Matt Melrose's Final Words

By Big BreakOctober 6, 2011, 12:51 pm

Big Break Ireland
was a very interesting and valuable experience for me.  When I do anything in my life, I like to gain from the actual experience as well as the human and life experience.  My time on Big Break was so enriching. The show is structured in such a way that it puts every part of you to the test.  The human aspect is on display, your golf ability is on display and then you have to overcome all the pressure and the expectations.  And then there’s the weather to content with, while you try and compete and show your skill sets and who you are as an individual all at the same time. That’s what makes this a great concept and a successful program.

Let’s get into Episode Three:

That morning, getting up and sitting around the breakfast table after losing Annie left a sense of hunger and the feeling that everyone was ready to get out there and turn up the heat and tighten the screws on Team Straffan. After we decided I was going to be the captain for the day, I got that feeling of clarity and responsibility and relished the opportunity to lead Team Liffey and perform for my team when it was most needed.  Our plan was to come out the blocks fast and make our intentions known to Team Straffan, and when we found out we were playing a par 5 alternate shot right out the gate, I was frothing at the mouth to get up there and make a three. Everyone on the team was clear and we had that killer instinct.

Everyone on the team played a role and did what we needed for us to make the three, which put the very hot ball back in Team Straffan’s court. They answered with a four which gave us the early lead.  The second part was the ten locations and we had to hit shots from 70 yards to 160 yards.  Team Straffan managed seven shots, but bear in mind the wind was blowing 40-miles per hour which made this very tricky.  We had an opportunity to close them out.  We got through the first seven locations and unfortunately we narrowly missed the green on the eighth attempt to win Immunity and send them to elimination.  

We let them in the door and they obliged and tied it all up in the third part of the Elimination Challenge, which left me in a playoff for my life against Nina to see who was going to elimination.  Nina hit a great shot to six feet and I managed nine feet or thereabouts, so it was off to Elimination for me.  I felt we had let them in the door with two chances to shut it, and we let off the gas and they made us pay for it.

In the Elimination I chose Mallory.  We did battle for two holes in 50-mph winds under some pretty intense pressure. With a good friend and a great golfer, in not the best of circumstances, we put that all aside and we played for our lives.  Mal came up trumps and got the job done which marked the end of my Big Break experience.  Mal is an amazing girl and a very talented athlete and she will go to the top of the women’s ranks if her heart desires. I wish her all the best for the remainder of the show and I am a big fan of hers.

The future for me is very cloudy here in the United States; I had some confusion with my Q-School entry here this year and subsequently am not able to go, which has been very heart-wrenching.  I have been working with a new coach over the past three months; his name is Andrew Getson and he works out of Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. I feel we are making good progress and the game is strong and I’m ready for the most rigorous of tests and the pressure which is Q-School.  I will be leaving the US at the end of November to do Q-School in Bloemfontein in South Africa and unfortunately, my return is unknown. But, I am looking forward to Q-School and the summer down in South Africa and I have a great feeling about it.

Thank you very much for all of the support and kind words; it goes a long way and is much appreciated. I hope to entertain you all in the near future going down the stretch on the PGA TOUR…



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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.