Big Break Myrtle Beach Episode 8: Show Insight

By Big Break ProducerDecember 12, 2014, 7:15 pm

I can’t believe it’s already week 8! The season is flying by and only 6 people are left.

 Immunity Challenge 1

Jumping right in, this week the producers introduced a new challenge called the limbo wall. The contestants had to hit a 57 yard shot underneath a wall while trying to get as close as possible to the pin. However, the players had to predict how close their ball would end up in relation to the pin. The player who predicts the shortest distance and is successful would win immunity and a $2,500 car rental credit courtesy of Avis! I love these types of challenges because you can see where their confidence lies in their own game.

 Surprisingly Charlie had the highest bid of 22’. It seems like he just thought the shot was tough and wanted to successfully hit his distance…which he easily did. He has clearly been the best player up to this point, so I was very shocked to see the conservative play here. Emily and Anthony continued their steady play and successfully hit their shots within their distance. Tessa and Toph failed to hit their mark, leaving the gate wide open for Jimmy. Jimmy has been flying under the radar a bit, but shockingly made a bold prediction of 8’. Really?! What does he do?! He hits it inside his mark to claim the first immunity and the $2,500! This was huge! Maybe this win will give him the confidence he needs to go all the way!

 The remaining 5 players went back to that same position to hit the same shot again. Same rules and the closest successful prediction would win the second immunity of the day. Charlie, Anthony, Tessa and Toph all predicted 9’ and Emily predicted 8’. What are the odds?! Charlie and Toph were the only players to successfully hit their distance….sending them into a playoff! Charlie completely mishit his shot, barely making it to the green…with his ball finishing an unimpressive 76’ away from the hole. All Toph had to do from here was pretty much just make contact. Toph got it done, advancing to next week, but it wasn’t very pretty. Sometimes this is the hardest shot in golf, when you only have to hit the green, or you only have to two putt. As athletes, we are conditioned to strive for the best and set high standards. When those standards drastically and suddenly get lower; it can be difficult to remain focused. It’s vital to keep your eyes on your game plan and stick to it.

 Jimmy and Toph spent their relaxing afternoon in paradise where they enjoyed a guided Jet Ski tour off the coast of Myrtle Beach courtesy of Marina Inn at Grande Dunes. Well that’s a nice way to spend the afternoon!


Immunity Challenge 2

In this second immunity, the players had to hit into point circles from 3 different locations. From each location, they would hit two shots, but only 2 of the 3 locations would count. Before moving onto the next location, they would have to choose whether to keep the score from that location, or throw it out. The player with the highest point total would win immunity and $2,500 via Macanudo and the player with the least points would head straight to elimination.

 The first location was a straightforward 120-yard shot. Tessa hit first, posting 6 points and decided to keep it. She said she likes being first. This is a great mindset to have as many players would feel the exact opposite! Emily also posted 6 points, deciding to keep it and Anthony posted 4, but threw it out. Charlie came in with the least amount of points at 3 and decided to keep it! WHAT?! Why in the world would he keep such a low score? I don’t understand his thought process here, especially since he’s been playing so solid! In Big Break it’s important to know when to be conservative and when to be aggressive. However, whenever players start to think too much, it’s very easy to become too conservative! I hope he keeps this in check, so he can continue with his recent success.

 The second Location was from 85 yards. Tessa threw out a 4 point total and Emily put up a strong performance of 7. Charlie posted 7 and decided to keep it…again! I just don’t get it! He locked in his 10 point total and has no chance to win. He is playing defensive and trying not to lose instead of trying to win. You never know, maybe he just doesn’t like 40-yard bunker shots.  Since Anthony threw out the first score, he was forced to take the last two scores and he posted a solid 6 in location 2.

 The final location was an awkward 40 yard bunker shot. Tessa posted 3 points and sailed her second shot over the green. This sealed in her total points at 9. Anthony’s first bunker shot gave him 3 points as well. He then found himself with an extremely important shot in front of him. If he hits the green he will be tied for last, but if he hits it in the 5 point circle he wins immunity. He pulled off an amazing shot under the pressure and stuck the difficult shot into the 3 point circle.

 Emily won immunity and $2,500 courtesy of Macanudo. She is always so poised and always thankful. Love this!! Tessa unfortunately found herself in the last position and will be heading straight to elimination.

 Charlie again decides to hold off on using his super immunity and gets chosen by Tessa! The entire day he’s been so conservative and playing not to lose. But when it comes to staying out of elimination, his conservative play was thrown out the window. He did play Tessa back in episode 1 to capture the Super Immunity. Maybe he thought he could beat her again if chosen.


Elimination Challenge:

Tessa ended up choosing Charlie over Anthony. Both players have been solid throughout, but Anthony has dominated the elimination challenges. It was interesting because it seemed like Anthony wanted to be picked! You could tell he wanted to play! I like that!

 The first hole was a par 5 that played 539 yards for Charlie and 449 yards for Tessa. Charlie hit his drive down the middle and Tessa hit her drive into the left hand rough. Charlie layed up short of the green and hit his chip to tap in range for his birdie.  Tessa had a tough lie but managed to lay it up to 77 yards. She hit an awesome approach to 7’ just past the hole. She came right up and out of her putt and consequently missed her birdie right. This is so easy to do! Remember on pressure packed putts to stay committed to your routine and keep that head down!

 The second hole was a 401 yard par 4 for Charlie and 329 yards for Tessa. Charlie played it safe and hit an iron off the tee, but managed to pull it into the waste bunker! That has to be the worst, when you intend to play smart but it backfires! Tessa hit her drive safely into the left rough. Charlie had a 154-yard bunker shot from a chunky side hill lie. He rose to the occasion and hit it to 20 feet! He said this was one of the best shots he has ever hit under pressure. Now that’s saying something! Tessa matched his great shot from 128 yards to just outside Charlie’s ball.

 She had 18 feet for birdie and she knew this was a must make! She made a good stroke but barely missed it to the right. She finished the two holes at even par. But that wasn’t good enough. Charlie missed his birdie and tapped in for par, finishing the 2 holes at 1 under.

 This is such a great testament to how talented these players are. From the first episode we’ve seen incredible golf! In order for the remaining players to stay around, they will need to continue to elevate their games each week.

 I’m sad to see Tessa go. She has a phenomenal attitude and I think she will go quite far in the game. With Emily being the only girl left in the competition, I’m looking forward to routing her on! She is one tough player and my money is on her to win it all.

 Keep in mind that If Charlie can make it through one more week without using his super immunity he will win $10,000! I think as long as he plays to win…and not play to lose, he should advance no problem.

 The battle is heating up!


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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Ciganda is attempting to win her third LPGA title and first since the 2016 season, when she won two tournaments in a one-month span. Kim is chasing her eighth career LPGA win and second title of the 2018 season.

''I want to win because I didn't win last year,'' Ciganda said. ''I love playing in Asia. It's good for long hitters, playing quite long, so I'm quite comfortable.''

Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai

Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).

Yin and Altomare have yet to break through for their first LPGA win. A win in Shanghai would make either player the ninth first-time winner of the 2018 season, which would tie 2016 for the third highest number of first-time winners in a season in LPGA history.

''I love competing,'' Yin said. ''That's why I'm playing, right? I'm excited to be in contention again going into Sunday.''

Local favorite Yu Liu was seventh after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."

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Koepka has his chance 'to earn' his way to No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:09 am

There won't need to be any wonky math involved. He won't have to settle for finally reaching the the top via some kind of mathematical reset while he's sitting at home on the couch (or more likely working out in the gym).

No, Brooks Koepka on Sunday in South Korea will have a chance to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking the way every player would most want to - with a victory.

On the strength of a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 Saturday, Koepka will enter the final round of the CJ Cup four clear of Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, with six more players five behind.

The tournament is Koepka's to lose, and so too is the No. 1 ranking. So long as Justin Thomas doesn't somehow defend his title from 12 shots back, Koepka can supplant Dustin Johnson atop the rankings with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

"It was something I wanted to do. I always wanted to become World No. 1 in a week that I was playing," Koepka said Saturday. "I thought like I could really earn it and not have a week off where it just so happens that you bump up. No, it would be very special, and to do it here would be nice and hopefully get to world No. 1 and cap it off with a win, I don't think there would be much better."

It would be a fitting end to this breakthrough year for Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title and then added his third major victory at the PGA Championship en route to claiming the PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award. Oddly enough, considering his status a three-time major winner and an impending No. 1, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major; his only regular Tour win to date was his first, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"My confidence has always been pretty high," Koepka said. "Anytime you can win three majors you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. To do what I've done over the last two years has been special, but I'm looking to build on that."

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Koepka ahead by four, with No. 1 ranking in his grasp

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 5:48 am

Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Piercy (-9), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)

What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One off the lead to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Round of the day: After contending last week at the CIMB, Shubankhar Sharma rebounded from opening rounds of 74 and 75 with a nine-birdie, 8-under 64 to move up 45 spots into a tie for 26th through 54 holes.

Best of the rest: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.

Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.

Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.