A Rebound Performance

By Big BreakNovember 27, 2012, 5:09 pm

Week seven and yet another early morning at the Big Break table. I think at this point we are getting more and more used to the drama and what might be in store for the day, but always aware that this is Big Break.
At this point, my emotions are ranging from exhaustion to excitement to wonder. But all in all, the goal remains the same, play your best and do what has to be done to survive and make it to another show.
Once we got to the course to see the immunity challenge, I was a little uneasy. The first part of the two-part immunity challenge was going to be a driving/distance challenge. Before I arrived at Big Break, I was hitting my driver great, but once I got here it wasn't the same (details later), so there was some apprehension on my part that this would not be a good challenge for me. Normally, book it, done deal, I would have excelled, but today felt different.
As the challenge began, I knew I had to make the best of it and get the most out of this challenge to be competitive and not hurt myself. That is now laughable to think back on. I think I hit three of the worst drives I've ever hit. Anyone that knows me knows I hit a draw every time and much further than 250 yards. After the challenge, my worse fear became reality. I was in last and had loads of ground to make up.
Ok, about the driver. The explanation is simple. Later and not until much later, actually during the last day packing to come home, I realized that there was a crack at the hosel in the shaft of my driver. No excuse because I had a backup shaft, but I really thought it was just my swing. And just so you know I'm not making excuses, I don't blame it on this because I should have switched to a three-wood, which I hit a minimum of 270 feet. I've heard of this happening and even happened to Big Break Ireland winner Mark Murphy when he traveled for The Irish Open. He opened his bag and boom, broken driver. So now I always take the head apart before traveling and place the shaft in the bag upside down. Future problem solved.
Onto the second part on the immunity challenge and I knew I had to make something happen. Mind was clear and driving part was totally forgotten. When we saw the challenge, I was pumped because it was basically a wedge challenge and I know I hit my wedges about as good as anyone. There was a lot of risk/reward with this challenge and when the guys in front of me stumbled, I took advantage with my first shot, moving from the outhouse to middle of the pack and right back in the mix. The second shot was all about timing and the timing of the train whistle got me perfectly. I wanted to stop but was too far along in my swing and had enough of a hitch to pull it slightly and miss my target area. Oh well, I still had life. What it came down to during the final shot was basically me vs. Anthony. Anthony hit a good shot and forced me to hit the 20-foot shot. It was simple, if I hit the shot, I was safe. I did just that and was happy to be safe and part of the final five. It just goes to show you with golf, you can hit poor shots, but if you focus, you can rebound and turn it around. I was very proud of my turn around from the morning.
On a more personal note, prior to the elimination, I pulled Anthony aside as I could see he was not himself and reinforced that he belonged here and if he got his mind right, he could beat Isaac. I wanted him to know that he had the talent, he just had to believe in himself. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be and Anthony lost. I was sad to see him go but think he got a lot out of this experience. I wish him and his wife well and the expectant arrival of their first son.
On a side note, I think I need to quickly address something that many people are commenting on. My emotion. I am an emotional player. That's never going to change, but it is highly unfair to judge one by a few little instances that measure maybe less than 10 seconds out of hundreds of hours of video. This role as the emotional guy seems to be how they want to portray me and I'm fine with that, but people, don't judge a book before reading it. Remember, I'm a son, brother, husband and soon-to-be father and I'm far from perfect, but I also believe many of you that are commenting negatively about me are far from perfect as well. You are shown what they want you to see. There are a couple of things you haven’t seen aside from the talk I mentioned with Anthony above. I had talks at length with Stu concerning his battle and tried to explain what changes he needs to make to survive this addiction. I talked with Ray while he was dealing with something pretty emotional during the show. So, understand that I am far from perfect but I'm also not exactly what you are seeing on TV.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the viewers and their families and thanks for watching the greatest golfing experience of my life unfold. I'll be blessed to be surrounded by my pregnant wife and in laws and enjoying the Friday Day-after-Wiffle-Ball-Tournament at #RoenicksLittleFenway. Gobble Gobble.

Till next time,

Brian Cooper

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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.