Americans Back in the Fold

By December 7, 2005, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: The Big Break IV ' USA vs. Europe, is The Golf Channels fourth installment of its hit television series. As the title suggests however, this seasons format has been tweaked to include a team dynamic. But that in no way means the stakes arent high for each individual, as the contestants will be vying for entry into select European Tour tournaments in 2006.
 
One by one they have watched as their opponents and teammates have been eliminated from the show, and now the dream of winning the Big Break IV is down to the final four ' T.J. Valentine and Paul Holtby of Team USA and Thomas Blankvoort and Guy Woodman of Team Europe.
 
Big Break IV
Guy Woodman tries to escape from trouble during the Europeans match against the Americans.
But before the show set teammates against each other in order to determine the finale, the two teams squared off in a semi-friendly match with some valuable prizes for the winners. Another two-year lease on a Ford Explorer and all expenses paid trip back to Scotland were up for grabs.
 
For the trip to Scotland, the two teams would play three holes of match play using the alternate shot format. On the fourth hole, Valentine would face Blankvoort and Holtby would play Woodman in separate, one-hole singles matches. The team with the most points after four holes would win the return vacation trip to Scotland.
 
I thought it was a way of saying to the four guys who have gotten this far, well done, congratulations, you guys can win some great prizes. Then we get back to work, said Blankvoort on the Prize Challenge Rounds.
 
The Americans looked as if they were getting off to a good start as Holtby found the fairway off the tee while Team Europe knocked it into the woods. From the edge of the trees, Blankvoort hit his approach into a greenside bunker. Advantage USA. Valentine, however, chunked his approach, causing the USA to ultimately reach the green in three. The Euros blasted out of the bunker and two-putted while the USA also two-putted leaving the match all-square thru 1 at a half point apiece.
 
After both teams failed to reach the green in regulation on the second hole, Team Europe hit a clutch chip to within inches of the hole and the Americans conceded their par. Facing a touch pitch shot from above the green, Valentine blew his shot well past the hole and then watched as Holtby was unable to make the comebacker to keep the match all square. Team Europe 1 - Team USA .
 
Much like on the first hole, Team USA again found itself in good position off the tee on the third hole as Woodmans shot for Team Europe found a nasty lie in the thick round down the left side of the fairway. But unfortunately just like the first hole, Valentine again badly chunked his approach.
 
Biggest cardinal sin in golf: you let something bother you that happened in the past bother you in the present, said Valentine on his struggles.
 
From the nasty stuff, Blankvoort was at least able to get his ball back in play but their subsequent approach flew the green. Blankvoort came right back with a great chip that saved bogey but then had to wait to see if the Americans could scramble to make par. Valentines putt to square the match lipped out, leaving the USA in a tough position heading to the one-hole singles match. Team Europe 2 ' Team USA 1.
 
Big Break IV
T.J. Valentine drops his head after one of the many disappointing shots he hit during episode 11.
Needing to sweep both singles matches to win the Scottish vacation, Valentine once more put his team behind the eight ball. His tee shot went into the right rough and then hit his second into the left rough. Meanwhile, his opponent Blankvoort found the green and had a chance at birdie. No matter that Holtby had beat Woodman in his match to even the score momentarily; Valentine conceded the putt to Blankvoort to give the Europeans the win.
 
I definitely think T.J. did the right and the professional thing by conceding the match to him, said Holtby on the conclusion of the days competition. Congratulations to the Europeans.
 
The Euros now had a chance at the Ford Explorer two-year lease if they could manage to hit an approach shot from 100-yards out into a 6-foot circle painted around the flagstick. Alas, with the wind up at Carnoustie neither player was able to make it happen.
 
That was fun, but I guess we are down to the nitty gritty now, said Woodman about the days events and his upcoming match with Blankvoort. It is going to be a tough challenge ahead of me to have to face Thomas with a chance to get into the final.
 
On the other side of the coin, teammates Valentine and Holtby now faced the proposition of battling one another in the other semifinal.
 
Its going to be good, hard competitive golf and thats what time it is, said Holtby on his upcoming match with friend Valentine.

The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe airs each Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET), while Big Break IV: All Access airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET), as part of the networks Top Shelf Wednesday lineup of premium programming.
 
Related Links:
  • Big Break IV Home Page
  • Big Break IV Photo Gallery
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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

    After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

    Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

    The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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    LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

    The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

    The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

    The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

    The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.