Big Shot Big Disappointment

By February 23, 2005, 5:00 pm
The Big Break IIIEditors note: The Golf Channels Big Break III ' Ladies Only is the third installment of this hit television series. As the title suggests however, this season is just for the ladies. The 10 contestants will be vying for entry into select LPGA tournaments, including the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill.
With the first player already eliminated from the show, the following morning was a bit of a wake up call, both literally and figuratively.
It all kind of sunk in, said Debbie Dahmer, about the absence of Tasha Browner at the breakfast table. Every morning there is going to be one less chair here.
In the days first event, the Mulligan Challenge, co-hosts Vince Cellini and Stephanie Sparks had the ladies split up into three teams of three. With scoring circles painted around the pin, each team spun a wheel to determine which of five different short game shots ' greenside bunker, pitch shot, under a tree, long bunker shot or downhill lie - they would have to attempt.
The team that won the challenge would all receive a mulligan in the upcoming Skills Challenge.
The team of Valeria Ochoa, Liz Uthoff and Felicia Brown went first had to hit from a downhill lie over a bunker from about 15 yards off the green. With each player attempting two shots, Team 1 tallied a total of 10 points.
Next up was the team of Jan Dowling, Sarah Sasse, and Pam Crikelair who faced a greenside bunker shot. As a team, they amassed 12 points and then had to watch to see if the score would hold up.
Next up was the team of Cindy Miller, Debbie Dahmer and Danielle Amiee. Down to their last shot and behind by just a single point, Millers pitch shot finished up in the middle target area, good enough for two points and the victory.
These mulligans are huge and I just lost two mulligans for my teammates, said Sasse about coming up empty in her two efforts. I felt so bad.
Next, it was on to the Skills Challenge where the winner would be exempt from the shows second Elimination Challenge.
The contestants were asked to hit three tee shots in an effort to reach a landing area that measured 30 yards by 30 yards down the fairway. The player then had the opportunity to hit however many balls that came to rest in the landing area ' whether that be one, two, or three ' to the green.
Ultimately, the player closest to the pin would be granted immunity from the Elimination Challenge.
After all nine contestants attempted their drives, two of the players - Crikelair and Sasse - were able to hit the grid on all three shots, while three of the players hit it twice and four players only found the landing area once.
My confidence is a little lower than it should be, said Crikelair on her overall lack of experience. So to put three in (the landing area), that really felt good.
It was at this time, however, that Crikelair was about to turn the tables on the shows producers and supply a little twist of her own. Not to mention give herself a huge shot of the self confidence she thought she was lacking.
Using a short iron from the fairway, Crikelair ' the first player to hit her approach shots ' left her opening attempt well short and then sent her second flying over the pin. She was down to her final approach shot.
I said OK, It would be such a shame if you put three great tee shots in the grid and didnt even put pressure on the next person, said Crikelair on her final approach.
As her last shot sailed through the air toward the green, several of the players later recalled that they thought the ball would come up short and indeed it did ' by about a foot, before releasing and spinning right and into the cup.
That was her first ever eagle, marveled Dahmer, on what is being hailed as the best shot in Big Break history. To do it when the cameras are rolling, no one will ever be able to take that away from her.
It was great to hit the shot of my short career with the girls there watching, said an excited Crikelair. It made a statement to some of the women. Even though Im new, I can still compete and give you a run for your money.
With Crikelairs ball resting in the hole, the rest of the ladies tried to achieve another miracle shot, but predictably no one could duplicate the shot giving Crikelair the well-deserved immunity.
It was now down to the Elimination Challenge where the contestants would each be asked to hit an approach shot from 170-yards out. The two closest to the pin would be safe from elimination while the final six would move on to hit a shot from the fairway rough. The two closest from there also would move on to the next show. The last four would then proceed to hit a long bunker shot, the one furthest from the hole becoming the shows second causality.
Dahmers pressurized approach nestled up to within 6 feet of the hole, good enough to advance to the next show with Sasse, whose effort also found close range.
From the 110-yards out from the right rough, both Uthoff and Aimee struck fine wedge shots as they too were able to stave off elimination. It was now down to the final four to see who was going home.
From the fairway bunker, Brown started things off by hitting her shot thin from the sand and watched as it flew the green and into a bunker ' 56 feet from the hole. Dowling then stepped up and smoothed her attempt to within 15 feet of the cup, thus moving on to the next day. Ochoa, hitting third, caught a little too much sand and found her effort well short of the green, then waited nervously for the measurement ' 46 feet.
Cindy Miller was last and now stood in the sand holding both her and Browns fate in her hands.
Im glad I was last, but then I thought that I had all the pressure on me again, said Miller. But thats a good thing. In needed to be a big girl, suck it up and hit a golf shot.
Miller shot was true, landing on the front of the green and leaving Brown the odd lady out.
When they called me and said I had a chance to live my dream, that was a dream come true, said an emotional Brown. One chance. Thats all I have ever asked for.
Be sure to tune in next Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET) to see who can survive the rollercoaster ride and whose dream will come to an end.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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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 hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked 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.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    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 the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    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 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. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    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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    Phil 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.

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    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.