Elena Robles Player Blog

By Elena RoblesJune 22, 2010, 12:38 am

Hey everyone,

This is Elena Robles, and I first off wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog and get a little insight on what I was going through during my time on the show. I am so excited to let everyone in on my trip and experiences while on the Big Break Sandals Resorts show.

Landing on Exuma Island in the Bahamas was so amazing; I could barely hold in my excitement.  The idea of not knowing who I am going to meet and what I am going to experience was enough to drive me crazy. I had so many thoughts, ideas and questions leading up to the show that when I was finally there, it was almost surreal. I was filled with this overwhelming feeling of happiness and gratitude that God had blessed me with this wonderful opportunity. Leading up to the first show, I had no idea what I was in for. I was so excited for the events to come that my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I was nervous and excited at the same time. 

Going in to the first challenge, I was confident and ready to get this competition underway. As the girls started to hit their first shots, I was just trying to calm my nerves down enough to be able to hit my shot. Sara Brown had hit the best shot leading up to my turn, close to the hole, and I knew that I had to get it inside of her ball in order to have a chance at immunity. My goal was to stay relaxed and into my process and try not to focus on the results. I went up there with a ton of confidence telling myself that I have hit this shot millions of times in the past and this was just another golf shot. I felt very comfortable and went thru my routine and hit a shot that felt great.

As I looked up and at my target, I saw the ball stop by the hole and just inside Sara’s ball. I had won the first immunity, but I wasn’t scot-free yet. They threw a twist at us; I had to pick one person to go against in order to hit one shot to take the immunity. I wasn’t given any time really to think about my choice, and at that point, I didn’t really have a chance to get to know all the girls, so I just went with Kelly since she was on the right-hand side of the bench. Looking back, had I been given some time to think about it, I would have picked Sara since she hit the second best shot and allowed her a second chance to win it.

Kelly went from safe city bench and literally hit the fastest shot I have ever seen and stuck it to within 10 feet. After seeing that shot next to the hole, I knew my work was far from over. I stepped up there and hit my shot. It felt even better then the first shot I had hit, and my eyes were like lasers at the pin. My ball stopped very close to the pin, but unfortunately I had spun the ball back to 13 feet and lost the immunity to Kelly. Just when I thought it was over, they threw another twist at us: the infamous ‘Save/Send’ card. I was very excited to see that, because in my mind, I was thinking Kelly would save me for giving her another shot at immunity. But instead, she picked Sara, and I had to go to the next challenge.

This challenge was even more intense for me, because I had performed so well in the first challenge that I wanted, almost expected, to perform to that bar or even higher. I stepped up to the second challenge and had a 30-yard chip shot up the hill with a good left-to-right wind. I decided to hit my 56-degree wedge. I was very comfortable with that club, and I knew I had a chance to get in close with my club selection. I stepped up to the shot, and I was so nervous that I couldn’t get my club to stop shaking. Instead of backing away and going through my routine again, I hit the shot, and on my downswing, I tightened my grip and hit it way too solid through the wind to just inside 16 feet. Obviously, I knew I had to get it closer, so I opted to hit another ball, knowing that I had to keep this shot and throw away the last one.

Never in a million years did I think that I would do the same thing again, but I did. I ended up hitting the second one further away from the hole then the first, and after that, I knew I was going into the elimination challenge, because I had no doubt that the other girls would hit it inside of me.

At that point, when I was walking up to safe city and saw my name on the bottom, I was just trying to mentally calm myself down and prepare myself for the elimination challenge. I definitely was feeling some sadness and frustration that I couldn’t pull off such an easy shot after rocking the first challenge. My goal at that point was to go into elimination and win.

Leading into the elimination challenge, I was feeling a bunch of emotions: anxiety, excitement, hopefulness, confidence and readiness to compete. I had a great mindset going into the challenge, because I knew that I was going to give in my all and that the person I was going up against was going to have to play perfect golf to beat me. As I stepped up to the tee to hit my three shots in the first part of a three part elimination challenge, I was very confident. I am very consistent off the tee and knew that this part would be easy for me. I split the fairway with all three balls and had tons of confidence going into the second part of the challenge. Maiya hit her first three balls all with sweeping draws, and from the tee, we had no idea if her balls were in play or not. As we stepped up to the fairway, we saw that she had just made it in-bounds, so she was safe, and we were tied at 3-3. Going into the second shot, all we had to do was hit three balls on the green for a point each. 

I stepped up with confidence and knocked my first shot close to the pin. I was very excited to hit the next two shots, because I was very comfortable with the distance they had chosen. I set up to my next shot and hit another solid shot on the green. All I wanted to do was knock the last shot on the green and move onto the putting green where I knew I would shine. I had solid contact with my last shot, and right after I made contact with the ball, a gust of wind came up and pushed my little draw shot short, off the green and to the left. I knew that I had done everything I could to be successful and that I couldn’t control anything except for my process and how I react to my shots. So after Maiya hit all three of her balls on the green, I knew I had to make up some ground. 

I was very excited to go to the green and roll some putts in with my flat stick. We went onto the green, and Maiya had honors since she had one more point then me. She rolled her putt in, and I set up to my putt with a ton of confidence. I rolled a solid putt but played way too much break for the slow greens that we were playing on, so I missed my putt on the high side. Maiya set up and rolled in her second putt. At that point, I was so into my process that I walked up all ready to roll another putt, and then I was notified that I couldn’t make up the points even if I made the next two putts. WOW!

I couldn’t even talk I was so numb and dumbfounded at what had just happened. I had gone from the penthouse to the outhouse in one show. Never in a million years did I envision myself going home on the first show. I didn’t want to show my emotions, but I knew that I couldn’t control what had happened and that it just wasn’t part of God’s plan for me. I had so much hope and confidence for the show that I just couldn’t believe that I was going home so fast. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to take full advantage of this opportunity and that the dream of mine to compete on the LPGA or even in some LPGA events had slipped through my fingers so fast. I prayed to God to give me the strength to stay strong and confident in myself, but after the day I just had, it was very hard to do. I wasn’t mad at Maiya for winning, because in my eyes, she deserved to stay. She had outplayed me, but I was very disappointed. 

I left the show with mixed emotions and just tried to focus on the fact that I was so blessed to even be there in the first place. Through the Grace of God, I had been given the chance to compete on the show when there are millions of golfers that would die to be in my position. I am so thankful and grateful to the Golf Channel for choosing me and treating me with the upmost respect. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity, and I will never forget this wonderful experience. I look forward to a bright future ahead of me. This is just a small step in the big picture, and I will take what I have learned about myself on and off the golf course and relate it to my everyday life from here on out. I want to thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and see what I was going through during my time on the show. Thank you all and GOD BLESS!

Ciao,

Elena xoxoxo

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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”