Insight on Show 10 by Big Break’s Annie & Kelly

By Big BreakMay 19, 2014, 5:35 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.



Kelly: Down to the final four and I can’t believe that two girls are going home this week and how fast the season has flown by. This has to be one of the most important days of their golfing careers as they battle out for the opportunity to play for the Big Break title and the prizes that come with that.


Kelly: From the very beginning, you have to give Mary some credit for her reasoning behind picking Sadena for the elimination challenge. She was tired of her advancing throughout the season without having to play in those daunting challenges. Mary said that’s the same reason she is after Jackie as well.


Annie:  Throughout the season, there seems to have been some unspoken (and sometimes spoken) tension between Mary and Jackie.  I’m not sure the two of them will be pen pals anytime soon.


Kelly: To determine which two girls advance to the finale, the final four had to play three holes stroke play. This is a very fair challenge because there aren’t enough holes to relax so this will determine who plays the best under pressure.


Annie:  I agree.   I thought it was a good thing that they had to play holes of golf.  However, I thought it was a bit unfair for Jackie and Mary to go first before Fiamma and Renee.  Jackie and Mary played their first two holes without any scores on the board.  They had no idea what scores would make it to the finale and had to set the tone – similar to any stroke play competition.  But when Fiamma and Renee played, they knew exactly the scores they had to beat in order to get to the finale which turned their three holes more into a match-play competition.  Personally, I think it’s easier to post a score when you know exactly what numbers you need.  Especially in this case with two par 5’s, particularly for Mary, going second may have changed her game plan and allowed her to move along to the finals. 


Kelly: Jackie and Mary both missed the green on the first hole, resulting in bogeys. You can tell their nerves got the best of them.


Annie:  Absolutely.  The entire couple weeks of filming had accumulated to those three holes.  And with two girls going home rather than just one, there was a lot riding on each shot. I think nerves were especially apparent with Mary.  She’s a long hitter and to finish two over in three holes, two of which include reachable par 5’s, was not ideal.


Kelly: Mary went on to bogey the final hole to finish 2 over and Jackie made her birdie putt to finish the three holes at even.


Annie: Clutch putt by Jackie!  And great fist pump afterwards!  After bogeying the first hole, she really stepped up and took control of her game. Like I said earlier, it’s tough to be the first group out because you have no idea what scores will make it. 


Kelly: Next, it was Renee and Fiamma’s turn to earn their spot in the finale. Renee started off with a bogey and Fiamma started off with a par. You could tell that Renee was nervous as she failed to get up and down from just short. Her short game is so good but that is where nerves show the most.


Annie:  I felt bad watching Renee.  I’ve played with her enough to know that her short game is the best part of her game, but it really let her down in the last episode.  No doubt she was extremely nervous, but learning to control the nerves and adrenaline under pressure is crucial to be great in this game.


Kelly: On the final hole, Renee had a 6-foot putt to close out the match and advance to the finale. She missed the putt to finish tied with Fiamma = sudden death playoff!


Kelly: These two girls actually played 3 playoff holes but due to time, Big Break only showed the final determining hole.


Annie:  I didn’t know that!  I love learning some of the behind the scenes stuff.  I’m sure that kind of stuff happened more than we know.  The days filming Big Break get so long, and there is no way to fit it all into an hour-long show.


Kelly: Unfortunately, Renee’s nerves showed through again as she bladed her short chip over the green, leaving the door wide open for Fiamma to take control. She did just that, sticking her bunker shot to tap-in range.


Annie:  That was probably the best shot Fiamma hit all season so far.  In a few episodes, Fiamma was able to get through to the next episode with quite a bit of luck, but that bunker shot was CLUTCH!  I was sad to see Renee fall apart, but I was glad to see Fiamma keep fighting for that spot in the finale. 


Kelly: Jackie and Fiamma are Big Break’s final two players and on the next episode we will see them battle it out for the title. I think Jackie is definitely the stronger player with a lot more experience and I’m excited to see how Fiamma will hold up!


Annie:  I agree.  There is no doubt that Jackie has more experience, and I think she has more confidence in her game as well.  I think this will be Jackie’s to win for sure.  But, I have been surprised by Fiamma all season, so we’ll see!


Kelly: I’m sad to see one of my best friends Renee) and the most entertaining girl (Mary) go home. They both hit some phenomenal shots and survived multiple elimination challenges. However, that’s where the similarities between these two girls end. It was fun to watch Mary’s over the top personality and the constant anticipation of what is going to come out of her mouth next. Renee kept out of the drama and let her game due the talking. Two completely different players, both with bright futures, good luck with everything!


Annie:  Very opposing personalities, but both great players.  I think it was great for the show that Mary kept on as long as she did.  She was a character for sure, and I loved watching her every week.  And we even saw the twinkle of a tear on the last episode from Mary!  Renee is quite possibly the sweetest person on the planet, and I am sure we have not seen the last of either of them yet. 


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Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.

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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.