Mallory can’t stand Andy and she wants him off the show. He rubbed her the wrong way from the moment they met at the airport eight weeks ago. Before Andy’s elimination, I wonder what bothered her more; Andy’s “cockiness” or the fact that she could have ended up facing him in the finale.
Julien, the once quiet Canadian, is now very vocal about Andy being chicken after Andy passed the captaincy off to Mark on the last show. Andy claimed it was a mind game, but Julien didn’t buy it. Off camera Julien remarked that he didn’t fully intend to insult Andy, but that he had to call out what he claimed was nonsense. Mark, on the other hand, has managed to play it cool – especially after some bad shots and tangling with Joe Campbell (eliminated in show 5) – and he continues to let his sense of humor alleviate tensions on and off the course.
The day started with “The United Airlines Around the World Challenge”. I thought for sure Mark had the win sealed. With nearly a 10 foot lead, Mark duffs and Andy becomes the winner pocketing his 2nd $5,000 prize. I get to talk to our golfers about a range of topics: family, dreams, setbacks, and worries. Mark mentioned that his terrible shot made him “question his ability.” As we sat together and talked later that night, I could see on his face how the shot had affected him. As much as he tried to look ahead, it was eating at him.
Andy picks the one person who has NEVER choked in elimination: Mallory. I thought by now everyone would have learned that Mallory earned her title “The Eliminator” for a reason. She beat Andy in a playoff and Andy headed to the final round of elimination in which he faced off against his other smack talking rival, Julien.
Julien is a conundrum. He’s hit some bad shots and no matter what, saved himself each time. He doesn’t let a bad shot eat away at him. Like Mark, he looks ahead and that’s an integral part of his game: digging himself out of holes. Is it skill or is it luck? Perhaps a mixture of both.
Andy said, “his luck’s gotta run out sometime.” And it sort of did against Mark. Julien had a chance to win his first round and instead ties with Mark because he came up short. Once again, two competitors have to go back to the tee resulting in a win for Mark because of a mistake made for the second time by Julien (he missed the same putt twice).
And that’s just another unpredictable thing about Big Break. Everyone expected the “2 best players” (Andy and Julien) to win their matches and avoid the final round of Elimination. But the complete opposite happened.
Andy and Julien faced off in a contentious match, Andy’s luck completely ran out by 3 putting on Hole 17 of the Palmer Smurfit Course, and he was eliminated on the 18th. And that’s when we see Andy’s deep, genuine passion for the game of golf; uncertain about his future, tears in his eyes, defeated. It looks like Mallory got her wish. Let’s just hope Andy finds his game, again.
Big Break Ireland Producer Blog: And Then There Were Fore
PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes
The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:
The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.
We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.
The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.
Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.
''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''
Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open
Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.
Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.
Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.
The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.