Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 5

By Big BreakMarch 28, 2014, 3:45 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: I was waiting for the flop wall challenge... and it’s finally here! In my opinion this is one of the most entertaining challenges. I know I’m not alone when I found amusement in watching the girls’ shots denied by the infamous wall!

Annie: I did a mini fist pump when we saw the flop wall right out of the gate this last episode. I love this challenge, and yes, I admit I too love to see a good blade or chunk right at it. I was intimidated by that last flop wall just sitting on my couch. I was glad to have a remote in my hand and not a lob wedge.

Kelly: I loved the team aspect they added to this first challenge. It’s definitely more pressure when your play can affect someone else's fate and it was interesting to see which girls rose to the occasion and which girls crumbled under the pressure.

Annie: Agreed! This was a great team challenge! How about everyone’s comments about Sadena at the beginning of the challenge? If they had it their way, seemed to me they would have named her Big Break Florida Champion right then and there. No doubt she’s a great player, but I think they’re giving her too much credit. It’s hard to compete against someone if you think they’re better than you…

Kelly: Everyone seemed surprised when Sadena wasn’t picked first by Mary. I thought this was awesome. It showed that Mary is confident in going against the grain and confident in her own opinions... but I think we already knew that :).

Annie: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I think Sadena and Jackie are the best players at this point this season. Mary has played with Jackie more out on tour and knows her game. I think it was a good move. Although it was really a win-win for her.

Kelly: Once again Sadena and her team pulled off a solid win in the flop wall challenge. Every team struggled, but Kristi and Fiamma pulled it together and gave Sadena the chance to do what she does best… finish it off and win!

Kelly: Annie did this bring back any memories from our Big Break season in Ireland since almost our entire season was team-based?

Annie: It absolutely did, I’m glad you asked the question! It’s tough to be on a show like this with team competitions, because you can’t always determine your own future. You have to rely on other people’s games - which is not how we are used to playing the sport. It’s great fun if you’ve got a solid team, but a weak link brings everyone down in a hurry.

Kelly: Once again the winners of the first challenge had to choose between $2,500 or immunity. You can really tell that these girls are starting to get tired. Even though I think all 3 players would have been able to take the money and survive elimination, it was probably a good decision to rest up and get ready for the next day.

Annie: People don’t realize the hours that go into filming Big Break. It’s a lot of early mornings and late nights. Our first day filming in Ireland, I was awake for 22 hours! Unless we see these girls getting offered more money, I’d imagine they will be more interested in immunity.

Kelly: Challenge #2 flipped the tables and forced the girls to compete against the team they just worked alongside. Gosh I love these producers... always thinking of ways to throw a curveball! Renee finally showed up and stuck her 150-yard shot to 2’6’’! That’s a quick way to guarantee you’ll survive another day. I’m hoping we’ll start to see her nerves calm down and her steady play shine through.

Annie: I’ve been impressed thus far with the challenges. This season has been well thought out, and the viewings and ratings have reflected that! I played quite a bit of junior golf with Renee, and those are the shots I’m used to seeing from her. Finally!

Kelly: At the end of the immunity challenge, I was surprised to see both Tonya and Kylee in the bottom two. They were now faced with the decision of who to pick to join them in elimination. They stood behind Lindsay and Jackie trying to decide who to choose, ultimately choosing Lindsay. I thought it was so contradictory when Lindsay then called that a “jerk move” when they stood behind her watching. How was that a jerk move? They were playing the game and seeing how each girl would react under pressure. Especially coming from the girl who convinced Courtney to choose Mary in elimination because she knew Courtney was uneasy about going up against Mary. Come on girl, you can’t pull the “jerk move” card when you pulled the ultimate “jerk move” just a few episodes ago.

Annie: Ha! That’s a good point. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. I think they would have been silly to pick Jackie. And they knew it. I was even surprised that Tonya and Kylee even suggested picking Jackie. Pretty sure their element of surprise tactic would have sent one of them home instead.

Kelly: I honestly am a fan of Lindsay but I was very surprised at her comments during the interview. She mentioned that on the tee she was already thinking this may be the last hole she plays on Big Break, so she might as well enjoy it! You are in the middle of fighting for your survival on this show and you’re already thinking about being eliminated? Enjoy yourself yes, but you need to be so engrossed in the task at hand that being eliminated should be the last thing on your mind. I think she had a good run on the show, but in my opinion the right player got eliminated once again. I loved her upbeat and quirky personality and I think some more experience will really help. Best of luck with everything Lindsay.

Annie: I became a big Lindsey fan after this show! I thought her attitude was great. You’re right, anything can happen, but I don’t think she gave up in the least bit. She pulled her driver on the last hole when the other girls hit fairway woods and went down swinging. I did notice she wasn’t wearing her beanie during the final interview. We should have known something was off then.

Kelly: Ok, can we please end on Jackie’s accurate and bold prediction? She mentioned she would be surprised if she didn’t get her 2014 LPGA card. For those of you who don’t know, back in December (after Big Break Florida was filmed) she earned partial LPGA status for this year! Her game is really coming along and just this past week at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic Symetra Event she tied for 2nd, posting 5-under! Way to go girl. Along with Jackie’s great week, other Big Break Alumni rocked it as well. Matt Every from Big Break Mesquite won his first PGA TOUR event at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rick Cochran from Big Break Greenbrier finished runner up at the PGA TOUR Latino America event and Gerina Piller from Big Break Prince Edward Island finished T15th at the LPGA Founders Cup!

Annie: It’s so great for the show to have Big Break Alums play so well. It’s also great for the fans to be able to cheer for players they feel like they already know. And it all helps bring more attention to the sport we love! And what about you and me, Kel? We had a great week selling tee times on!

I’m looking forward to next week’s episode. Looks like there is going to be some drama. The girls have been too nice and supportive of each other. I’m ready for the claws to come back out. Mary, I’m talking to you! Give us something to write about…

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.