Upon entering their suites, the ladies discovered that they had been lavishly bestowed golf gifts that ran the gamut ' shoes, equipment, apparel, training aids, ball, hats, you name it.
It was Christmas ' better than Christmas, recalled Kim Lewellen.
The following morning co-hosts Stephanie Sparks and Vince Cellini met with the 10 ladies on the 16th hole to brief them on the days format and the rules for the Immunity Challenge.
Paired into two groups of five, a player from the first grouping had to choose a player from the other group to meet in a one hole, match play situation. The player who won the hole outright would win immunity, but if both players tied on the hole each would be forced into the Elimination Challenge. They drew numbers to decide the picking order
Jeanne Cho of Orlando picked first and chose Nikki DiSanto.
Jeannes pick was quite obvious. I think everybody knew that one was coming, said Ashley Prange due in part to DiSanto being the least experienced golfer of the bunch.
Shes going to pick me and I knew it, I just knew it. And I was fine, I felt very comfortable with that, responded DiSanto. I was like OK, bring it on sister.
After the rest of the pairings had been decided, Cho and DiSanto got things under way at the 16th hole, a par-4 with water guarding the front of the green.
In what proved to be wise decision on Chos part, the pressure got to DiSanto as she pushed her tee shot well right into the trees and had to go back to the tee box to hit what was now her third shot. Her second tee shot also went right but held up in the rough leaving her 190-yards to the green. Meanwhile, Cho had found the fairway and followed with an approach shot that just trickled off the back right side of the green. DiSantos 6-iron fell short of the green and then watched as her chip raced 7 feet past the hole. After Cho knocked her birdie effort to within a couple feet of the hole, DiSanto conceded the hole and became the first contestant headed toward the Elimination Challenge.
In the second match, Katie Ruhe found the fairway off the tee. Her opponent, Lewellen, landed in the right rough although she was left with a decent lie for her approach. Nerves then caught up with Lewellen, however, as she nearly missed her second shot and watched in horror as the ball advanced only 15 yards further up into the rough. Her third shot hit the green but rolled off the back and came precariously close to going in the water. Ruhe, standing in the fairway, calmly hit her shot to within 20 feet of the hole. After Lewellen came up shy with her pitch effort, Ruhe rolled her putt up just inches from the hole and the match was conceded.
Next up was the match between former U.S. Womens Amateur champ Becky Lucidi and Aussie Dana Lacey.
I definitely respect Becky from every aspect. I mean, we both finished fairly high on the Futures Tour rankings together, so we both know we can play, said Lacey on the prospects of her match up.
The match did not disappoint either, as each player found themselves just off the green after their second shots to set up what mounted to and up-and-down contest between the two. Lucidi hit first and knocked her delicate chip up and over a mound and saw the ball come to rest two feet away from the cup. Lacey then fired at the flagstick and watched as it hit the pin and dropped straight down into the cup for a birdie and the win.
It was awesome. And she told me, I was going for that chip, said a good-spirited Lucidi on one of the most clutch shots in Big Break history. Its not a bad way to lose.
When Kristina hit her putt and it came up a little short, it definitely put less pressure on myself, said Delasin afterward.
With the pressure off, Delasin ran home her 25-footer for birdie and was the fourth straight contestant to win an exemption.
In the final match of the day, pitting Ashley Prange against Julie Wells, both ladies bombed their tee shots down the pipe.
Ashley has an intimidation card, definitely, said Wells about her opponent. But those kind of people dont scare me at all.
Wells was up first from the fairway and hit a juiced 6-iron to the front of the putting surface only to watch it roll through the green and nestled in the rough just off the back. Prange, sensing her own adrenaline pumping and factoring in the wind, chose less club from her approach from 130-yards out. It didnt pay off though as she came up well short of the pin, about 45 feet away. Though her opponent was off the green, Prange was still away and left her putt dreadfully short of the cup.
I was actually very, very nervous, said Prange about the situation. Probably more nervous than Ive been in a long time.
No matter though, as Wells looked to close the deal with yet another improbable chip in. And sure enough, Wells effort crashed into the flagstick for a birdie to send Prange into the elimination pool.
When it came off it was right on line and I was thinking, if it doesnt check its got a chance, said a deservedly happy Wells. Thats the game of golf for you ' unbelievable, unbelievable.
So with five players safe from elimination, the next episode of The Big Break V will pit the other five contestants against one another to see who will be forced to leave the Islands of Hawaii.
Youve got the five who are safe and then you got the five who are sorting sizing each other up wondering what were going to have to do next, said Lewellen on the prospects of the next shows Elimination Challenge.
The Big Break V: Hawaii airs each Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET), while Big Break V: All Access airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET), as part of the networks Top Shelf Wednesday lineup of premium programming.