It felt good. It felt real good, said Ashley Prange on her being one show away from the final twosome. Confident. I felt very confident going into the day.
The pressure, you know, your going for an immunity, said Julie Wells. I was excited about it for sure.
Co-hosts Stephanie Sparks and Vince Cellini outlined the final two-part Immunity Challenge for the ladies: hitting tee shots for both distance and accuracy. Each player would hit four drives taking the total distance of each drive and subtracting how far it lands outside a narrow grid painted down the middle of the fairway. The two players with the higher average after the four drives would then move on to a putting challenge. The winner of that would lock down a spot in the final show.
Those chances were quickly dashed, however, as she blew her first drive way right of the target. Despite having three remaining shots, the damage was already done.
Bottom line is I made one of my worst swings of the competition at the extreme wrong time, summed up Wells.
Jeanne Cho and Prange followed and advanced to the second stage of the Immunity Challenge, easily outdistancing Wells, who now was one half of the Elimination Challenge.
In part two of the Immunity Challenge, Cho and Prange readied for a putting skills test that would determine which one would reach The Big Break V finals ' and also who would be joining Wells in the elimination round.
I thought it was a great challenge for Ashley and I to gain immunity in, because we are both pretty good putters and we can handle the pressure. I thought it would be interesting and it was going to be a tight match, said Cho about the match up.
Both players would hit four putts from four different spots on the green and the player with the lowest total strokes would advance.
The two players each had two-putted from the first three locations and moved the final spot with Cho hitting first. Her putt drifted toward the end but she was able to easily tap in for a 2. Prange, meanwhile, had got a good look at the line.
That was probably the putt that gave me the best read, recalled Prange. I got a very good read off her putt.
Putting from some 40 feet away, Pranges effort tracked all the way to the hole ' but stopped an inch short. It now became a sudden-death playoff for the final immunity!
Facing a 10-footer, they each would take turns until one of the two could hole the putt.
Cho fired first and watched in disappointment as her putt hit the back of the cup only to then spin out. Unfortunately for Prange she couldnt capitalize as they now moved to the second pair of putts. Again, neither player found the bottom of the cup. And so was the case after their third efforts. After a Cho miss on her fourth attempt, Prange finally seized the moment and rolled home the winner.
That was tough. I didnt want to go through that again, said Prange afterwards.
And so it was down to Cho and Wells to see who would be joining Prange in The Big Break V final match.
In the Elimination Challenge, Wells and Cho would play three holes using the modified Stableford scoring system ' 1 point for a par, 3 for birdie and 5 for an eagle. Conversely, 1 point would be deducted for a bogey and 3 pointes deducted for a double bogey or worse.
I think we both knew what was on the line, you know this was for the final or we go home. So it added a little more pressure than the other days, said Cho. I definitely upped my intensity a little bit, I wanted it so bad.
On the first hole, Wells caught an unfortunate break as her tee shot found a divot just off the fairway. Lacking enough spin on her approach her ball hit the putting surface but rolled through the green. Her subsequent chip traveled well past the pin and then she couldnt convert the par saving putt. Bogey and minus-1 points. Cho on the other hand found the fairway and stuck her approach within 5 feet of the cup. Her birdie effort lipped out and she settled for a par and 1 point.
At the second hole, both players hit poor approaches to the green, with Wells nearly whiffing her shot. But she rebounded nicely by hitting a sand wedge to 5 feet to save par. Cho answered with a fantastic shot of her own, her pitch shot checking up to within a foot of the cup. Wells again couldnt convert and settled for bogey and another minus-1. Cho tapped in her second par to gain a point. After two holes, Cho stood at plus-2 and Wells at minus-2, a four point margin heading into the last hole.
Each found the fairway off the tee on the par-5 third hole, but both players had to lay up with their second shot due to strong Hawaiian winds. Wells third shot was right on line but the wind held it up just a bit and it stopped 12 feet short of the hole. She would have to make it for birdie and hope for a disaster from Cho. That was not in the cards, however, as Cho hit the green with her approach and then took any drama out of the situation by ramming in her long birdie try to lock up the last spot in the finals against Prange.
Wells Hawaiian dream had now officially ended.
I wouldve wanted very badly to be in the last two. Mentally I wanted it so bad that my heart ached for it, said the departing Wells. These tears arent tears of sadness, Im just damn proud of myself because I cant believe I made it this far.
As for next weeks final pairing, both ladies seemed focused.
When its game time its business, said Prange. I expect a dog fight. We didnt come here to play games. We came here to win.
I really want to win this, it would mean the world to me, countered Cho. Its going to be a mental battle.
The Big Break V: Hawaii airs each Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET), while Big Break V: All Access airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET), as part of the networks Top Shelf Wednesday lineup of premium programming.