Cindy Millers Blog - Big Break 7

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Editor's Note: Cindy Miller appeared on the third season of The Big Break and returns for season 7. She will share his insider perspective following each episode this season.
 
Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Final Show
 
Tommy Gainey and Ashley Gomes are playing for all the money and prizes. I say they are two of the best players in the Big Break VII: Reunion show. They will play nine holes, match play to determine the Grand Champion.
 
Hole 1
 
Tommy bombs a drive and has 230 to the green. He hits a great shot to about 30 feet. Ashley also hits a good drive and has 222 left. She hits a pretty good 3-wood to the front right of the green. Ashley knocks her first putt to about 5 feet. Tommy proceeds to knock his eagle putt in. WOW! Not too bad. Ashley is 1-down.
 
Hole 2
 
Tommy hits his drive a little left, but is fine. Ashley bails out and hits her drive in the right junk. She must drop from there. She then hits a bad pitch. Tommy hits his approach fat and leaves it short. Ashley continues to lash it around and finally gives the hole to Tommy. Ashley is 2-down.
 
Hole 3
 
I think Ashley is a little shaken being 2-down after two. The first hole she did as well as she could, but No. 2 could have been a little better. No. 3 is a par-3. Tommy has 170 and Ashley has 152. When you consider how far Tommy hits the golf ball, the yardage differential isnt really fair. Ashley bails out a bit again and hits it to the right. Tommy hits a good shot onto the green. They both make par. Ashley is 2-down.
 
Hole 4
 
This is a dogleg right. Tommy pulls his tee shot a little. Ashley goes over the tree to make the hole shorter. She again bails out a bit and it goes a little further right than she wishes. They both hit the green. Ashley gives Tommy a 2-foot putt for par. Im not sure I would have done that being 2-down.
 
Hole 5
 
This is a par-4 hole which plays 440 for Tommy and 379 for Ashley. Tommy again pulls his tee shot into the rough. Ashley is again to the right. Ashley hits a great second shot. Tommy also hits it pretty close. Tommy makes par and Ashley just misses her birdie putt. All the putts she made in the competition to keep her alive are no longer dropping. Time is running out for Ashley.
 
Hole 6
 
This hole is a short par-4. Tommy blocks his tee shot to the right into the rough. Ashley pulls her tee shot a little and has to go over some trees. She has 118 yards and hits a very good shot into the green. Tommy only has a chip left, but is in the rough. He puts it on the green, but not as close as Ashley. Tommy makes another par. Ashley again just misses her birdie to win her first hole.
 
Hole 7
 
This is the par-3 that did Don Donatello in. Both competitors hit the green, but not very close to the pin. Ashley has to putt first and leaves it pretty short. Tommy knocks his to 3 feet. Ashley has a 4-footer to stay alive and misses it. Tommy has to make his 3-footer to win The Big Break VII: Reunion and does. Tommy Gainey is the Grand Champion.
 
Congratulations to Tommy Gainey. You are a good player and more importantly a nice person. You are a true southern gentleman. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of becoming a PGA TOUR champion. Ashley you are also a good player and I wish you much luck this year.
 
I have to say thank you and congratulations to the Ringler family. Of course, things always go wrong at the worst possible time. Our cable line snapped off at the telephone pole on the same day as the finals. Since I am writing this blog, I have to watch the show. Thank you for allowing Jamie and me to come over to watch with you. Also, Mike and his sister, Jenny, are the first brother/sister to ever qualify for the New York State High School Championship. It is a pleasure to teach you both.
 
I must thank the GOLF CHANNEL for allowing me to compete in two Big Break series. It has been an honor and a privilege to test myself under the heat of the camera. I have learned so much not only about myself, but about this great game of golf. It has helped me learn to become a better teacher of the game, a better mother to an aspiring PGA TOUR player, and a better competitor. Since competing, I have finished second on The Legends Tour money list, have become LPGA Player of the Year for the Northeast, LPGA Teacher of the Year for the Northeast, been nominated to Golf Magazines Top 100 Teacher List, and become a member of Golf For Womens Magazine Top 50 Teacher List.
 
I will continue to get better and not bitter.
 
Thank you.
 

Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 11
 
Ashley, Tommy, and Mike all play nine holes stroke play. The person with the highest score goes home. The other two players will play nine more holes of match play to determine the Champion of Big Break VII Reunion.
 
First Hole: Ashley is up first and blocks it right a bit. Mike and Tommy hit it left but have an open shot into the pin. Mike hits the best shot into the green and two putts for par. Ashley and Tommy make par also.
 
Second Hole: Ashley makes a good putt for par. Tommy makes an easy par. Mike hits it in the bunker and makes bogey.
 
Third Hole: Ashley and Tommy hit it left. Mike his it to the right. Mike shanks his third shot on the par-5. Ashley and Tommy hit the green. Mike chunks his fourth shot. Mike makes another bogey. Tommy and Ashley make par. Tommy and Ashley: even par Mike: 2 over.
 
Fourth Hole: Ashley knocks it close. Mike knocks it close. Tommy knocks it close. Mike misses. Ashley misses. Tommy makes birdie.
 
Fifth Hole: Ashley buries it in the bunker and makes the best par of this series. WOW!
 
Tommy makes a routine par. Mike does also.
 
Sixth Hole: Mike hits it to the front of the green. Ashley bails out and hits it right into the bunker. Tommy hits a good shot. Ashley makes bogey. Tommy makes par. Mike makes par and is one shot behind Ashley.
 
Seventh Hole: Tommy hits it in the bunker and doesnt hit a very good shot. But he makes a great birdie putt. Ashley makes an easy par. Mike just misses his birdie opportunity. Tommy: 2 under. Ashley: 1 over. Mike: 2 over.
 
Eighth Hole: Pressure is showing. Ashley and Mike hit the ball short of the green. Ashley hits her chip hot, but it hits the pin on the fly and it stops right by the hole. Since I was there, I can tell you she was lucky. Mike makes a great putt for par. Tommy makes his first bogey of the match. Ashley is 1 over. Tommy is 1 under and Mike is 2 over.
 
Ninth Hole: Everyone hits it in the fairway. Everyone has a good lay up. Tommy has 101 to the pin. He knocks it close and will make it to the finals. Mike sucks it up and knocks it close. Ashley just misses her birdie. Mike makes a great birdie to force a playoff!
 
Extra Hole (Eighth Hole): Mike drives it in the fairway. Ashley drives it in the fairway. Mike has 182 and knocks it a little short right of the green.
 
Ashley knocks it on the green after having a major allergy attack. She putts her first putt about 4 feet by. Mike hits his chip a little fat and short. He just misses his par putt. Ashley makes another great putt for par and will advance to the finals.
 
Mike, you are truly a gentle giant and a super human. It was a pleasure to meet you and I wish you and your family all the best.
 
Ashley and Tommy - you are the best players in this field without a doubt. It is only fitting that you have made it to the finals. Good job to both of you.
 

Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 10
 
The final four! Mike is such a nice guy. How can you not like him? Ashley is a tough competitor and can back it up. Dave is treading on thin ice. He doesnt have much confidence in his game. Tommy Gainey is truly the best player in this Big Break.
 
The players will draw numbers out of the hat to see who plays against whom. Ashley draws Dave and Mike draws Tommy. Each match will consist of two holes. The person who wins this match, will automatically go onto the finals with a third person that survives the elimination challenge.
 
Ashley and Dave tie the first hole. David squeaks it out and makes a good putt for par. Dave hits his drive on the second hole into the water hazard and has to drop.
Ashley knocks it on the green and makes par. Dave loses and will go to the elimination challenge.
 
Mike and Tommys match was pretty exciting. Tommy hits a couple of bad shots at the wrong time and Mike is consistent. Mike admits that he feels as though he has finally found his game. Tommy seems to be thinking about the end result instead of making a good swing and seeing where the ball ends up. I think he is trying too hard. As we can see no one is exempt from the pressure. Tommy loses on the second hole when he makes a bogie.
 
So Tommy and Dave are going into the elimination challenge.
 
Tommy and Dave tie first hole with pars Dave gets it up and down to save himself.
You can tell Dave has not been playing a lot of golf. They say he is a good scraper, and he is showing us his short game talent.
 
On the second hole they play, Dave hits his second shot on the par 5 into the fairway bunker up against the lip and has to chop it out. This puts him at a big disadvantage as he cant reach the green on his third shot. Tommy learns from Daves misfortune and lays up his second shot so he is in perfect position to hit the green on his third.
 
Daves luck runs out with his short game and Tommy wins with a par on the second hole. So, Tommy, Mike and Ashley will be in the finals next week. This should be an exciting match as they are all very good players.
 
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Brianna Vega and Cindy Miller took on Don Donatello and Mark Farnham in a little 27 hole match. Bri and I were 12 under par for the 27 holes. Yes, we taught the boys a lesson! It was super fun!!!!! Yes, Don Donatello was whining that I hit from the white tees. Oh well, Senior Citizen Discount!
 

Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 9
 
I loved playing the game BREAK on Big Break III! I ended up winning and gaining another exemption from elimination. Each contestant gets to pick a spot to hit closest to the hole. If you are closest, you dont get any letters and you have the opportunity to give another contestant an extra letter.
 
Both Don and Ashley have a chance to win the Chrysler Aspen. Whoever knocks the other out, wins the car.
 
Ashley picks a fairway bunker shot. I dont feel too bad after my large bucket in the bunker! Don is the only one who hit a good shot and hits it to 19 feet 11 inches. He gives the first extra letter to Ashley since she has a chance to win the car.
 
The second location, Tommy knocks Don out when he hits it 3 feet one inch. Don gets his first extra letter.
 
The third location Don wins at 23 feet 6.5 inches. Tommy was second at 24 feet 8 inches. Dave Gunas has not hit a shot yet. Ashley and Mike do not hit the green. Don knocks Ashley out and he wins the car. He is thrilled. Ashley is laughing at Don.
 
The fourth location Dave hits a good shot 6feet 10 inches. Mike was 8 feet 8 inches Don was 7 feet 8 inches. Tommy hit a bad shot. Don gets more letters.
 
The last location David Gunas picks putting. Not a surprise since it is the best part of his game. He hits first and knocks it within of an inch from the hole. No one is able to make the putt so David Gunas hits two good shots and wins the exemption. It is funny how this game can work.
 
Don now has the choice to give up the possible $5,000 or to try to win it in the elimination challenge. If he makes it to the final four, he will win the Chrysler Aspen and $5,000.
 
The Golf Channel has to be thrilled when Don decides to try to win both the car and the $5,000. This is made for TV!
 
The first part of the challenge is a putting contest. Tommy wins by making a good putt at the fourth location. He and David get to watch the rest of the day and make it to the final four.
 
Don, Ashley and Mike have to play number 7 on the Watson Course. It is a long par three. The first location is 189, the second is 201. They all make bogie on the first try. Mike three putts from not too far away. I think he may have had a testosterone attack!
 
You start to see the pressure mounting in Don and Ashleys golf swings as they hit errant shots. Mike kind of stays in the background and stays under the radar.
 
You can tell the voices are getting louder in Dons head and he is not making very clear decisions. He putts from off the green when he should have chipped, and then he tries to hit a chip shot out of the bunker when he should have hit a normal bunker shot.
 
Don ends up losing as Ashley makes a great putt to stay alive. The choice to play for the $5,000 may haunt Don Donatello for the rest of his life. It is such a shame that he allows the Committee of They to dictate his opinion of himself. Don is truly a nice guy with a good heart. We all have more lessons to learn. One of his is to learn to believe in him self and his golf game. That is what makes this game so awesome.
 

Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 8
 
I must say the GOLF CHANNEL got a rise out of the remaining contestants, when the eliminated contestants walked around the bushes. They really thought we might have a chance to play back onto the show!
 
Once I heard it was speed golf, I knew I would be watching. Why would anyone choose a 50-year-old woman to be on their team for speed golf?
 
The team of Don, Ashley and Kim won this contest by one second. Tommy, Val, and Laura were close behind. Mike, Dave and Brianna really didnt have much of a chance. I was surprised at how upset Tommy was. It was very nice of the GOLF CHANNEL to let the eliminated be seen again even if it were for a few minutes.
 
So, Don and Ashley are safe again from going home. They really have not played much golf.
 
The second challenge was a contest where you hit the ball through the dice. This looked pretty difficult. I have never played in a golf tournament where I had to hit the ball through dice, but I guess it would be good practice in case you are in the trees. David Gunas pulled off a clutch last shot to save himself from going home.
 
Tommy really does not feel good today. He fell pretty hard for Bri. I also think the heat and maybe the pressure is getting to him.
 
So Tommy goes to his first elimination challenge. Mike and Laura join him. It is a short-game contest. There are four locations. Each of the first three is worth one point if you get it up and down. The last location is worth two points. If you fail to get it up and down, you dont get any points. The person with the least points at the end goes home. Tommy makes a clutch putt at the first location to get a point. Mike didnt hit a very good chip and misses his putt. Laura didnt really commit to hers and misses. Each location gets harder as they go along. Tommy continues to hit good shots and makes his putts. Laura and Mike arent as sharp. Mike makes one point to stay one shot ahead of Laura. The final location is a waster bunker shot. Both Laura and Mike fail to get it up and down. Mike beats Laura by one point.
 
Laura really did a good job on the show. She had the worst sinus infection and bronchitis the whole week. She almost played better when she felt worse. Remember to always beware of the sick player. They almost always do well.
 
Congratulations for a doing a good job, Laura. It was a pleasure meeting you.
 
Another 27 holes back at the ranch.
 

Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 7
 
WOW!
 
What a very unfortunate breakfast encounter.
 
There are three Chrysler immunity challenges. The first one is a par-5 560 into the wind. The two people who are closest to the hole after two shots will be immune from elimination and on to the next show.
 
Don knocks it closest to the hole in the first group. Tommy may have made a mental error when he laid up, but he said he didnt feel comfortable going for the green. Mike hit an unfortunate tee shot into a bush and hit a great shot out. He also hit a very good third shot onto the green.
 
  • Ashley chunks it.
     
  • Dave hits it short.
     
  • Laura thins it.
     
  • Don and Tommy go on to the next show.
     
    The second challenge was pretty cool. The contestants played Black Jack. They hit shots into a grid and those closest to 21 were exempt from elimination and onto the next show.
     
    David Gunas busts on his third shot. Mike has 18 and decides to hold. Not good enough.
     
    Laura, Bri and Ashley all got 21. They will now go into a playoff. Ashley wins the playoff and is on to the next show.
     
    The next one is a putting challenge. David Gunas talks and gambles his way onto the next show.
     
    So now we have the elimination challenge with Mike, Laura and Bri. They play number 18 on the Palmer Course. Laura London birdies the hole and gets into safe city. Good job, Laura.
     
    The second time around, Bri makes a good par. Mike makes an even better one when he made a long putt for par. The third time around Mike knocks it within 5 feet. Bri came out of her approach shot and left it short right. Unfortunately, she leaves her first putt short and three putts. Mike caps it off when he makes birdie and gets to move onto the next show.
     
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are playing 27 holes everyday. I could think of worse things to do and I am thankful for the opportunity to play at such a beautiful place.
     

     
    Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 6
     
    Well, today the contestants get a different twist. No one is getting eliminated today. They are playing for the Chrysler Ultimate Immunity. For the person who wins today, they will get the opportunity to get out of an elimination challenge if they reach the final four or to win $5,000.
     
    The first challenge is a drive. The objective is to hit it far and straight. The hole is a dogleg right with trees on the right. You can try to cut the corner to carry the ball a little further and get a few more points. No one gets more than 3 points in this challenge. Tommy doesnt hit it in the grid on either of his tries. He has zero points and is out of the competition. Laura and Dave tie with 2 points and go into a playoff. Laura beats Dave in the playoff so Dave and Tommy get to watch for the rest f the day.
     
    The second challenge is a bit different. This is a short game test with six points available, more if you chip in. The objective is to chip your first ball far from the hole and have each chip after get closer to the hole than the previous one. Laura gets to go first and says that she has played this game with her Dad before. She shows her skills and gets six points. She really helps the rest of the contestants see how to plan their attack. Bri and Mike chip the ball off the green and end up being the two eliminated.
     
    We now have Don Donatello, Pam, Laura, and Ashley going to the final challenge. This is where they play a normal golf hole. It is a par five, number one on Reunion Watson.
    You get so many points for par, birdie and eagle. If you make bogey or double bogey, you get points taken away from you.
     
    Ashley has nothing to lose since she has the least amount of points up to this point. She tees off first and smokes it down the middle. Don hits a good drive down the center of the fairway. Pam steps up and bombs one down the left center. I dont think she realizes there is a bunker on there and it goes in. Laura doesnt make a very good swing and ends up in the left rough.
     
    When you listen to the mental chatter that is going on with everyone, it is very apparent that the only one playing their own game is Ashley. She knows what she needs to do to get some extra points. Everyone else is ruminating about what they think they need to do and what they think everyone else will do.
     
    Laura makes a bad decision about her second shot and tries to hit a three wood off a downhill, side hill lie out of the rough. She hits it in a huge bush and ends up having to take and unplayable. Pam gets it out of the bunker okay, Don hits a good second shot that puts him in good position for his third. Ashley goes for broke and hits a great shot on the green in two. She puts the pressure on Don and he ends up having to make a three footer for par to win the challenge.
     
    Two lessons I learn from today. 1. Always play your own game. 2. Let your clubs do the talking.
     

     
    Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 5
     
    Im not sure if Cristie Kerr intimidated any of the players this week. Possibly Nikki since she said something about it. It was very nice of the Ginn management to ask Cristie to come out.
     
    Alternate shot is such a fun format to play. Pam and Dave really did a good job making an easy par. Pam hit some super shots for not having played too much lately. Tommy and Bri also did a pretty good job even though they thee putt for a bogie. I feel for Kelly and Nikki. Kelly is such a nice guy. It appears that he thinks Nikki cant play without him. I know he means to help, but too much noise in the ear confuses the brain. They end up with a seven.
     
    Bri looks a bit unsure of herself today. This is another time where she gets some grace and manages to stay in the game. Every shot makes somebody happy.
     
    Dave is also a bit unsure of himself and a little nervous. He gets away with a few good misses. I think sometimes he hits and then thinks. The will to win can make you do silly things. I agree with the others that he should have hit the fade.
     
    So Bri and Tommy are safe from elimination again.
     
    Dave and Pam have to go up against Kelly and Nikki. Nikki hit a miraculous flop shot over the hill onto the green. She also made a great putt to keep herself in the game. Pam didnt really miss anything. Again, she has so much talent. I wish I could have twenty of her yards! Pam prevails in the last challenge and stays in the game.
     
    Dave and Kelly are close but Dave gets it up and down from the edge of the green in two and saves himself from going home. He who misses it best without getting ticked off usually wins. That is the case today.
     
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Gary, Mark, and I play another 27 holes on the beautiful Ginn courses.
     
    Stay tuned for some good drama in the next couple of weeks!
     

     
    Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 4
    What a cool treat to have Brittany Lincicome make a special appearance on The Big Break! She is such a nice young lady and a super player. I wish I were still there!
     
    Don is certainly getting some grief today. It is amazing what that little voice in your head can say to you. It can fill you with good positive messages or some pretty horrifying thoughts. I was very proud of Don when he gained control of his thoughts and hit a clutch shot when he needed to. I know Ashley was happy too. That shot saved them from having to go to the elimination challenge.
     
    Mark unfortunately didnt gain control of his self talk. Once he told himself not to pull a Cindy Miller, he was done. Your brain can only hear the commands you give it. When you say, Dont go in the water. Your brain hears, Go in the water. I really like Mark. He is a very nice guy who has truly worked up the success ladder of life. I am glad I get to play golf with you everyday for the next couple of weeks.
     
    BEWARE OF THE SICK PLAYER! Not sure if you have ever heard this, but it is so true. For some reason, when someone is sick, they seem to have lower expectations, and can perform very well. This is true for Laura. She was so sick. She really came through in the clutch. I am proud of you for not giving up.
     
    Kim, I feel for you. You played well. It just wasnt meant to be. You really didnt hit a bad shot. Again, Im glad I get to hang out with you. Did you get a new putter?
     
    Kelly is driving Bri nuts. Kelly, I think Bri hits her 6 iron about 160. I know she hits her 7 iron 150 yards. Not bad for a girl, huh?
     
    I am wondering if David Gunas is looking at doing play by plays. He seems to have something to say about every shot everyone hits.
     
    Well, Gary and I got to play another 27 holes today. I am getting better! Val and Eddie didnt feel like playing golf today. They arent as addicted as Gary and I are. When you live in Buffalo, New York, it is in November, and you have the opportunity to play 27 holes per day at no charge at Reunion Resort, anyone in their right mind is playing 27 holes.
     
    Until next week.
     
    Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 3
     
    The putting challenge was the first in the points contest. The team with 2 points will be exempt from the elimination challenge. This seems easier than gambling with odds on
     
    the green. Also, each person is playing against three others instead of one. Oh well, that is why they said the seeding in the first show was so important. I should have made better swings at the right time.
     
    Dave is a very good putter and it is a surprise that he doesnt win this challenge. You can tell he doesnt have much faith in Pam and her ability. He wants to be in control of the situation.
     
    Kelly and Nikki are talking about the wind, the grain, the lay of the land and everything else that may or may not affect a putt. Kelly has little faith in Nikki, but he lags the last putt closer than Dave and makes the point.
     
    Val and Eddie are not the most confident putters in the world. They do okay with the long putt, but Tommy knocks in the last putt to win the point for their team.
     
    The second location was the 133-yard, side-hill lie out of the rough. This was a tough shot. Val was up against Tommy. She went first and hit a great shot about 20 feet from the hole. Tommy got up next and hit his 56 degree sand wedge 15 feet. Val putted first and almost made it. Tommy got up and knocked it in the center of the cup. WOW, he is pretty good! SO Tommy and Bri are exempt from the elimination challenge. Val and Eddie must go through it.
     
    This is so different. Bri hit one putt, got knocked out of the competition and Tommy makes the two points and she is safe for the day. I love Bri and know what a good player she is, but I can only say that this is very unlike any Big Break.
     
    Dave said he wanted to play against Kelly because he wasnt sure if Pam would hit the right club. There is a little tension starting to build.
     
    Kelly hits a pretty good shot off the downhill, side-hill lie. Dave hits an even better one. Kelly gets so into the moment of how the ball will break, that he didnt think to look at the pin to see if it was leaning against him. He hits and amazing putt, hits the pin and it doesnt go in. Dave hits a good putt also, just doesnt make it.
     
    So, Kelly and Nikki are 1.5 points up on Dave and Pam. Pam must win this last location. The third location is a fairway bunker shot. Pam hits a good shot on the green. Kelly and Nikki got a little left brained about where to place the ball and where to stand. This would have been way too much thinking for me. Nikki hits a very good shot onto the green after all that! Nikki lags her first putt up within 2 feet. Pam misjudges her first putt and leaves it short. She three-putts and takes all the pressure off Nikki. So Nikki and Kelly are exempt from the elimination challenge. Dave and Pam must go through it.
     
    The elimination challenge is a short-game contest. Val is playing against Pam and Eddie against Dave. Val has no confidence in her short wedges as we saw in Hawaii on the Golf with Style show. She did get it up-and-down when she putted from 20 yards short of the green against me. So, I dont blame her if she doesnt trust her sand wedge. Pam gets two points and Val gets five. Dave chips in on Eddie. What a super shot!
     
    The second location is a downhill bunker shot that no one seems to be able to master. Many of them hit very good shots, but couldnt get it in the circle. I think the circle was a little too small.
     
    The last location was almost from the same angle. This was a downhill chip. Dave performs again and knocks out Eddie. Val was a little too far behind Pam to catch up. So, Dave and Pam win the elimination challenge and I get to see Val and Eddie.
     
    Gary and I got to go to The Lazy River at Reunion Resort. It is a beautiful water park. It was nice to relax a little. We now have a warden taking care of us named Sharona. We are not allowed to go anywhere alone and especially not off the property. After we went to the Lazy River , we played 27 holes of golf. What a beautiful facility they have. The people are especially nice.
     
    Yes, I beat him today by a few shots.
     
    I am glad my new roommate is Val, even though she may not be too pleased.
     
    Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 2
    OK, I have read the discussion boards and I have to tell you I am laughing.
     
    On the last Big Break, as soon as my son Jamie saw me on TV he called me from college and said, Mom, you look 85 years old! I must admit when I saw myself I was a bit shocked. The lights were very bright and no makeup people. Once I was invited to do big Break VII Reunion, I did go to the Cosmetic Dermatologist in Buffalo and asked him how I could look better in the next eight weeks. He recommended not getting a face lift, because it wouldnt look good. He did, however, suggest that I get my eyes fixed. He said I would look amazingly better. I guess he was right. So, I sat in his chair wide awake (well, not totally) as he cut the flaps of skin off above and below my eyes. I would definitely suggest it, as the responses on the discussion boards are really funny! So, Mama Miller had her eyes fixed, not a face lift.
     
    If you watched last nights show, you could still see all the wrinkles on my face. Now, for show No. 2
     
    I cant believe people get to sit out and watch the whole day. This is such a different format. I am not a gambler because I dont like to lose. So, I am up against a wall here. Not sure how to bet and not quick enough to figure out all the ins and outs. I have to trust that Gary knows what he is doing and can pull off golf shots when needed. I was a bit shocked when he bet half of our money on the first swing. Unfortunately, he never hit it in the circle and we are up against a wall right off the bat. I hate being out of control. I have to bet the rest of the money and only get one point. That wasnt good enough.
     
    Ashley again hits a super shot when she needs to. She is going to be a VERY good player. Mark misses the green with his first swing. Mike hits a very good shot and gets the points. Laura then steps up and hits it in the second circle. Again, good shot when needed. It just wasnt good enough to win enough money and the point.
     
    I was really impressed with Kim in the one-club match against Laura. I was glad I didnt have to go first. I learned a few things from her. Smart choice with the 6-iron. Laura just bailed out on her second shot and knocked it in the in the water. That was a nice gift for Kim.
     
    I get to play against Ashley in the one-club competition. I am surprised at how terribly she swung on her first shot. I see a little glimmer of nerves coming from Ashley that I may have the opportunity to see again. That is what makes this game so great. No one is exempt.
     
    Now, in defense of Val getting upset with Dave, Dave has a tendency to run his mouth a
    bit. If you listen to his comments (which there are many) all he says is how great a shot-maker everyone is. He said that about Kelly, Mike, and yes, lots about Ashley. Val took
    offense and was trying to stick up for me. I think she felt that he was bashing me.
     
    Ashley hit a great shot from the fairway onto the green. I hit mine very thin, which was a
    good thing off the side-hill lie. Unfortunately, it went over the green. I really thought I
    made my putt. It just wasnt meant to be. Ashley made a good putt to win.
     
    Off to the Elimination Challenge.
     
    The shot under the trees was about 140 yards. It wasnt that difficult. You just had to keep the ball down. The wind was blowing pretty hard. I gripped a 4-hybrid. Not sure what Laura used. I think it was a 5-iron.
     
    I had to laugh at Mark when he did the Seve imitation. Yes, he was nervous, as anyone
    would be. He also knows that Gary is a better player than him. He just didnt want to be the first one to go. Once Gary started to get bitter, Mark was even more motivated to beat him. I cant say I blame him.
     
    The side-hill lie was very severe. I made bad swings and didnt stay with the shot. Laura
    hit a very good shot right off the bat and gained the lead.
     
    Mark pulled it off again when he needed to. I am proud of him. Gary almost acts like he
    could crack. There was so much tension in the air you could cut it with a knife. It was not fun.
     
    Now for the 85-yard bunker shot. Have you ever been in a car wreck and can play it back in your head in slow motion over and over again? Well
     
    I must say that each time I set up to the ball, I was VERY COMFORTABLE. I usually
    am not. I felt great. I also made good swings. And, as Bri said, if I was playing in a golf
    tournament, I would have been fine with almost all of the shots I hit. I just couldnt hit it
    inside the 20-foot circle around the cup. After five or six swings, I did think to myself, why am I being punished here? Will I ever get this ball into the circle? I knew I was going home, I just would have preferred not to look so bad. But when you sign up to have the world watch you in a show with this format, you are leaving yourself wide open for criticism.
     
    Laura had a little trouble, as did Gary and Mark. The shot isnt that easy. But, they did
    much better than me. Laura is a nice girl. Gary was so upset about losing. It was a
    shame.
     
    I never hit very good shots this time around. They werent terrible shots; they just werent good. It would have been a day of scrape-it-around-the-course-and-shoot-74.
     
    I now get to stay in another beautiful home at Reunion Resort. Since I am the first
    eliminated, I get to choose the master bedroom. Yeah!
     
    I also get to play golf with Gary Ostrega everyday for two weeks.
     
    And I get to gain back the five pounds I lost with the most delicious chocolate chip
    cookies I have ever eaten. The food at Reunion Resort is awesome!
     
    I also get to go back at that hole and hit the 85-yard bunker shot again. I still didnt get
    it within 20 feet. My best bet for future events: dont hit the ball in the fairway bunker.
     
    More to come next week.
     

    Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Show 1
     
    Of course, we have no idea what is in store for us. When Stephanie and Vince explained what we were up against, I was a bit surprised. When I think Reunion, I think each show playing against the others. This has been thought out by the producers.
     
    We are being paired against other teams of two. It was very different from other Big Break Series. I dont think Gary was too happy with me. I realize I was pretty negative about the glass breaking. Since I had never broken the glass, Im not sure how I could be all excited. As it turned out, it didnt matter what the number was, Kim broke the glass on her first attempt. I guess I should have been practicing glass breaking at home!
     
    The team that sticks out to me is Kelly and Nikki. I think Kelly was concerned that Nikki couldnt exist without helping her. The dear old Committee of They. Unfortunately he didnt take care of his own business of 14 clubs and they ended up losing the points to Mark and Laura.
     
    The strongest teams in the competition are Don and Ashley and Tommy and Brianna. Don wants and needs to win to continue his career as a Professional Golfer. You can see, hear and feel his compulsive energy.
     
    I was a little surprised at the closest to the pin contest. I thought the men would be hitting from a little further back than the women. I saw some bail out swings here for sure. Mike and Dave really hit a couple of great shots at the right moment.
     
    The wall was pretty close to us. It was much closer than on Big Break III. Unfortunately I wasnt smart enough to bring my 60 degree wedge. I hit a good, solid shot, just not high enough. Gary saved me here, but we still werent good enough to get the extra points we needed to prevent us from finishing in last place.
     
    At the end of the day, when we all thought about it, half of us had only hit two shots. Ashley was surely the performer of the day. She made the clutch swings when needed.
     
    We will see what is in store for next week!

    Cindy Miller's Contestant Blog - Preview Episode
     
    I was playing in a Pro-Am tournament in Springfield, Missouri when I got the message from Jay Kossoff, Senior Producer of Original Productions at Golf Channel. He told me they were going to film a Reunion Show and the President of the Golf Channel wanted to ask me back to compete against contestants from the other Big Break Series. I was thrilled to say the least. He said we would be playing for money and prizes. I immediately said, Count me in! This was in early August.
     
    I was very curious as to whom else they might ask to participate. I had no idea who they would call. I thought for sure Danielle would be asked and to be honest with you, I was hoping she would say yes. I know that would be a big boost for sponsorship opportunities.
     
    Jay told me the filming of the show would be November 1-15. I had been under contract with the Executive Womens Golf Association to be the keynote speaker at their National Leadership Conference November 2. Thankfully Jay said they would work around that for me.
     
    When I arrived at Reunion Resort, I was checked into a beautiful three bedroom condo on the property. Of course, I was told not to leave the room, as they never want you to know who else may be there. I could call and order whatever I wanted to eat. The food at Reunion was absolutely AWESOME! I quickly gained back the 5 pounds I lost before I got there. You have to try the chocolate chip cookies they put out every afternoon.
     
    I was picked up by my escort and taken to the Common House. I really had no idea who was going to be in there. I did talk to Val and Pam, (dont tell anyone) so I knew we would be together. When I walked into the house, I immediately saw Brianna. The only person I had met from other shows was David Gunas. When you watch the other seasons, you feel that you know these people even though you may not have met them.
     
    We were able to spend some time together that evening. The legal people came in and gave us all the rules. We were then told we were to go upstairs into the confessional to find out who our partners would be. I wasnt surprised at who they paired with whom. The thought did go through my head that this was stacked and not a blind draw. Being a bit of a control freak, this didnt sit real well with me. But when you agree to do any Big Break.you agree to go into golf channel jail for two weeks. No cell phones, no email, no TV.
     
    The Contestants from my point of view:
    Ashley Gomes - pretty good player, a control freak like me, if she chooses to play, she wants the opportunity to win.
    Brianna Vega - a perfectionist, hits it good, very nice.
    David Gunas - an entertainer, loves the camera, sometimes puts foot in mouth.
    Don Donatello - nice person. He drove me nuts on his show, but really means well.
    Edoardo Gardino - love the accent, and has been around the block a couple of times.
    Gary Ostrega - the country club guy, really wants to win.
    Kelly Murray - nice person, good heart.
    Kim Lewellen - Super nice, I would love her as my golf coach.
    Laura London - she is a better player than I thought I prejudged hermy bad.
    Mark Farnham - a very nice guy fun to be around.
    Mike Foster - a very nice guy who can hit the ball.
    Nikki Disanto - good heart, cares for people.
    Pam Garrity - very nice, very smart, I want to hit that far! She is a good buddy.
    Tommy Gainey - a southern gentleman. I know because I married one.
    Valeria Ochoa - very nice, full of fire, one of my buds.
     
    These are the people of have golf in their blood and will not give up until they get it. It takes a lot to become a tour player. Delay is not denial, but it can be a bit overwhelming.
     
    These are the three I think will fight until they win.
    Ashley, Bri, Tommy