Big Shot Big Disappointment


The Big Break IIIEditors note: The Golf Channels Big Break III ' Ladies Only is the third installment of this hit television series. As the title suggests however, this season is just for the ladies. The 10 contestants will be vying for entry into select LPGA tournaments, including the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill.
With the first player already eliminated from the show, the following morning was a bit of a wake up call, both literally and figuratively.
It all kind of sunk in, said Debbie Dahmer, about the absence of Tasha Browner at the breakfast table. Every morning there is going to be one less chair here.
In the days first event, the Mulligan Challenge, co-hosts Vince Cellini and Stephanie Sparks had the ladies split up into three teams of three. With scoring circles painted around the pin, each team spun a wheel to determine which of five different short game shots ' greenside bunker, pitch shot, under a tree, long bunker shot or downhill lie - they would have to attempt.
The team that won the challenge would all receive a mulligan in the upcoming Skills Challenge.
The team of Valeria Ochoa, Liz Uthoff and Felicia Brown went first had to hit from a downhill lie over a bunker from about 15 yards off the green. With each player attempting two shots, Team 1 tallied a total of 10 points.
Next up was the team of Jan Dowling, Sarah Sasse, and Pam Crikelair who faced a greenside bunker shot. As a team, they amassed 12 points and then had to watch to see if the score would hold up.
Next up was the team of Cindy Miller, Debbie Dahmer and Danielle Amiee. Down to their last shot and behind by just a single point, Millers pitch shot finished up in the middle target area, good enough for two points and the victory.
These mulligans are huge and I just lost two mulligans for my teammates, said Sasse about coming up empty in her two efforts. I felt so bad.
Next, it was on to the Skills Challenge where the winner would be exempt from the shows second Elimination Challenge.
The contestants were asked to hit three tee shots in an effort to reach a landing area that measured 30 yards by 30 yards down the fairway. The player then had the opportunity to hit however many balls that came to rest in the landing area ' whether that be one, two, or three ' to the green.
Ultimately, the player closest to the pin would be granted immunity from the Elimination Challenge.
After all nine contestants attempted their drives, two of the players - Crikelair and Sasse - were able to hit the grid on all three shots, while three of the players hit it twice and four players only found the landing area once.
My confidence is a little lower than it should be, said Crikelair on her overall lack of experience. So to put three in (the landing area), that really felt good.
It was at this time, however, that Crikelair was about to turn the tables on the shows producers and supply a little twist of her own. Not to mention give herself a huge shot of the self confidence she thought she was lacking.
Using a short iron from the fairway, Crikelair ' the first player to hit her approach shots ' left her opening attempt well short and then sent her second flying over the pin. She was down to her final approach shot.
I said OK, It would be such a shame if you put three great tee shots in the grid and didnt even put pressure on the next person, said Crikelair on her final approach.
As her last shot sailed through the air toward the green, several of the players later recalled that they thought the ball would come up short and indeed it did ' by about a foot, before releasing and spinning right and into the cup.
That was her first ever eagle, marveled Dahmer, on what is being hailed as the best shot in Big Break history. To do it when the cameras are rolling, no one will ever be able to take that away from her.
It was great to hit the shot of my short career with the girls there watching, said an excited Crikelair. It made a statement to some of the women. Even though Im new, I can still compete and give you a run for your money.
With Crikelairs ball resting in the hole, the rest of the ladies tried to achieve another miracle shot, but predictably no one could duplicate the shot giving Crikelair the well-deserved immunity.
It was now down to the Elimination Challenge where the contestants would each be asked to hit an approach shot from 170-yards out. The two closest to the pin would be safe from elimination while the final six would move on to hit a shot from the fairway rough. The two closest from there also would move on to the next show. The last four would then proceed to hit a long bunker shot, the one furthest from the hole becoming the shows second causality.
Dahmers pressurized approach nestled up to within 6 feet of the hole, good enough to advance to the next show with Sasse, whose effort also found close range.
From the 110-yards out from the right rough, both Uthoff and Aimee struck fine wedge shots as they too were able to stave off elimination. It was now down to the final four to see who was going home.
From the fairway bunker, Brown started things off by hitting her shot thin from the sand and watched as it flew the green and into a bunker ' 56 feet from the hole. Dowling then stepped up and smoothed her attempt to within 15 feet of the cup, thus moving on to the next day. Ochoa, hitting third, caught a little too much sand and found her effort well short of the green, then waited nervously for the measurement ' 46 feet.
Cindy Miller was last and now stood in the sand holding both her and Browns fate in her hands.
Im glad I was last, but then I thought that I had all the pressure on me again, said Miller. But thats a good thing. In needed to be a big girl, suck it up and hit a golf shot.
Miller shot was true, landing on the front of the green and leaving Brown the odd lady out.
When they called me and said I had a chance to live my dream, that was a dream come true, said an emotional Brown. One chance. Thats all I have ever asked for.
Be sure to tune in next Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET) to see who can survive the rollercoaster ride and whose dream will come to an end.
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