Big Break Myrtle Beach Episode 9: Show Insight

By Big Break ProducerDecember 12, 2014, 7:28 pm

We are now down to one, one girl that is. Emily is one tough competitor and if any girl can take out all the boys it’s her.

This is also the last week Charlie has to get through without using his super immunity in order to pocket the $10,000!

Immunity Challenge 1

In this first challenge, the players had to hit from 4 different locations. The player closest to the hole in each of the first 3 locations, move on to the 4th and final location. The player who ends up closest at that 4th location will win immunity and $3,000 courtesy of Macanudo!

 The first location was a 100’ triple breaking putt. Jimmy started it off strong hitting his putt to 3’10. However, Emily took the wind out of his sail very quickly, as she hit her putt to 7”. From 100’…that’s incredible!!! No one could compare to that impressive distance and just like that, Emily is onto the final location! What struck a chord with me was what Anthony said next. He said Emily’s putt was absolutely lucky! Wait…really, how do you call that lucky? All I saw was an extremely talented golfer hit a great putt!

 Anthony, we will agree to disagree!

 The second location was a tricky downhill pitch shot. Jimmy hit first and wasn’t going to get bested twice. He made the chip look easy and hit it to 4”! Everyone else had no chance, and came up well short. We now have our second contender…great job Jimmy!

 The third location was a 32-yard shot over the retaining rock wall. Toph hit first and almost made it, with his ball finishing a mere 2” from the hole. Again, the first shot was by far the best. Anthony hit his chip to 11’5” and said that Toph was completely lucky. It seems like he is deeming everyone lucky when they hit a great shot. Maybe you should stop making excuses and give credit where credit is due!

 I can’t believe how top notch the play has been this week. Each player who won the first 3 locations rocked it, with all shots inside 7”!!  Then Anthony decided to run his mouth again…but more like complain since he didn’t win. He said, take them on the course and I’ll beat them like a drummer beats his drums. Ok Anthony.

 The 4th and final location was a straightforward 100-yard shot. Jimmy came up way short at 39’10”. You can tell that each bad shot is starting to really get to him. Toph hit is to 9’” and Emily won immunity and knocked it stiff to 4’2”! Great job girl, way to represent!


Immunity Challenge 2

The second immunity challenge was a stroke play accumulation of 3 locations. The player with the lowest total score would automatically join Emily in the semi-finals. The player with the highest score will be sent straight to elimination.

 The first location was a putt from 7’. Toph and Jimmy both missed their putts to the right while Anthony and Charlie made theirs confidently in the center. We have been seeing a theme with people coming straight out of their putts and missing it right. Stay committed to your routine and keep that head and body still!

 The second location was a 160-yard shot from the right rough. Anthony hit his approach into the right greenside bunker where he found it plugged. Charlie hit his shot on line but just short of the green while Toph and Jimmy both hit great shots, giving them a good look at birdie. Paige gave Anthony a 1 in 50 chance to get up and down from that brutal lie. And what does he do? He hit an amazing shot out to within 10’ and made his putt! As frustrated as Anthony makes me sometimes, he does pull out some incredible shots. I think we have a love-hate relationship.

 Charlie also left his chip well short but managed to make a solid putt.  To finish out the second location, Toph and Jimmy both 3 putted, putting them in a tie for last with a total score of 6. I seriously could not believe that they didn’t take advantage of their positions and capitalize! Come on guys!

 The third location was a 230 yard shot. No one hit their approaches on the green, but they all had it surrounded.

Toph got up and down to finish the challenge with a total score of 9. Anthony also got up and down to post a score of 7 and secure his spot in the semifinals. Charlie failed to get up and down and posted a 9, while Jimmy missed a shorty to send him straight to elimination with a final score of 10.


Elimination Challenge

Jimmy had to choose either Charlie or Toph to join him in elimination. I thought Charlie would for sure use his super immunity to stay out of elimination and guarantee his spot in the final 4. But he didn’t! That’s crazy, especially since he has not been on his game lately! He said he came here to play. But he needs to be smart as well. That was enough reason for Jimmy…and he decided to take on Charlie.

 The first location was a 294 yard par 4. Jimmy hit his shot short right of the green and Charlie hit an awesome 3 wood right beside Jimmy’s. I thought it was quite unfortunate that Charlie’s shot didn’t bounce up to the green, but that’s golf! I’m just trying to get over the fact that Charlie hit a 3 wood on a 294 yard par 4 because he thought his driver would be too far! Now that’s some distance!

 Charlie hit a very poor chip well past the hole and made an awesome come-back for birdie. That’s great that he made his comebacker, but man is his chipping horrible lately! That part of your game is so important. It gives you an out, when you aren’t hitting it that great. My guess is he should practice those a little more! Jimmy proceeded to hit a great chip and tapped in for birdie as well…a little less exciting, but a birdie none the less!

 The second location was a 419 yard par 4. Jimmy hit a perfect drive down the center and Charlie sprayed his 3 wood a little right. He then proceeded to hit a great shot just short of the pin. You could tell Jimmy was extremely nervous over the shot and hit his second shot long right. The most effective way to play your best golf under pressure lies in a solid pre-shot routine. If this pre-shot routine is concrete, it really can make all the difference. Instead of thinking about the results needed, you can solely rely and concentrate on this routine’s steps. It’s the one thing throughout an entire round that can remain the same. Take advantage of that!

 Jimmy hit an aggressive birdie putt dead center of the cup and jumped out. He tapped in for par and all he could do was wait. Charlie had an awesome birdie look but got too forceful and put his birdie putt 5’ past the hole. What is he doing?! He then missed his comebacker to be eliminated from Big Break Myrtle Beach. He unfortunately eliminated himself from the competition. Not only did he lose out on the $10,000 super immunity prize, but he also lost out on the huge winner’s prize package.

 I’m sure he regrets not using his get out of jail free card, but all in all, he had a great run. He was one of the best competitors on the show and I know he will take that success outside this competition. He is confident and has a great perspective. He knows this isn’t the end of the road and I would be surprised if we didn’t see his name in a few years.

 Best of luck Charlie!


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Miller's biggest on-air regret: Leonard at Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:00 am

Johnny Miller made a broadcasting career out of being brutally honest, calling golf tournaments exactly like he saw them.

His unfiltered style is what kept him on the air for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't always the most popular with players.

After announcing his upcoming retirement, Miller was asked Tuesday if there were any on-air comments he regretted over the last three decades. One immediately came to mind.

"I think that I didn't say the right words about Justin Leonard at Miracle at Brookline about he should be home watching it on TV. I meant really - I did say he should be home, but I meant the motel room. Even then I probably shouldn't have said that," Miller recalled. "I want so much for the outcome that I'm hoping for that I actually get overwhelmed with what I want to see. Almost the kind of things you would say to your buddies if you were watching it on TV, you know? He just couldn't win a match."

After struggling on Friday and Saturday in team play, Leonard ended up the U.S. hero after halving his Sunday singles match with José María Olazábal by holing a 40-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole - one of the most famous shots in Ryder Cup history.

"Of course he ended up - after the crappy comment I made that motivated maybe the team supposedly in the locker room, and he ends up making that 45-, 50- foot putt to seal the deal," Miller said. "Almost like a Hollywood movie or something."

Not only did the putt seal the comeback for the U.S., but it also earned Leonard an apology from Miller. 

"I apologized to him literally the next day; I happened to see him. I tried to make a policy when I go over the line that I get ahold of the guy within 24 hours and tell him I made a double bogey, you know. That's just the way I have done it through the years."

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Love him or not, Miller's authentic style stood out

By Doug FergusonOctober 16, 2018, 10:11 pm

The comment was vintage Johnny Miller, raw enough to cause most television producers to wince.

Miller was in the NBC Sports booth at Doral in 2004 when he watched Craig Parry hit another beautiful shot to the green. Miller said what he saw. That was his job.

He just didn't say it like other golf analysts.

''The last time you see that swing is in a pro-am with a guy who's about a 15-handicap,'' Miller said. ''It's just over the top, cups it at the bottom and hits it unbelievably good. It doesn't look ... if Ben Hogan saw that, he'd puke.''

Parry got the last word, of course, holing out a 6-iron from 176 yards in a playoff to win.

Except that wasn't the last word.

''I was in Ponte Vedra going back to the Honda Classic, and my phone is blowing up,'' said Tommy Roy, the longtime golf producer at NBC. ''It started percolating down in Australia, and you had radio stations demanding Johnny Miller be fired.''

Miller could make golf more fun to hear than to watch.

''He doesn't have a filter. That's why he's so good,'' Roy said. ''What he's thinking comes out. And 99.5 percent of the time, that was a great thing for viewers, and for me. And 0.5 percent of the time, it was a problem for our PR department and for me.

''And it was worth it.''

Roy was in Wisconsin on Monday night for his first look at Whistling Straits for the 2020 Ryder Cup. It will be the first Ryder Cup since 1989 that doesn't have Miller in the booth weighing in on good shots and bad with thoughts that immediately become words.

He often entertained. He occasionally irritated. He was rarely dull.

Miller is retiring after three decades calling the shots for NBC. His last tournament will be the Phoenix Open, the perfect exit for a Hall of Fame player once known as the ''Desert Fox'' for winning six times in Arizona. Miller was so good for so long that it was easy for younger generations to forget about that other career he had.

Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

Best of: Photos of Miller through the years

And to think that was nearly his only career in golf.

Miller said he wasn't interested when NBC first approached him, but then his wife stepped in and told him it would be nice to have a steady paycheck. Even then, it took time for him to realize his audience was in the living room, not the locker room.

He made his debut at the Bob Hope Classic in 1990 and it didn't take long for him to leave his mark. Peter Jacobsen faced an awkward lie to the 18th green with water to the left.

''The easiest shot to choke on,'' Miller said.

People thought about choking. Miller said it because that's what he was thinking.

''What came into his brain came out of his mouth,'' said Mike McCarley, president of golf for NBC Sports. ''He was the first to really talk about the pressure. It's the most important element of the game, especially in those really big moments. He was doing it at a time when others weren't.''

It wasn't just the word ''choke.''

Phil Mickelson was getting up-and-down from everywhere at the 2010 Ryder Cup when Miller suggested that if Lefty weren't such a good putter he'd be selling cars in San Diego. Justin Leonard and Hal Sutton were losing a fourballs match at the 1999 Ryder Cup when Miller blurted out, ''My hunch is that Justin needs to go home and watch it on television.''

During the 2008 U.S. Open playoff at Torrey Pines that Tiger Woods won in 19 holes over Rocco Mediate, Miller suggested that guys named ''Rocco'' don't get their name on the trophy, and that Mediate looked like ''the guy who cleans Tiger's swimming pool.''

It wasn't all bad.

Roy, who also has produced NBA Finals and Olympics, said he wants analysts who first-guess, not second-guess. The latter is for talk radio. First-guessing means sharing instincts, and Miller had plenty of them.

Woods was playing the final hole at Newport in the 1995 U.S. Amateur when Miller said, ''It wouldn't surprise me if he knocked this thing a foot from the hole.''

And that's just what Woods did.

McCarley remembers how retired NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol used to worry whenever Miller called because he thought it was about retirement. McCarley soon inherited that feeling.

''Every time I'd see Johnny's number pop up on my cellphone, my heart would skip a beat,'' McCarley said. ''Two years ago, he made that call I had been dreading.''

McCarley kept him working a slightly reduced schedule, but no longer. Miller is 71 and has been on the road for 50 years. His 24th grandchild was born on Sunday. He wants to teach them fly fishing in Utah, perhaps even a little golf.

Miller wasn't sure he would last a week when he started. He never imagined going nearly 30 years.

He leaves behind a style all his own.

Most loved it. Some didn't. But everyone listened, and that might be his legacy in the broadcast booth. Roy said what he has heard from viewers he knows is that 70 percent really like Miller, and 30 percent really don't.

''But they all have an opinion,'' he said.

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CJ Cup: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 16, 2018, 9:20 pm

The PGA Tour returns to South Korea this week for the second edition of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Here is the key information for the no-cut event, where Justin Thomas is defending champion.

Golf course: Located on Jeju Island, the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, The Club at Nine Bridges opened in 2001 and was designed by Ronald Fream and David Dale. The par-72 layout (36-36) will measure 7,184 yards for this week's event, 12 yards shorter than last year.

Purse: The total purse is $9.5 million with the winner receiving $1.71 million. In addition, the winner will receive 500 FedExCup points, a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, and invitations to the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Players, Masters, and PGA Championship.

Last year: Thomas defeated Marc Leishman with a birdie on the second playoff hole to earn his seventh career PGA Tour win.

TV schedule (all times Eastern): Golf Channel, Wednesday-Saturday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

Live streamingWednesday-Saturday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 

Notable tee times (all times Eastern): 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. Thursday: Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Sungjae Im; 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. Thursday: Marc Leishman, Si Woo Kim, Ernie Els; 8:25 p.m. Wednesday, 7:15 p.m. Thursday: Jason Day, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama

Notables in the field: Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Ernie Els, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and last week's winner Marc Leishman.

Key stats:

 This is the third of 46 official events of the season and the second of three consecutive weeks of events in Asia

• 78-player field including the top 60 available from the final 2017-2018 FedExCup points list

The field also includes 12 major champions and two of the top five in the Official World Golf Ranking (highest ranked are No. 3 Koepka and No. 4 Thomas)

Thomas and Koepka both have a shot to ascend to No. 1 in the OWGR this week - they will play their first two rounds grouped together

Stats and information provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit

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Els eyeing potential Prez Cup players at CJ Cup

By Will GrayOctober 16, 2018, 6:55 pm

Ernie Els is teeing it up this week in South Korea as a player, but he's also retaining the perspective of a captain.

While the 2019 Presidents Cup in Australia is still more than a year away, Els has already begun the process of keeping tabs on potential players who could factor on his International squad that will face an American contingent captained by Tiger Woods. Els played in last week's CIMB Classic in Malaysia, and this week received one of eight sponsor exemptions into the limited-field CJ Cup on Jeju Island.

Els played a Tuesday practice round with Presidents Cup veteran and Branden Grace and India's Shubankhar Sharma, who held a share of the 54-hole lead last week in Malaysia.

"It's going to be a very diverse team the way things are shaping up already," Els told reporters. "We've got another year to go, so we're going to have an interesting new group of players that's going to probably make the team."

In addition to keeping tabs on Grace and Sharma, Els will play the first two rounds with Australia's Marc Leishman and South Korea's Si Woo Kim. Then there's Sungjae Im, a native of Jeju Island who led the Tour money list wire-to-wire last season.

"There's so many Korean youngsters here this week, so I'm going to really see how they perform," Els said. "Still a long way to go, but these guys, the young guys are going to be really the core of our team."

Els, who will turn 49 on Wednesday, made only five cuts in 15 PGA Tour starts last season, with his best result a T-30 finish at the Valero Texas Open. While it's increasingly likely that his unexpected triumph at the 2012 Open will end up being his final worldwide victory, he's eager to tackle a new challenge in the coming months by putting together the squad that he hopes can end the International losing skid in the biennial matches.

"The U.S. team is a well-oiled team. They play Ryder Cups together, they obviously play very well in the Presidents Cups against us, so they're a very mature team," Els said. "We are going to be a young team, inexperienced. But that doesn't scare me because I know the course very well down in Melbourne, I've played it many, many times. I feel I have a very good game plan to play the golf course strategy-wise and I'm going to share that with my players."