Big Break Vs Prange Enjoys Payoff

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 17, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Safeway ClassicThe payoff is here for Ashley Prange. The Golf Channels Big Break V winner will play in the LPGA Safeway Classic (TGC Fri. at 10 p.m. ET) at Portland, Ore., this weekend, and thus far she has handled it quite nicely, if not exactly calmly.
 
Actually, my nerves have been doing really well this week until this morning, she said with a silent laugh Thursday. Teeing off in the Pro Am, it took me about three holes today to settle down. So I'm hoping that that kind of gave me a little bit of a forefront of what it's going to be like tomorrow. I'm sure that my nerves are going to be absolutely just kicking. I'm going to learn to embrace them and just go at it.
 
Ashley Prange
Big Break 5: Hawaii winner Ashley Prange makes her LPGA debut Friday at the Safeway Classic.
My goals this week are just to soak it up, take it in, just truly enjoy it, and then also play my game. Because I've been playing well this year, and if I can just get in a rhythm, I'll be just fine. So I'm really looking forward to it.
 
The 24-year-old from Noblesville, Ind., plays on the Duramed Futures Tour, and she is fourth in the money standings with only three weeks remaining on the schedule. The top five get their LPGA cards for the 2007 season, so Prange is taking a chance on losing out by availing herself of this opportunity. But she says the Big Break V was such an enjoyable occasion that she wouldnt dream of not playing in this event, the big payoff for the Big Break V winner.
 
You know, the entire opportunity has been just an absolute whirlwind, and an opportunity of a lifetime, she said. It happened so long ago, so I have to kind of take myself back to it. It was two weeks, very, very, intense competition, not much sleep, and some pretty good golf.
 
But the experience has been great for me, just mostly to see what I can take away from it has been'I really learned where my weaknesses were in my game under pressure. Because it's a different type of pressure than what it is in a normal round of golf. You have one shot that could determine your life on the show, whereas when you play 18 holes, you may have'you can recover from four shots.
 
So that experience has been phenomenal, and then working with the TV crews and cameras and things of that nature have made my nerves a lot thicker and stronger. So now it's great for me. Cameras don't bother me, and seeing a lot of people doesn't bother me. So that's been very beneficial.
 
It all started for Prange in June of 2005, when Golf Channel cameras invaded the driving range at a Futures Tour event in Decatur, Ill., and solicited applications. I did my audition - several of us did, she said. I think of the 11 of us on the show, I think six of us auditioned there that day.
 
I basically heard nothing back for three months. Just kind of nothing, and then I got my first call back the second week of September, found out I was a semi-finalist. Then on my last practice round at Q-School in Palm Springs, I got the call that I was in, and I was on a plane (to Hawaii) three weeks later.
 
Prange won the competition, downing Jeanne Cho, 5-and-4, in the final the last day. The victory has brought about a reaction from the public that totally surprised Prange.
 
I never imagined that I would be as recognized as what I have been. I've been getting recognized all over the place, away from golf courses in addition to golf courses. It has brought me notoriety and some sponsorships, she said.
 
Prange was always comfortable with the format of The Big Break experience ' a reality television show.
 
I thought it would be fun, she said. Why not? Absolutely, why not?
 
It's an experience that not too many people can say they've been able to do. I had a lot of fun with it. I was true to who I was. I think that's the key to being about it is, I've learned a lot about myself on TV and the way I'm perceived, and that's been interesting. But I've enjoyed the entire process, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
 
And the experience actually has been a big plus to Pranges golf career.
 
The intensity with that I think is going to be the biggest thing that I will pull away from golf, Prange said. You had to learn how to calm your nerves very quickly. Because when you see us hit a shot, it is still very much a TV production. There's time and there's gap in between shots, in between people who are hitting. You may have warmed up an hour before you actually got to hit your first shot.
 
So you have to learn how to perform on cue - which I think is key to playing great golf coming down the stretch, especially in important events. So that's been extremely beneficial to me this year.
 
Being The Big Break V winner has been a huge boost to Prange. In addition to winning the show, she believes it has been beneficial to her golf game.

I think it has aided the process ' No. 1, financially. It has just taken that burden completely off, which I'd be lying to say that it probably didn't have an effect, because it probably did.
 
But it's a secondary effect that I just don't even think about anymore. So it's nice. But I think the entire show and learning how to be around cameras and the media and everything, that's been extremely beneficial for me as well.
 
One of the by-products of winning is that her travel expenses this year on the Duramed Futures Tour are covered by The Golf Channel. And the Duramed corporation this week has given Prange a golf bag and clothes.

The largesse has been a big relief to Prange, who has had a huge weight lifted off her shoulders in having one less thing ' expenses ' to worry about.
 
We're very similar to minor league baseball, she explained. We have long hours of travel, we don't get paid nearly as well. But it's a stepping stone. It's a process that you need to go to get to the next level, and I'm a firm believer in it.
 
I think the Futures Tour is great for building the game and building the maturity to play well in the LPGA. I think it's a direct replication of how many Futures Tour alumni are on the LPGA today.

The Golf Channel will televise the Safeway Classic starting at 10 p.m. ET Friday.
 
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.