With the show now reduced to just four players, the group was informed that they would be heading to the beach for this weeks skills challenge. Except this challenge was anything but a day at the beach.
In the challenge each contestant had to hit a greenside bunker shot with the player whose shot lands furthest away being removed from the rest of the skills challenge. From there, the remaining three would attempt a 50-yard bunker shot with the same consequences, until the final two got a crack at a 150-yard bunker shot. The last man standing would receive an exemption from the elimination round and the added luxury of staying in Sin City for at least one more night.
The elder statesman of the group, John Turk, was out first, getting beaten by a mere inch on the opening shot. Next, Kip Henley was ousted after his kinda awful 50-yard sand shot came to rest some 36 feet away from the pin.
Thats probably the toughest shot in golf, said Don Donatello about the 50-yard shot.
That left just Donatello and Bart Lower to battle it out for immunity from the elimination challenge and also a little something extra that co-host Rick Smith had thrown in. The player coming closest to the flag not only would win the skills challenge but also have a chance to sink the ensuing putt for a two-year lease on a brand new Ford 500.
Lowers shot finished 26 feet from the pin, leaving Donatello a sizable opening for the win.
When Bart hit it like 25 feet from the hole I thought I could still beat him, recalled Donatello on his chances. It was right at the flagstick but short. I mean I hit it perfect. I thought it was going to go in!
But well short it was, leaving Lower a chance to come away with the car. His putt, however, drifted left and never really scared the hole.
Another afternoon off just kickin back and watching the boys sweat it out, said Lower on his invaluable exemption. Just one more. Give me just one more (exemption) and Ill be good to go and that will get me into the finals.
The Top-Flite mulligan challenge had the remaining threesome try to make the best poker hand by hitting at giant targets 30-yards away that looked like a ten, jack, queen, king or ace from a deck of cards. The person with the best hand after seven shots won the mulligan.
Showing a strong short game, Turk dealt himself quite the hand, coming through with five jacks. Ultimately though it was Henley who came up aces in the challenge, as he too collected five of a kind, only his five aces trumped Turks five jacks.
It was finally on to the stress-filled elimination round where one unlucky contestant was destined to be forced off of the show.
The format was simple in that it was pure golf. All three would play a regulation golf hole and the player with the low score would be safe from elimination.
On the first hole, both Donatello and Henley faced short birdie putts that would spell doom for Turk. Donatello, however, was the only one to capitalize on the situation, rolling in his putt to join Lower on the sidelines to watch as Turk and Henley began a mano-a-mano duel.
I hit just a great putt. I clinched my fist in excitement because I want people to know that this means a lot to me, said Donatello about his reaction to his all-important putt.
After each made pars on the second hole of the elimination round, Turk pulled out driver and pushed his tee shot well right, landing in an adjacent fairway. Seeing his opponent in trouble, Henley wisely hit an iron off the tee and left himself with a manageable approach shot.
Turk proceeded to fly his approach over the green, and then chipped on leaving himself a tricky, breaking putt to try and stave off elimination. With Henley in with a par, Turk left his first putt well short and was unable to knock in the par putt, thus sending himself off the show and out of Las Vegas.
I said, You know what? Youve had a good run but its done. That was it, bye-bye, said Turk on his last hurrah. I wish them all the best, everybody that participated. Ive enjoyed the friendships that Ive made and Ive made some friendships for the long term.
Be sure to watch The Golf Channel every Tuesday at 9:00PM (ET), as the race for the four Nationwide Tour exemptions comes down to the final three contestants on The Big Break 2.