The Safety Dance

By Brendan Havens, Big Break ProducerJune 22, 2010, 12:34 am

What would you do?  Would you “save” or would you “send”? 

This eternal question is one that will be asked time and time again during this series, and as we’ve already seen, the consequences of this decision can significantly alter the course of events. Fundamentally though (if you really want to get philosophical), this very question fits into most aspects of life whether it be actual or hypothetical. From something as simple and logical as “should I ‘save’ this shirt, or ‘send’ it to the Salvation Army?” to the completely imaginary, “should I ‘save’ my boss, or ‘send’ him?”  I’m sure one could ponder that notion for quite some time.

As it is with most concepts in the world of television, the whole “save or send” concept has actually been discussed in one form or another for a couple years now. Its first “appearance” came in the form of a very pivotal decision made by David and Sally in the 5th episode of Big Break X: Michigan. For those who do not recall, David and Sally called out Rachel and Otis (who were already immune) to a head-to-head matchup in the Elimination Challenge with the losers being eliminated. David and Sally ended up winning the match, sending the very frustrated team of Otis and Rachel to a very bitter departure. The total shock and inherent drama of this moment definitely showed us that this could quite possibly be an excellent concept to expand upon. Although, the absolutely harsh nature of how the events unfolded got us thinking that this concept definitely needed some improvement before it was brought back in full.

Amidst the early show-plans of Big Break Prince Edward Island was another “save/send” concept that would make its appearance throughout the series. The initial concept was to let the winner of the Immunity Challenge choose one person to hit one shot. If they were successful, they would be safe and on to the next show. If they failed, they would head straight to the Elimination Challenge. Well, a few weeks before filming would begin, the lingering doubts about the way in which Rachel and Otis were cast off the previous series must have come to the surface, because we were asked to remove this concept from much of the series. Some may remember that this idea did make a lone appearance, in episode #7 of the season when Aaron called out Derek to hit the “one shot” (Derek failed and was off to the Elimination Challenge). Although this “one and done” type of challenge lived only once in the series, it was that idea which paved the way for the “make a 3 footer or go to Elimination” challenge concept which started PEI, and ultimately led to the “save/send” that we will be seeing a lot of in this series.

(*Producer’s note: the “save/send” will make an appearance in some very unexpected forms.*)

So, obviously the jury’s still out on whether this concept will work over the course of multiple episodes. Is it subjective? Absolutely. Is everyone going to like it? Absolutely not. But, what this does create is a whole new form of strategy. And that is really what this idea’s all about. Strategy. Ok…maybe some drama too. 

It’ll be a very difficult scenario to deal with, especially when you factor in the fact that they are all living under one roof. Do you save your friend; do you save a weaker player so you can beat them in a challenge further on down the road; or do you send a stronger player to the Elimination Challenge in hopes of knocking them out of the competition? Do you weigh in the consequences of the inevitable tension back at the house if someone is sent and then survives?  Lili may have put it best in last night’s episode when she said, “there are a lot of variables to this game…”

At its most basic definition, golf is a game. However, to these 11 ladies, this competition is no game. This is their job and their main goal is to succeed to their highest potential. So that brings me back to the hypothetical I presented earlier. Would you “save” your boss or “send” him? Or, maybe a better scenario to ponder is would you “save” another co-worker who you’re competing against for a promotion or “send” them? It would all depend upon certain factors, I suppose. Are they better, worse or equal to yourself? Would your move translate into future successes? Would you be able to face them if your decision backfires?

So, I guess the question still remains. Would you “save” or would you “send”?

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

“I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

“It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

“It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

“This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.