Battle of the Sexes

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
The Big Break VIEditor's note: Airing each Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. ET through Dec. 12, The Big Break VI concept pits nine men and nine women competing against each other in a variety of challenges that test their skills and mental toughness for the right to compete in two Champions Tour and two LPGA Tour events, respectively. One female and one male will be eliminated from the series each week, with the two standing being crowned Big Break VI: Trump National winners.
 

The much hyped and long awaited battle of the sexes on The Big Break VI: Trump National occurred in the fifth episode and the only thing lacking was Dr. Phil. In a five-hole match play competition, the females dealt a blow to male pride as they defeated the men 4 ' 2.
 
Big Break 6
Laura London celebrates after draining a long putt in the Immunity Challenge.
With 10 contestants remaining on the series, the field was divided into five women competing against five men at Trump National Golf Course, Los Angeles, with the losing team sent to an Elimination Challenge. The first four holes of match play were worth one point each with two points at stake in the final match.
 
That was the plan until Donald Trump stepped in and once again changed the direction of the series. In a surprise move, he announced that the losing male team would be joined in an Elimination Challenge by one of the four men who had previously been booted off the show. That individual would be decided by a challenge competition on next weeks show that will air on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
 
Due to Trumps intervention, no contestant was eliminated in episode five but the victorious females can sit and watch the festivities with immunity in hand.
 
The shows concept pits nine men and nine women competing against each other in a variety of challenges that test their skills and mental toughness for the right to compete in two Champions Tour and two LPGA Tour events, respectively. One female and one male will be eliminated from the series each week, with the two standing being crowned Big Break VI: Trump National winners.
 
In the first match, Denny Helper (Warsaw, Ind.) made bogey to halve the par-4 fifth hole with Bri Vega (North Andover, Mass.). Vega hit the green in regulation but suffered a three-putt to allow Hepler to escape after his approach fell short of the green and he failed to get up and down.
 
The ladies took the lead on No. 6 when Laura London (Scottsdale, Ariz.) made a 25-foot par putt for the win over Jeff Mitchell (Llano, Texas).
 
One of the strangest matches of the day was Kelly Murray (Reston, Va.) and Ashley Gomes (Pleasanton, Calif.). On the par-5 seventh hole, Murrays tee shot found the hazard and, after a drop, could only hack back in the fairway. Gomes clearly had the advantage with her tee ball in the fairway until a tactical decision backfired when she went for the green in two. A pushed hybrid and suspect bunker shot led a bogey and halve after Murray made his 10-foot bogey putt.
 
She should have just hit an 8-iron, a 60 degree wedge and two putted, Hepler observed. All she needed was a five because Kelly wasnt going to make any better than six.
 
The mens momentum was short lived as Rachel Bailey (Faulconbridge, Australia) won the par-3 seventh hole with a par to cushion the female lead and made Gary Ostrega (Westfield, N.J.) eat his words. Prior to the matches Ostrega commented that, if it came down to us against them then it wouldnt be close.
 
He was right, it wasnt close. Unfortunately for the men, though, it was Bailey walking away with an easy win.
 
With the final match worth two points, the par-4 ninth hole was a must win situation for the men. Leading by two points, a halve would give the ladies a victory and immunity to the next show. After both Albert Crews (Homer, La.) and Bridgett Dwyer (Kailua, Hawaii) found the fairway, Crews pushed his approach shot that came rest on the cart path right of the green. His recovery shot found the putting surface but he was unable to convert the par putt.
 
Feeling less pressure, Dwyer made a conservative bogey by playing short of the green, chipping and two putting from 10 feet to halve the hole and win the competition for the females.
 
The men bogeyed all five holes leading Trump to state the obvious when he said, they really beat you guys.
 
Yes they did. And, next week, one of the men will have to pay the price for losing.
 
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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.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.