Big Break Final Four

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2006, 5:00 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.
 
And then there were four. In what amounted to a semi-final match, Rachel Bailey (Faulconbridge, Australia) and Gary Ostrega (Westfield, N.J.) were eliminated from The Big Break VI: Trump National in the ninth episode on Tuesday night.
 
After failing to earn immunity in the first challenge of the 60 minute program, Bailey was forced to play Bri Vega (North Andover, Mass.) in a two-hole stroke play competition while Ostrega faced Denny Hepler (Warsaw, Ind.) in the same format. The match was contested on the par-4 10th and the par-5 12th holes at Trump National Golf Course, Los Angeles.
 
Vega said on the opening tee shot she didnt feel nervous and merely wanted to play well. She did. The 24-year-old North Carolina State product made birdie on No. 10 to take a one-shot advantage over Bailey.
 
The lead would have been a bigger had it not been for some heroics by the Australian. After hitting her tee shot into a hazard bordering the right side of the fairway, she found the green with her third shot and then made a 30-foot putt for an improbable par.
 
After both players hit the fairway on No. 12, Vega all but assured herself a spot in the Championship Match by sticking her second shot to 3 feet. Bailey made birdie, but was sent packing as Vega made her short putt.
 
As I said from the beginning of the show, all I wanted to do was hit good shots, said Bailey.
 
And she accomplished her goal- Vega just hit better ones.
 
This experience is unlike anything I have been though, Bailey said after being eliminated. The pressure here is unreal. Im hoping this prepares me the U.S. Open.
 
It was Major tournament length rough - and an aggressive nature - that was Ostregas undoing. Hitting driver on the short 10th hole, he found deep rough fronting a bunker 45 yards short of the green. From a buried lie in the grass, he was only able to hack the ball over the green and then failed to get up-and-down to suffer an eventual bogey.
 
A birdie for Hepler gave him a two-stroke advantage with one hole remaining.
 
All I had to do was keep my wits about me and get the ball on the green and go on to the next show, Helper explained.
 
Playing an iron off the tee, the 51-year-old made another birdie while Ostrega made par.
 
I didnt give any pressure and he responded, is the way Ostrega summed up the outcome. I had some opportunities that I should have taken advantage of. On paper, if it were four rounds of medal play then I would be there.
 
But the competition is played on the golf course Big Break style and Ostrega, like Bailey, can now only watch the series unfold.
 
For their efforts, Vega advances to play Bridget Dwyer (Kailua, Hawaii) and Hepler will face Jeff Mitchell (Llano, Texas) to determine The Big Break VI winners.
 
The four remaining contestants are vying for the coveted tournament exemptions and other prizes. The female champion will receive an exemption into the 2007 SBS Open at Turtle Bay and the 2007 Longs Drugs Challenge, as well as waived entry fees for the 2007 Duramed FUTURES Tour season. The winning male contestant will receive exemptions into the 2007 Turtle Bay Championship and the 2007 Bank of America Championship, as well as waived entry fees in six events on the 2007 Heartland Players Senior Tour.
 
And finally, as a surprise to the contestants, the male and female champions will be joined by the eliminated contestants to compete for a chance to get into Trumps wallet! The ultimate winner of the match also will become the owner of an all new 2007 Chrysler Aspen - Chryslers first full-sized SUV.
 
Related Link:
  • The Big Break VI Home
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.