He Said

By Andrew GiulianiOctober 26, 2010, 11:28 pm

Before going on Big Break you accept that along with a golf competition, you are going to be on a reality television show where drama is emphasized at every turn. First, you have the drama that is the continuous roller coaster ride of adrenaline which starts from the time you first find out you are going to be on the show, until the very last shot is holed. As a competitor, you strive to put yourself in positions where you are learning to control and feed off your adrenaline and battle your nerves. This is why you practice, and this is what you love about competition.

Second, you have the drama that is reality television. While this is significantly less appealing, it certainly creates a high tension atmosphere that is one of the reasons the show has been so successful for fourteen seasons. With that said, let’s talk about some of the golf that was played in the fifth episode and what we can look forward to next week.

The first challenge by the women was one of the most impressive performances in a show that has been filled with quality golf. In Big Break Disney Golf, the winning team in this challenge had a whopping score of two, so to hit 12 shots like that was impressive.

 In the Hit Below the Wall Challenge, we were able to knot it up at one with great play from both Football and Brian. That led to the final challenge of the morning which was another barn-burner. With a score of 9’4” in some good wind on a tough green, we felt like we were able to put the pressure on the ladies to have to go up there and hit a really good shot to beat us. On their last ball, Sara was able to do just that and prove again that she can hit the shots when it’s on her shoulders.

This led to the final shot of the Waste Management Challenge, where $15,000 was on the line. Throughout this four-episode challenge, the six players from both teams went up there and hit really good golf shots when their team has relied on them. In the fourth challenge, Lori and I were to hit from 100 yards to a tough pin. Lori gets up there and hits what appears to be pretty tight, but just spins it back to about 20 feet. At this point, I wasn’t sure of the exact yardage that I needed to hit it to win, but I knew anything inside of 30 feet was going to give the guys a much needed win which might be enough to turn the tide. The wind was blowing about 15-20 MPH from left to right and into my face, and I knew that I needed to keep the ball behind the pin, because anything short would spin off the green. After visualizing the shot just the way I wanted to hit it, I got up to the ball and swung. The contact was pure, but I closed the face on it and knew I tugged it left of where I wanted to hit it. As the ball finished up, I knew it was close, but honestly I thought that it was outside the 33 feet that was needed to win.

The next five minutes of waiting to find out the result was gut wrenching.  One thing our team agreed upon before the entire competition began was that we were not going to apologize as long as we had left it out on the course. I knew I left it all out there, but I felt that I had let them down.  For the guys to go up there and hit it to 10, 6, and 9 feet respectively and to not capitalize on the opportunity to put money in their pockets and give us some possibility of momentum going forward would have been tough to swallow. With that said, we stood up there as a team, as one unit, waiting to hear what Tom and Stephanie had to say. When they told us that we had won by a foot and a half, I felt pure relief, and for the guys to all huddle around as we did, just proved to me that our team was starting to truly get this concept of what it was to be a team. They had done a great job of putting me in that position, and I was just happy that the inches fell our way this time.

The Waste Management Challenge was one step in the right direction, and I knew that the Benching Challenge would be huge this episode particularly. If we could overcome that one stroke advantage, all of the sudden the momentum would be on our side. We needed a positive day, and this was our chance. I personally thought that it would be Blake or I who would be picked, but I didn’t figure that Elena would be the ladies’ choice. When she came up to me and told me we were going to tee it, I got the biggest shot of adrenaline through my body. Many people ask me what kind of music I practice to, especially if I am warming up before an important competition. The consensus seems to be something to relax the mind, but I’m a little different. You see, for some reason I still think I am a football player, so I turned my iPod to the Rocky soundtrack and allowed Bill Conti’s masterpiece to get me as pumped up as it could. After hearing Mick yell into my ear enough times, I knew I was ready to go the distance, however Mother Nature had different plans. The rain poured for about a half hour before it was obvious golf was over for the day. 

While I was pumped up to play that afternoon, I knew that the weather delay would only benefit our team. While I’ve only been playing professionally for a year and a half, I know that these delays can do one of two things: it can help you go over your plan one more time and give you the proper time to visualize the shots that need to be hit, or it you can let your mind wonder and think about what the results of the competition will mean to you. It’s very easy to slip into the latter, so I knew that I needed to get a good night’s rest and focus on what I could control. Before I went to bed, I went through the two holes in my mind one final time. Before I went to sleep, I read part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s speech to the Paris Sorbonne, which I believe is still one of the best statements ever made.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Time for us to turn this competition around, right now!

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.

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Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

“I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.