Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL Episode 5 Breakdown

By Kelly Jacques, Sara BrownMarch 5, 2015, 3:23 pm

Big Break Ireland contestant Kelly Jacques breaks down Episode 5 of Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL, along with two-time Big Break contestant and host of School of Golf, Sara Brown. Don’t miss their expert commentary every week after each episode and make sure to tune in Mondays at 9PM ET.



Kelly: Sara, I love that we kicked off the show with a shot makers challenge! It makes it better that the players did not have a choice in which way they needed to work the ball! Once again…great job producers!


Sara: Totally agree Kelly... I loved that they had to just randomly punch out one of the squares... I got a kick out of seeing them have fun with it... Like when Clay pretended he was boxing it... We didn't have a draw fade wall on either one of my big breaks but it was pretty intimidating on tv I can only image what it was like standing right in front of you!!! 


Kelly: That was a great mulligan by Tommy, even though it didn’t pay off! I was happy to finally see him hit a good shot! And Chad came right back and knocked him out of immunity! I’m relieved to see that he is finally safe and won’t be playing in his 4th straight elimination challenge!


Sara: Tommy's mulligan may have been used wisely Kelley, but seriously what about Kyle...? I mean really you just said you don't like to curve the ball... He gets fade and pulls it way left then TAKES THE MULLIGAN... And almost does the same thing... Come on Kyle... Not smart there... I felt in this challenge, the guys struggled because each has their own shot shape they like... But they were not allowed to pick it was all by random with their punch... We heard a lot of players say they would rather hit a _______ and then pull the opposite... Like Justin who was smart and didn't use his mulligan because he wasn't comfortable with the fade... But some players seemed very comfortable and that was Clay and Chad who won immunity and were probably looking forward to the rest of the day off everyone had been getting who won previous immunity challenges... Especially Chad hahaha BUT... 


Kelly: Right Sara... BUT We had a Big Break first come out in the second immunity! The two players closest to the line behind Chad and Clay (Tommy and Brandon) had the choice to call on either Chad or Clay once in the 3 locations to hit an additional shot if necessary. What an awesome challenge! Sara, who would you chose to hit your shot for you if needed? 


Sara: I really liked this twist to the second immunity challenge... It allowed Brandon and Tommy (because they came in 3rd and 4th in the last challenge) to use back up (or the bull pen as they called it hahaha) with either Clay or Chad for one shot... And of course these guys would win a 1000 dollars if their shots was used and either Tommy or Brandon won immunity with their help... which was a pretty nice incentive to stay :) I knew Brandon was going to call on Clay... They are friends and when Tommy hit it long and called on Clay to  hit I think that was smart because Clay knew the distance and the shot... However I would have chosen Chad all day... He's just been playing awesome and as they call him he's corporal Clutch why wouldn't you call on him... 


Kelly: I was shocked with how poor Brandon’s shots were through the first two locations. He used Clay and he burned through his one and only mulligan. Come on Brandon….you have to step it up if you want to stick around! I think he listened to me! He finally hit a good shot at that third location but still found himself in the elimination challenge once Tommy picked him to battle it out.


Sara: Yea Tommy did pick Brandon for the elimination challenge and in a kind of awkward way I think... Tommy seemed very nervous to pick anyone and even said I don't know why I'm even picking you Brandon. But well as we all know there can only be one at the finish line holding the Big Break trophy... Sooo off to the Bear Trap they go... Come on boys give us a good show!!!


Kelly: Sara, I worked at PGA National for a year and I absolutely love this course. The course is definitely as hard as it looks…as it requires you to pull out almost every shot in the bag! I was excited to see how these boys would handle the infamous Bear Trap!

WHAT?! Tommy makes his bunker shot on the first hole for BIRDIE!! That was a huge start….and a two shot deficit through 1 hole is definitely not how you want to start off if you’re Brandon!


Sara: I literally cheered and clapped for Tommy as if I was there!!! Hahahaha that bunker shot was not easy either... green going away from you, hitting towards the water and Big Break elimination pressure WOW!!! Now whose clutch!!! 


Kelly: I was equally as surprised that he then went for the green in two…from the fairway bunker…over the water…with a 2 shot lead! You have more guts than me buddy! Sara, I know you have that aggressive shot in the bag…would you have done the same or layed up?


Sara: NO WAY!!! I do play more on the aggressive side BUT from that distance with what's on the line and a 2 shot lead I would have taken my medicine and laid it up... However Kelly it worked out for him SORT OF... I mean I know he hit it green side bunker but it was safely over the water and well he did just dunk the last bunker shot he had why not do it again... But that shot from Brandon WOW!!! Great recovery after making bogey on the opening elimination hole. He's definitely got game... They both do and you can see how much they want to be there!!!


Kelly: Yea absolutely, Brandon did exactly what professionals are conditioned to do…bounce back! He made his short birdie putt and gained a very crucial shot back. Unfortunately he gave it right back on the last hole. He pulled his pitching wedge pretty bad, leaving him an awkward pitch over the bunker…essentially leaving the match in Tommy’s hands.


Sara: I mean I wouldn't say he totally gave it back... I look at it this way... Tommy got up and down from that bunker on 16 which is just as impressive as chipping in on 15 and then he sticks his shot in the par 3 17th... Yea Brandon pulled his shot left but almost chipped it in... I mean he played his ball he just got beat by a guy who golfed their ball better... 2 under on the Bear Trap!!! Are you kidding me??? I bet there are PGA Tour guys that would give their right pinky toe to play the Bear Trap in 2 under... Brandon didn't play terrible... He just got beat by spectacular golf... And honestly that is a way, if any, to be exiting this show... Brandon never gave up... he's got game but Tommy just played better golf!


Kelly: Yes and we saw as Tommy drained his birdie to close out the match and send Brandon home. He played the Bear Trap 2 under! Tommy that was amazing! Tour pros would have paid you last week at The Honda to hit those shots for them! I’m so glad Tommy came out on top. I’m always a fan of people who don’t give up on their dream and continue to chase it until the passion is no longer there. You’re representing well Tommy, and I know a lot of people are watching you in admiration. 


Sara: I agree Tommy is a great player... Love seeing him chase the dream! He's definitely got game to do it! And Brandon was a long ball hitter who brought a lot of fun and energy to the show... You will be missed Brandon... Best of luck to you in all that you do!!! BUT we are now down to 7 remaining contestants aaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Hope you all are enjoying the show as much as we are!!! Stay tuned for our take on everything Big Break the Palm Beaches Florida... NEXT WEEK!!!


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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.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”