Ladies Get Visit from Mother Nature


The Big Break IIIEditors note: The Golf Channels Big Break III ' Ladies Only is the third installment of this hit series. As the title suggests, however, this season is just for the ladies. The 10 contestants are vying for entry into select LPGA tournaments, including the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill.
With the group now down to the elite eight, the early morning brought another Mulligan Challenge for the ladies.
A giant wooden ship was erected and placed some 30 yards away with five separate holes cut through the wood, each hole with a different point value. The smallest hole was worth five, up to the biggest hole which was worth just one point. The contestant who accumulated the most points would win the mulligan that could be used in the upcoming Skills Challenge.
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The pressure on the ladies to perform well was heightened by the constant presence of television cameras.
After the round was over, both Liz Uthoff and Debbie Dahmer were tied for the lead and a playoff ensued. Following two near misses by Dahmer, Uthoffs second attempt sailed through one of the holes to claim the mulligan.
By the time the Skills Challenge rolled around, Mother Nature had arrived at the Kingsmill Resort and the harsh elements would play a huge factor in not only how the women would perform, but also in how the final results would read.
Using the same tee box, the ladies were to hit three different length tee shots to three different greens ' 150 yards, 100 yards and 70 yards. Scoring lines were painted around each hole and the player with the most points after all three rounds would be granted immunity from the dreaded Elimination Challenge.
Mother Nature was seemingly in control through the first two rounds, as only Cindy Miller was able to score a point in the blustery, wet conditions.
I think everyone was a little disappointed in themselves, because on a normal day I think 95 percent us are going to get it on the green on every shot, decried Jan Dowling on the poor performance by the group.
Dowling, however, responded on the last shot, sticking her tee shot within 2 feet of the flagstick - good enough for three points. Sarah Sasse was also up to the challenge and landed her attempt inside the three-point circle to force a playoff between the two.
Theyre both great short game players, so it just came down to the point of the wind, said Danielle Amiee, sizing up the playoff.
I was just trying to hit the exact same shot I hit the first time because I hit it really solid, recalled Dowling on her pressure tee shot.
Both ladies again hit solid shots, but Dowlings stopped just an inch or two short of the two-point circle, giving Sasse the victory.
To know I dont have to go into the elimination is just such a huge relief, said a thankful Sasse about her chance to see another day.
The remaining seven ladies then made their way over to the Elimination Challenge where distance control was the key. Each player had four shots at a green, with the pin measured at 128 yards. Scoring lines where drawn across the green, and the closer the shot was to being pin high, the more points they would secure. After each contestant hit three shots, the points would be tallied. Then each would hit a closing shot to determine who would be exiting from the show.
That (distance control) is my strength. Im an incredible ball striker. From tee to green I have so much confidence, said Amiee on the days final challenge.
Valeria Ochoa started strong with a nine-point effort which all but ensured her making it to another show . On the other end of the scale was Dowling, who missed the green to the left on two of her shots and netted only three points on her final effort.
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The two final combatants share a hug after their sudden death playoff was decided.
It was now down to the contestants last shot, with Dowling needing something big to happen to stay alive.
Dahmer, who only scored five points in her first go-round, then missed the green, setting Dowling up with a chance to win, lose or force a sudden death playoff. Her subsequent shot landed in the two-point zone to send the two into an Elimination Challenge shootout.
Dahmer was up first and put the pressure back on Dowling with an approach shot that was worth three points. Then the real drama began as Dowling lofted her playoff approach toward the pin. The ball landed in the three-point zone but started to spin back into the two-point area, which would be cause for elimination.
With the golf gods smiling down on her, Dowlings shot finally came to rest on the line, forcing yet another playoff round.
Golf is a game of inches and right there it was proven, said Dahmer about Dowlings fortunate break.
Dowling then turned the tables and hit the bulls eye on her closing approach, thus handing Dahmer her walking papers.
Its tough to say goodbye but somebody has to win, said a dejected Dahmer. You gotta be able to pull off the shots and when you dont, thats it - youre gone.
Be sure to tune in next Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET) when the ladies face a rather large obstacle and the emotions run high.
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