Story Behind the Story Remembering Mesquite

By James PontiDecember 18, 2007, 5:00 pm
Big Break: MesquiteCongratulations to Brian on winning Big Break: Mesquite. He will represent the guys well at Mayakoba. As a recap of the season, here are the moments that stick out the most to me for each player.
 
Roger was only on the show for one episode, but he still left some indelible memories. My favorite was in the Choose Your Distance challenge when little Roger picked the farthest spot. He didnt win the challenge, but he won a lot of hearts.
 
Matts early elimination was the biggest surprise for me. My favorite Matt moment was actually his last shot. Frustrated at how poorly hed been playing that day, he went to the final spot in the elimination challenge and buried a shot right by the pin. I thought it was enough to get him through, but he wound up losing by one stroke. Still, despite his disappointment, he handled the loss with total class.
 
Anthony had a pretty tempestuous time on the show. Nowhere was that more visible than on his final elimination when he knocked the ball into the water, sealing his fate. The key moment was the reaction: I thought that was perfect, followed by a club throw. Josh described it best when he said, He javelined it.
 
Mark was pretty quiet but the moment that stands out the most for me was how much fun he had playing roulette in the casino after he was eliminated.
 
Matt did a great job on the glass break, but the real key moment for him was he bombed the long putt to win the first hole of the team challenge. So much changed as a result of that single point.
 
James played great, but my favorite moment with him came after the team challenge when the two of us were walking to the interview room. He was fuming about the challenge and what had occurred. He was mad at A-Rod and kept saying, I wont say this on camera, but Eventually, I was able to get him to say some of it on camera.
 
Benoit was a surprise. Hes a pretty down to earth guy. The moment that stuck with me the most was during an interview when he offhandedly said, Snake collects guns. I asked him who Snake was, and he told me it was his girlfriend. That says a lot.
 
Kevin was probably the most well-liked among the other players. His play in the elimination challenges was all memorable, but the moment that sticks with me is when he told me about a time when he was fighting with this family and had been kicked out of the house. He almost teared up as he talked about his mother sneaking him some food.
 
Gerry was the mountain man. I will never forget the series of shots that took him to the top of the range. Then down off the cart path. And, finally, a near chip in for eagle. Unbelievable.
 
Hiroshi was the consummate professional throughout the taping. He was also lights out a great golfer. Two things stand out for me and both of them involve losing to Josh ' first in the singles match during the team competition and the other in the playoff of the semi-final. In both instances Hiroshi lost a stroke ' lost tee shot in the mountain on one and a ball in the water on the other. Despite that, he still managed par in both situations. Very impressive.
 
Josh was an underdog from the beginning. His play in the King of the Hill was great, but the thing that stands out the most for me was his play in the second episode. The show began with him hitting a ball so far off course that it struck the roof of a house. Still, at the end of that episode, his entire future was on the line and he nailed an incredible shot that kept him alive and knocked Matt Every off of the show. I didnt see it coming, but Im glad I got to see it.
 
Brian played consistently, but still flirted with elimination a few times. No more was that the case than when he was playing against Kevin and Gerry in the elimination. Despite errant shots, the other guys were making saves and pushed it to a playoff. At one point, Brian turned to Hiroshi and asked something along the lines of, How many times am I going to have to hit it down the middle of the fairway and still keep getting tied by these guys. He was frustrated, but he didnt let it get to him and hes got a car and a tournament exemption to show for it.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.