Big Break and Two Dessert Trays Later

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 17, 2012, 9:52 pm

Hi everyone, first off, thank you so much for all of your support on Big Break Atlantis.  My journey in professional golf is just beginning, and I am excited to see what the next chapter has in store for me.  I wanted to take some time here to share with you a little behind-the-scenes on my time in Atlantis competing on Big Break:

The morning of my trip to the Bahamas, I arrived at the Ontario Airport in the AM before the sun came up to board a flight that made two stops before arriving at Atlantis. I noticed Selanee Henderson, but we don't make the the connection until the 2nd flight to Florida, where we also ran into Christina Stockton. Three Californian girls flying to Florida not knowing what to expect.

Running from the opposite side of the airport for our flight to make our connection with one minute to spare, there we met Allison Micheletti and Kelly Villareal. At this point, I was super nervous and didn’t know what to expect from the girls, but so far so good, everyone was nice! We arrived to cameras following us after flying all day into the night. We then met the rest of the competitors to find everyone has their own unique personality and beauty.

The next couple of days we played a practice round and did photo shoots for the Big Break. Shannon Fish and I connected right away and we rode together forthe practice round, playing alongside Natalia and Kelly. In between waiting on holes we practiced flop shots landing just over the cart and landing on the cart.We all hit it off.  I was really nervous being the youngest female competitor.  Some of my competition had up to 10 years of experience.  All the girls were very welcoming and nice. We all got along and separated competition from friendship.  So much was on the line that everyone knew you had to do what you had to do to win because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The night before the first day of competition I read some key points I highlighted in Zen Golf and I practiced my putting stroke in the hotel room. With many racing thoughts in my head it was hard to sleep. Every time I had a thought I would journal it in a notebook and brought it to the course to remind myself that I can do this! Not knowing what to expect, I arrived at the breakfast table. I didn't talk much at breakfast because I was trying to figure out a game plan in my head even though there was no way you can plan for Big Break.

We arrived at the range being told to practice a punch shot. I started practicing and I was very confident in the punch shot. I found out I was going up against Marcela. It was Marcela's birthday and I think I started psyching myself out with that.  I'm not usually superstitious but when I’m nervous I start thinking of these things. It also was tough knowing I was going up against someone with a lot of experience.  I told myself to not worry and that greater things in life have happened to people who were told they never had a chance.

The breaking glass challenge started and it was super exciting!  When the challenge started I completely forgot about the cameras. It came to my turn and I hit the post right below the glass. I was so bummed because the window was open and all I could do was wait.

Usually when I have to play under pressure I perform much better.  I felt that when I was competing in this challenge, it was happening so fast that I didn't feel enough pressure. It was almost too surreal to be happening that I didn't get myself in the moment. I was thinking of too many different things and not focusing on the shot at hand.

Marcela hit the glass and my heart dropped because it made it real that I don't get to hit the glass. I was so mad at myself at first for not taking more time. The glass break was much different than I thought because I thought I knew my trajectories with my clubs.  When I stepped up to the glass it was like I couldn't judge which club went high or low enough for the glass. This challenge showed me that I need to process my thoughts and visualize the shot in more detail.

The next challenge was from 75 yards. I was 2nd to last to go and I had no idea what everyone else was hitting or doing in the challenge. I felt more tension amongst each other and no one was laughing or smiling at that point.

Before the challenge started I only grabbed my wedges which I later regret. The wind was blowing the ball left about 20-30 yards. I play a draw and I underestimated the power of the wind. What I should have done was do something similar to the breaking glass challenge and hit a low punch shot up onto the green to make easy points. Yet again, I don't believe I put enough pressure on myself to perform. I kept thinking there will be more challenges, but the challenges ran out. My experience with the challenges taught me to take my time with every shot and be even more precise with my target. Now I make my targets so precise that my target is about an inch big. Aim small miss small right!

By the time Big Break became real to me I was already in the Elimination Challenge, so I began to perform. I did all that I could but Selanee just hit an amazing shot. What people don't realize is how great her shot was.  To make that shot in the Big Break is a completely different level compared to a normal round or a normal tournament. Kudos to her.  I made par but she made birdie. One shot made you or broke you. Tears and hugs later I was separated from the group and a contestant all alone.

That night I grabbed two left over dessert trays with a variety of options and I ate them all that night. Ha ha. The next day I was really bummed but then I thought about how lucky I was to have been given the opportunity and it just motivated me to work harder. To succeed you must fail a few times. It's not about today it’s about tomorrow. This will be a process and a transition but I will not give up! Big Break taught me how to deal with a new kind of pressure which has matured my golf game. Since the Big Break I have improved my swing to be mechanically better and learned to live in the present. The Big Break and Two Dessert trays later I am working harder than ever before and my journey is to be continued....

Meghan Hardin

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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.