was obviously the weakest link mentally. However, I thought it was very telling of Lauren’s character when she still acted sweet towards Renee even after being picked.
I was disappointed that no one stepped up and won it. Instead, Lauren gave it to Renee. I thought it was poor course management/strategy on the 2nd hole when Lauren decided to take the aggressive line on her 2nd shot. She was only one shot down and they were in the same postion.

All she had to do was beat Renee from there on in to tie it up! Ultimately, I think the better player is advancing.

Annie: I agree – I think the aggressive line showed inexperience more than anything. Once she hit that tree, the writing was on the wall at that point. Lauren looked so deflated and defeated. I don’t know Lauren, but I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything was going to be alright.

Kelly: It was hard/sad to watch Lauren’s emotions once she was eliminated. She was very gracious but it was heartbreaking to see how critical she was of herself, especially since I’ve been there. Growing up I used to be so hard on myself, until it finally sunk in that it really is just a game. We should play because it’s something we love and enjoy. I’m hopeful that Lauren can switch her mentality towards the game. I’ve been following her on Twitter and she has been very positive and is trying to turn her attitude around. Best of luck.

Annie: I thought she handled herself really well. She was so gracious, and I’m sure better things are coming her way. Now, is it next Monday yet?

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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.