Dont Let Me Down

By Mark MitchellApril 4, 2007, 4:00 pm
The Big Break VII Like a funeral where mourners say nice things about the departed, Dave Gunas shook Kelly Murrays hand and other Big Break VII: Reunion contestants made the proper remarks when Murray joined Nikki DiSanto in making their exit from the series.
 
Maybe the kindness was out of relief that one of the more talented players was off the show. Maybe its the golfers code. But whatever the reason, they dont have Murray to worry about anymore after Gunas beat him in an Elimination Challenge.
 
Kindred spirits and teammates, Murray and DiSanto, who lost an Elimination Challenge to Pam Garrity, bonded in a realm that is rarely found in golf. Few teams warm up doing yoga or discuss Mother Nature while reading a putt. But hey, the golf ball doesnt know if players are flakes or philosophers. Murrays smooth move had competitors shaking their head in disbelief about both the shots jumping off his clubface and the words coming out of his mouth.
 
DiSanto, an aspiring actress, was merely along for the ride and soaked up what Murray was selling. A proponent of the Natural Golf method made famous by the late Moe Norman, Murray can carve, slice and hook shots that most players have not thought about hitting, much less having the ability to execute. Dag blame it, in the first episode he pulled his infamous driver off the deck to successfully shatter the glass a mere 20 yards away.
 
As talented as Murray is with a golf club, he seems to make bogey when dealing with people. In some cases, double bogey.
 
He is the most irritating, the most chauvinistic, self-centered-yoga-flipping dude I have ever met in my life, said Bri Vega, who teamed with Murray during The Big Break VI: Trump National. The statement was made in the confessional room, a place in which a contestant is alone and can say anything to a camera.
 
The verbal salvo came after a dispute in which Murray underestimated how far a female could hit the ball and refused to answer Vegas question on the subject. Later Murray and DiSanto mimicked Vega on the issue.
 
Ashley Gomes, a friend of Vega, also caught Murrays act in the previous Big Break and has a more politically correct take.
 
He is generally a nice person. Hes just different, said Gomes.
 
In what must have been a sweet victory for Vega, she and partner Tommy Gainey won the Immunity Challenge, sending Murray and DiSanto to the Elimination Challenge to face Gunas and partner Garrity respectively. Competitions in The Big Break VII are team events with the losing teams going to an Elimination Challenge. Once there, teams are split and males compete against males and female take on other females.
 
After losing to Gunas, Murray took the defeat in his normal philosophic manner.
 
I cant sing or dance, this is what I do. I am what I am and everyone is what they are, said the Reston, Va. resident. I just want to have fun along the way and smell the flowers and be a good guy.
 
Murray and DiSanto are the seventh and eighth contestants eliminated from the original field of 16. The Big Break concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in challenges that test physical skills and mental toughness. During The Big Break VII, competitors will be eliminated with the last one standing crowned the winner.
 
Each show features two to three challenges, the outcome of each influencing who stays and who goes home. Each challenge will demand precision shot-making designed to simulate conditions that players face every week on Tour.
 
The remaining eight contestants are still competing for the grand prize. If one of the eight male professionals is victorious, then he will either earn a spot in the field of the 2007 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour. Should one of the eight females claim the title, then she will be invited to compete in the 2007 Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika on the LPGA Tour.
 
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    Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

    John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

    The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

    That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

    He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

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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.