Bunker Mentality at Carnoustie

By November 29, 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.
 
For the second straight episode, Team USA was given a free pass from the Immunity and Elimination Challenges as the European squad was in the process of being whittled down to two players.
 
Big Break IV
With the cameras rolling, Guy Woodman hits a shot during the Elimination Challenge.
Marty Wilde Jr., Guy Woodman and Thomas Blankvoort remained from Team Europe and had to face a series of bunker shots for the Immunity Challenge, including one from the famed spectacle bunkers at Carnoustie.
 
The mood had definitely changed and its definitely more of an individual thing, rather than a team thing now, observed Wilde Jr. as they prepared for the Immunity Challenge.
 
If youre too intense and keep thinking about what could happen and what might happen, youll drive yourself mad, added Woodman.
 
Starting from a greenside bunker, the players would hit from three different bunkers and have to hole out after each shot. The player with the fewest total strokes following all three bunkers would be safe from elimination.
 
Woodman and Blankvoort got off to good starts, both getting up and down in two while Wilde Jr. burned the edge with his putt from 8 feet to drop back a shot.
 
You just feel like you have to hit everything close and every shot has to be perfect, which is tough, said Wilde Jr.
 
Hitting from the second bunker, Marty fell even further behind as his putt for a two again slid by the hole. Woodman and Blankvoort, however, were in a tight battle for the immunity as they both sank their putts and were tied heading into the very dangerous spectacle bunkers.
 
Facing a 70-yard blast to the pin, the spectacle bunkers had the players staring into the face of the bunker that rose some 5 feet over their heads as they stood in the sand.
 
Youre so far down (in the bunker) you cant see anything. The flag, the green, anything, recalled Woodman on the severity of the bunker
 
From the outside they look very cool. From the inside, you dont want to be in there, added Blankvoort.
 
Blankvoorts first attempt came up well short of the green but his subsequent chip rolled up to within 5 feet of the hole. Woodman had a 25 footer to win it outright but his putt was long and to the right. Wilde Jr. meanwhile, missed his up and down effort and thus put himself into the Elimination Challenge.
 
Woodman and Blankvoort both made their knee-knockers to force a playoff between the two to see who would win the immunity.
 
They again had to hit from the spectacle bunkers and both hit their shots fat, coming to rest in the greenside rough. They each hit their ensuing chip shots to approximately 5 feet and if one of them could get their putt to drop they would move on to the next show.
 
Woodman, who up until this point had been lights out with his putting, missed on the low side then watched as his teammate turned opponent Blankvoort drained his putt to win the Immunity Challenge.
 
Guy has been so solid with that putter and he let that one slip by him. He left the door open for Thomas, observed American T.J. Valentine.
 
Now Im a part of the show for another week and getting another step closer to the goal, the eventual goal, said a pleased Blankvoort on his win.
 
It was now down to Wilde Jr. and Woodman to see who would be joining Blankvoort and Americans Valentine and Paul Holtby in the final four. The Elimination Challenge was three holes of stroke play, the player with the highest accumulated score getting his walking papers.
 
After hitting their drives on the first hole, both players found the fringe with their approach shots. Wilde Jr. rolled up his putt to 3 feet while Woodman nearly sank his effort. Woodman tapped in for par and Wilde Jr. matched him as they strode to the second hole all tied up.
 
Big Break IV
Marty Wilde Jr. makes the lonely walk towards the clubhouse.
Next up was a long par-5 dubbed Hogans Alley in honor of the great Ben Hogan, who won the 1953 British Open here at Carnoustie.
 
Wilde Jr. striped his tee shot down the middle with Woodman putting his tee ball to the right of the fairway but still with a good look at the hole and a decent lie. Both approaches came up a little short of the green, although Wilde Jr. would have to maneuver his third shot up and over a greenside bunker.
 
Playing first, Guy put the pressure on Marty as his effort came to rest just inches from the hole for a tap in birdie. Wilde Jr. proceeded to hit his chip well right and past the pin, some 13 feet away. Needing to run home his putt to keep pace with Woodman, Wilde Jr. blew his birdie attempt 3 feet past the hole and then astonishingly missed the comebacker for par. Woodman now held a two stroke lead with just one hole remaining.
 
I was really, really devastated. I just thought well thats it, its all over ' two shots behind. Ive thrown it away, said a visibly upset Wilde Jr. on the sudden turn of events. I felt that I had just hit the ol self-destruct button again.
 
Woodman put the final nail in the coffin as he knocked one down the center of the fairway at the last hole forcing Wilde Jr. to pull out driver and try to make something happen. Something did happened, but it was yet another blow to Wilde Jr., who pulled his tee shot left and O.B.
 
He rebounded nicely however, and was able to make a birdie on his second ball, but it was a 5 on the scorecard and not enough to overtake Woodman, who also had a 5 on the final hole for a two-stroke win.
 
The final four was now set: Woodman, Blankvoort, Valentine and Holtby.
 
This whole trip has been a rollercoaster for me, and I have been up and down hugely. And it can work for you or against you. You can hit some inspirational shots and then you can hit some really bad shots, said the departing Wilde Jr. on his emotions throughout the show.
 
You cant do anything but really like Marty, he is such a good guy, a heart of gold, said Blankvoort about his now former teammate. And hes funny.

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.
 
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    The Social: G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T.

    By Jason CrookJanuary 23, 2018, 6:00 pm

    Tom Brady compares himself to Tiger Woods, who coincidentally is returning to the PGA Tour this week, Jordan Spieth hangs out with some decent company and kids these days ruffle some feathers with their friendships.

    All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

    Well, it’s finally Farmers Insurance Open week and Woods has been spotted practicing for his official return to the PGA Tour on Thursday.

    Some thought this day might never come after a 2017 filled with mostly downs for the 14-time major champ.

    But as he has taught the golf world time and time again, you just can't count Tiger out.

    So even as Jon Rahm attempts to overtake Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world this week at Torrey Pines, all eyes will be on one of the greatest we've ever seen do it, even if that guy is ranked No. 647 in the world.

    Speaking of greatness …

    There’s not many who can just offhandedly compare themselves to Tiger, but if anyone gets a pass, it’s Tom Brady.

    The 40-year-old New England Patriots quarterback led his team back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year despite playing the AFC title game with a cut on his throwing hand.

    When asked about it after the Patriots come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady answered, “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”

    So there you have it. A 40-year-old Brady is winning AFC Championships with his C game. Good luck, Eagles; you’re going to need it.

    Also, if for some reason you wanted an update on Justin Thomas' life, it's still awesome:

    Yeah, that's last year's PGA Tour Player of the Year hanging with Cy Young winner Cory Kluber in a suite at the Patriots game and teasing us with a possible #SB2K18 cameo.

    Curtis Strange likes his competitive golf straight up, hold the friendliness.

    This, according to Curtis Strange.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ took to Twitter during the CareerBuilder Challenge to vent his frustration regarding the constant chit-chat and friendliness between Rahm and Andrew Landry:

    This, of course, makes sense in theory. But good luck watching golf – or really any sport – from here on out. Sure there will be a few old school guys who buck the trend here and there, but for the most part, it’s really hard to share a private jet/dinners/vacations/(insert awesome thing here) with someone, and then completely turn off the friendship coming down the stretch of a big tournament.

    Damn millennials. They ruin everything.

    By now you've all seen that poor Philadelphia Eagles fan who lost his battle with a subway station pillar (from multiple angles), so instead here is a video of a man attempting to stand on an egg. Bet you can't guess how that goes.

    Tony's gonna stand on an egg

    A post shared by theCHIVE (@thechive) on

    Seriously if you haven't seen the video of that Eagles fan, here's your last chance in this column. You'll be glad you did.

    Jordan Spieth, Michael Phelps and Bryce Harper walk on to a golf course … there’s no punchline, that actually happened last week in Las Vegas.

    Was the whole thing just a big advertisement for Spieth’s new Under Armour shoe? You bet.

    But that doesn’t make the optics of three of the biggest superstar athletes on the planet teeing it up for a round any less awesome.

    Off to the next. #Spieth2 #TEAMUA

    A post shared by Under Armour Golf (@uagolf) on

    The trio has three major wins, five All Star Game appearances and 28 Olympic medals between them, and there they were over the weekend just fake laughing for the camera and driving around individual golf carts with their own personalized logos on them.

    Just guys being dudes. Nothing better than that.

    Matt Kuchar. Still good at golf. Still overly polite. This according to European Tour pro Eddie Pepperell who had the privilege of hitting on the range next to Kuuuuuch in Abu Dhabi last week.

    That image is burned into your brain forever now, thanks Eddie. From now on when you think of Kuchar you're going to think of those Sketches ads and "oopsies."

    Which, I suppose is better than a, "Did you get that?"

    Blayne Barber's caddie, Cory Gilmer, collapsed and hit his head while at a restaurant at the Sony Open and has been mostly unconscious in the neurological intensive care unit ever since.

    The outpouring of love and support from the golf community has been overwhelming on social media, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the mounting medical costs for Gilmer and his family.

    Check out the link below for more info or to donate to a worthy cause:

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    Top-ranked amateur wins LAAC, earns Masters invite

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 5:38 pm

    Joaquin Niemann walked Augusta National Golf Club as a patron last year. He’ll be a competitor in 2018.

    Niemann, the top-ranked amateur in the world, shot 8-under 63 Tuesday at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Santiago, Chile, to win the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    And with the title, both redemption and an invitation to the Masters Tournament.


    Full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


    Niemann finished runner-up in last year’s LAAC to fellow Chilean Toto Gana. He followed Gana around Augusta grounds, watching as his best friend played two rounds before missing the cut.

    Niemann, who was going to turn professional had he not won this week, started the final round one back of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz. Niemann was sluggish from the start on Tuesday, but then drove the 313-yard, par-4 eighth and made the eagle putt. That sparked a run of five birdies over his next six holes.

    Niemann was bogey-free in the final round and finished five shots clear of Ortiz, at 11 under.

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    Judges Panel, Host Announced for Wilson Golf's "Driver vs. Driver 2," Premiering This Fall on Golf Channel

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

    ‘Driver vs. Driver 2 Presented by Wilson Currently in Production; Sports Broadcaster Melanie Collins Returns to Host

    Morning Drive: Driver vs. Driver 2 Judges Announced

    Golf Channel and Wilson Golf announced today the panel of judges and host for the second season of Driver vs. Driver, the innovative television series that follows aspiring golf equipment designers as they compete for the opportunity to have their driver idea or concept transformed into the next great golf driver from Wilson. The show is currently in production and will premiere this fall.

    Joining judge Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, are two newcomers to the series: 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick – an avid golfer with a single digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie; and PGA Professional, golf coach, equipment reviewer and social media influencer Rick Shiels.

    “Golf is a big passion of mine, and personally I enjoy learning about new equipment and concepts,” said Roenick. “To be able to see this side of the business in how equipment is developed first-hand is fascinating. Being a part of the process in reviewing driver concepts and narrowing them down to an ultimate winning driver that will be sold across the country is a tremendous honor.” 

    “Jeremy, as an avid golfer, and Rick, as a coach, equipment reviewer and golf professional, bring incredible, real world insights and different perspectives to the show and this process,” said Clarke. “I’m excited to work alongside these two judges to push the boundaries of innovation and bring a next-generation driver to golfers around the world.”

    Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS Sports’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.

    Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the fall of 2017 and will continue through the summer, including this week at the PGA Merchandise Show. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-quality instruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons and a slate of award-winning films.

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    Tiger Tracker: Farmers Insurance Open

    By Tiger TrackerJanuary 23, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is competing in a full-field event for the first time in nearly a year. We're tracking him at this week's Farmers Insurance Open. (Note: Tweets read, in order, left to right)