Final Two Decided at Carnoustie


Editor's Note: The Big Break IV ' USA vs. Europe, is The Golf Channels fourth installment of its hit television series. As the title suggests however, this seasons format has been tweaked to include a team dynamic. But that in no way means the stakes arent high for each individual, as the contestants will be vying for entry into select European Tour tournaments in 2006.
With the Big Break IV ' USA vs. Europe, down to the final four, the remaining players from each team would have to face their own teammate to keep their dream alive for at least one more show.
Big Break IV
Who would end up representing the U.S. in the Big Break IV finale? T.J. Valentine or Paul Holtby?
T.J. Valentine and Paul Holtby of the U.S. and Guy Woodman and Thomas Blankvoort from team Europe each had to play nine holes of match play to see who would reach the finals.
Valentine and Holtby got things started while Woodman and Blankvoort followed along, waiting for their match at the conclusion of the first battle.
Its going to take my A-game, absolutely, to beat Paul, said Valentine prior to his showdown with his friend Holtby.
Ill always go back to the Ben Hogan quote, that he plays with friends but he does not play friendly golf. And thats how you got to look at it, responded Holtby. This is business.
And Holtby was all business at the start as he rolled in a 5-foot par putt at the first and then watched as Valentine was unable to convert his par putt from just over 3 feet. Holtby 1-up.
The same situation arose at the second hole with Valentine needing to make a 3-footer to halve the hole. He struck the putt and began to go fetch it out of the cup when his ball caught the side of the lip and rolled out. Holtby 2-up.
Feeling the pressure to make something happen and avoid going 3-down after just three holes, Valentine came up short at the par-3 third. With Holtby safely on and in two putt range, Valentines chip flew well past the hole and then missed the comebacker.
Three down in a 9-hole match and Im hitting that panic button, recalled Valentine. Ive got to be a little more aggressive now. Ive got to throw some birdies on the board.
Unfortunately for Valentine, it was more of the same at the fourth hole, as he again failed to get it up and down while Holtby calmly two-putted for his par. Holtby 4-up through four.
And just when Valentine thought things couldnt get any worse, they did. His tee shot at the fifth found a large patch of trees down the left side. His subsequent recovery attempt still left him in a world of trouble.
On a links-style course I found the only block of trees out there, said a good-natured Valentine on his dire situation.
After taking two shots to hack out of the trees and seeing that Holtby was safe in the fairway, Valentine conceded the hole and in the process the match, losing 5 and 4.
Its been an unbelievable experience. I know I have a lot of weaknesses and I know I have a lot of strengths but theres a lot of room to grow and I hope that people see that, said a tearful Valentine.
Now with Holtby waiting in the finals on one side of the draw, Woodman and Blankvoort too, would have it out in a 9-hole match.
Im going to have to play well, I know that, because hes been very solid in every department, said Woodman on his match up with friend turned foe Blankvoort. I just hope I can do myself justice and hit some good shots.
Big Break IV
Thomas Blankvoort offers congratulations to Guy Woodman after their semi-final match.
Both players started off a bit rusty as each found the rough on opposite sides of the fairway. They did, however, scramble well enough to make pars and to remain even after one.
At the second, Woodman drew first blood as Blankvoorts tee shot found a gnarly patch of rough that left him carding a bogey to Woodmans par. Woodman 1-up through 2.
At the par-3 third, Blankvoort again created trouble for himself by hitting his iron into the burn that surrounded the green. After failing to hole his chip he conceded Woodmans putt. Woodman 2-up.
Woodmans good luck continued at the fourth hole when he sank a 12-footer for par which was good enough to win his third straight hole against Blankvoort. Woodman 3-up through 4.
That was a big relief to go 3-up. At one stage maybe looking like I might have lost the hole, said Woodman on his clutch putt to win the hole. Thats massive.
Time was starting to run out for Blankvoort who needed something to go his way at the fifth. But it was again Woodman who came up with a clutch putt for a halve and to keep Blankvoort from winning the hole. Woodman 3-up with four to play.
Both made routine pars at the sixth but in the process Blankvoort was put in a dormie situation, were he would have to win the next three holes in succession just to halve the match.
It just wasnt Blankvoorts day, however, as his tee shot at the par-3 seventh fell way short of the green. Woodman was safely on the green and watched Blankvoort blow his chip past the hole and then miss the comebacker. Blankvoort picked up Woodmans marker and offered congratulations, falling 4 and 3.
Its (losing) all the more difficult because youre so close to getting to the point of where you want to be - which is winning, said a disheartened Blankvoort. For it to end like this, it leaves an empty feeling in you.

The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe airs each Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET), while Big Break IV: All Access airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET), as part of the networks Top Shelf Wednesday lineup of premium programming.
Related Links:
  • Big Break IV Home Page
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  • Contestant Bios