Upset Special in Big Break Mesquite

By Mark MitchellOctober 9, 2007, 4:00 pm
Big Break: MesquiteFormer University of Florida All-American Matt Everys elimination from Big Break: Mesquite didnt send tremors through the Gator Nation that recent consecutive football losses to Auburn University and Louisiana State University did, but it shocked Big Break fans never-the-less.
 
One of the initial favorites to win the series, Every entered Tuesdays episode tied for third in the point standings at 13, only six points behind leader Hiroshi Matsuo, but suffered a 10 point loss to plummet to a total of three points. After missing the cut, which was set at the top six spots, he was ousted from the series in a five-man Elimination Challenge.
 
Matsuo added nine points for a two-episode total of 28 points, one better than Anthony Rodriguez, who also had nine points for the day. Gerry James and Benoit Beisser each recorded 14 points to tally the most during the second show of the 12-week series.
 
Big Break: Mesquite has implemented a new scoring system to give the series a tournament feel. Each of the 12 shows will consist of challenges that allow the players to earn points that will be used to determine which players make or fail to make the cut. The cut line varies from episode to episode and is based on the players cumulative points for the series. The cut will be announced at the start of each show and will be applied directly after that episodes final Points Challenge. Players who make the cut advance directly to the next episode. Players who fail to make the cut will go to the Elimination Challenge. The competitor with the worst performance in a shows Elimination Challenge will be eliminated from Big Break: Mesquite.
 
I just wanted to go (all) out and work my way up the leaderboard, Every said of his strategy after the first episode. If I had to go to an Elimination Challenge, so be it. I cant play this game scared.
 
Execution, not fear, was the issue for Every. After joining Mark Farrell, Kevin Taylor, Matt Vick and Josh Warthen in the Elimination Challenge, he failed to hit the shots he - and others - expected.
 
When he got eliminated, I was just stunned, Matsuo said in a GolfChannel.com blog. It just shows you anything can happen in golf under this kind of format.
 
In typical Every bravado, in his mind he was THE player to beat in the series. He envisioned being the best player in Big Break history and then playing in the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic on the PGA TOUR after winning Big Break: Mesquite.
 
Some people would consider such an attitude cocky. And it is. However, it isnt bragging if its a fact, and the undisputable truth is that Every enjoyed a stellar collegiate career. After foregoing a scholarship to the University of North Florida, the Daytona Beach, Fla., native decided to walk-on at the University of Florida. It turned out to be a brilliant decision. He played as a sixth man during his freshman year, but fell into a spot when a player above him got a chronic case of the shanks.
 
Over the next three years, he was named a two-time Ping All-American and was a one-time honorable mention, won four tournaments, and recorded nine top-10 finishes in 12 stroke-play events, including five in a row his junior year. Every topped off his career by winning the 2006 Ben Hogan Award for the nations top collegiate golfer. In addition, he made it to the match play of the Pub-Links, was on the winning Walker and Palmer Cup teams and was the low amateur at the U.S. Open, finishing tied for 28th.
 
You are going to see this kid in the top 30 on TOUR one day, predicts fellow contestant Gerry James. He is loaded with talent.
 
Impressive stuff, but a strong resume will get you only so far in Big Break: Mesquite. And like his beloved Gators, Every can only ponder the possibilities of an opportunity that slipped away.
 
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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.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."