Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 6

By Big BreakApril 4, 2014, 7:00 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.
Kelly: We all knew the episode would come where the girls would stop being polite and the claws would come out. What better way to harvest drama then incorporate another team competition!

Annie: As Jackie mentioned on this episode, the team challenges are tough because you can’t necessarily control your own fate, and we as golfers are not used to that. I’d imagine the individual nature of the sport is why most of these girls play, so to watch girls pick teams or hit shots that directly affect you going into elimination is unsettling. But it makes for great TV!

Kelly: When the girls were picking the teams it was obvious who they had faith in. However, I think Renee was chosen last because of her lack of confidence, not because of her lack of ability. She has pulled off some of the best shots on the show, now her confidence needs to match! You can’t help but pull for her and was great to see her step it up this episode!

Annie: The girls clearly think Sadena and Jackie are the best players on the show. I don’t disagree with them, but I wish they would all have a little more confidence in their own games to challenge that. I did like Kristi’s comment about Fiamma being underrated – I think she’s right.

Kelly: It was priceless when Kristi and Kylee sent Renee to the bench and decided to take on Mary. I’m sure everyone expected Mary to be pissed. I thought is was pretty hilarious, especially after she was motivating Renee to hold strong against the other two. After the backhanded motivational speech, she ends up being the player the other girls deem easiest to beat! Annie what are your thoughts on this?

Annie: I just laughed. You could tell the producers were teeing it up for Mary to be picked. Although you do have to keep in mind Mary was picked third earlier that morning for the teams, and Renee was picked last two weeks in a row. And Mary won her first and only elimination challenge pretty easily. Given the last couple episodes, it would have been no surprise if Kristi and Kylee picked Renee. That being said, it did end up being a good choice as Kristi beat out Mary and won her team immunity.

I was a little confused why Mary was so angry after she lost this challenge. She kept talking about how great her shots were. Um… but you lost. So apparently not that great, Mary. Perhaps we need to pull out Webster and look up a definition. Or maybe a thesaurus for some antonyms. Bad, poor, atrocious – yep, those make more sense to me.

Kelly: I think it was a gutsy decision by Kylee and Kristi but I love their reasoning of trying to get into Mary’s head and I think it was the right choice. Of course Mary reacted with the usual of covering up her nerves/anger by trying to verbally intimidate the other girls. I think this challenge proved that the girls aren’t scared of her and aren’t going to back down.

It’s up for debate whether Mary hit the better shot in the last match up against Kristi, but you never put the other player down. That’s just bad sportsmanship. Everyone hits good shots and bad shots, but golf is a game about how good your misses are. If you're upset about not winning, dial in your distances, hit it closer and quit making excuses.

Annie: But were the tears really necessary? Come on, Kristi. Sure Mary was playing mind games, but Kristi’s got to be stronger and smarter than to start crying about it. Mary said that Kristi hit bad shots. So? These were not personal attacks – she wasn’t calling Kristi a mean person, she wasn’t insulting her character, didn’t say she had bad hair. And Kristi, you still won. Get over it.

But Kelly, you’re right – the easiest way to get into someone’s head is to just play better golf than them. Let your clubs do the talking, as my mom would say. Look at Sadena and Jackie. They’ve got everyone convinced they are the best players, and it’s not been because of anything they have explicitly said on the show. It’s because of their performance.

Kelly: I love when the team challenges turn around and then they play against each other. Renee and Jackie both performed well, sending Mary and Tonya into the elimination. I think both girls are very strong players, but it’s that time in the competition that a strong player is going to be going home every week.

Annie: The quality of golf continues to get better, and there are no longer any girls on the show who are obviously weaker than the others. I love this point in the show, because it really is anyone’s game – and one bad shot can send you home.

Kelly: In the elimination I was rooting for Tonya because she’s my friend and was disappointed to see her go home. However, Mary makes the show much more entertaining and I’m really enjoying watching her every week because you never know what’s going to happen!

Annie: I can’t say that I know Tonya at all, but I was impressed with her attitude on the show. She has a quiet confidence, and I think she carried herself very well throughout the entire show. It will be interesting to see if she continues with golf as a touring professional with her two young kids at home.

Kelly: Tonya, great performance overall and I’m really looking forward to watching you get back into competitive golf! :)

Annie: And congrats to Mary for stepping up in the elimination challenge. Over / under she will make one more girl cry on the show? My fingers are crossed for over.

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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.