Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL - Episode 1 Analysis

By Kelly Jacques, Sara BrownFebruary 4, 2015, 8:32 pm

Big Break Ireland contestant, Kelly Jacques returns this season to break down each episode of Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL. This time two-time Big Break contestant and host of School of Golf, Sara Brown joins in the fun to provide additional insight. Don’t miss their expert commentary every week after each episode and make sure to tune in Mondays at 9PM ET. 

 

Kelly: I’m so excited that another season of Big Break is here! This season Sara Brown and I will be breaking down each episode to discuss the standout moments!

Sara: Kel, I am soooo excited to get Season 23 of Big Break started as well!!! And WOW the 1st episode did not disappoint!

Kelly: After watching the player’s bios, I can’t decide who I’m pulling for! Every player has such a compelling story and they are all so different! What are your thoughts?

Sara: I agree! What a great group of guys we have on this cast! From a war Veteran who fought and lost his leg for this Country and for our freedom, to a singer songwriter; we have a Dad trying to make it on tour for the first time at the age of 40, some trick shot bros and many of the guys have college and professional wins under their belt! Kelly, just all around good stories from this bunch. Not to mention they are a great looking group of guys…sorry but I had to point that out! :D

Kelly: Sara did you know that the trick shot brothers you mentioned have over 8 million total video views?! They are probably the most well-known contestants this season! If you haven’t seen them in action, check them out at bryanbrosgolf.com! Not only have they excelled at trick shots, they are pretty darn talented too! George was a three time NCAA-All-American at South Carolina! Wesley hasn’t’ had quite the same success, but is hanging on, trying to make it to the big tour.

Onto the show! How about that great shot from Chad in the first round of the Immunity Challenge!? He hit it to an unbeatable 4 inches!! WOW! Being the last to hit, he knew exactly what he had to do and he pulled it off!

Sara: I actually got a chance last week to see Chad while he was on Feherty Live in Phoenix. I really admire who he is and it's not just because he fought for his country. It's because he was hysterical on Feherty and just seems like a genuinely awesome guy who wants the same as everyone else. He may have just one leg to do it with, BUT he has a great prosthetic to help.  

In the first round of the Immunity Challenge, he proved he also has GAME!!! You said it best Kel, he knew exactly what he had to do and he NAILED IT!!! That's a huge confidence boost for Chad!! But keep in mind, now EVERYONE will be keeping an eye on him. Including me!!!!

Kelly: In the second round of the Immunity Challenge, George hit a horrible shot, only to have it snuggle up to 8 feet!! He beat Brandon by 2 inches to capture a coveted immunity spot! In Big Break it’s hard to not let the lucky shots from others affect you, but it’s definitely necessary! Many times those that win are the ones that have the best misses!

Sara: You're right, it definitely wasn't George's best shot and I think Brandon hit what he thought was a good one. SIDE NOTE: I loved that he channeled his Big Break predecessor Don Donatello and said, "Pull it tight"!

The third and final challenge was won by a very impressive 257 yard 2 iron by Brandon. He is a little vocal and I think you can see the contestants have already said that a few times.  BUT…he should be a fun one to watch. Only time will tell :) 

Kelly: At the end of the day, Kyle found himself at the bottom of the totem pole. He chose Zach to join him in the first elimination challenge of the season. It looked like it was a tough decision for him!

Sara: I think it's so hard especially that first show to pick someone to play against. You haven't really seen their games and unless you knew them from before you kind of just pick and pray you stay on top. So I honestly felt Kyle just picked at random. Maybe he fears the Stache on Tyler I don't know HAHAHA!!

Kelly: That’s hilarious; you may be right!

Zachary’s approach shot to the par 5-18th really impressed me! His ball was buried in the left hand rough and not only got it out, but he stuffed it! That’s not an easy hole either! I used to work at PGA National and played that championship course probably 100 times. That 18th hole is no joke, with bunkers lining the left and water lining the right! Great job Zach!

The players ultimately tied, meaning no one was eliminated in episode 1. I’m happy for them, but someone has to be the first to go, and I have no idea who the weakest link is yet!

Sara: Kelly, I know you didn't like that someone wasn't kicked off the first show, BUT I loved that part!!! It gives them more time to get their nerves in check and more time to showcase their talents!!! 

The one thing I'm looking forward to about this season is their "Mulligan Medals"!  I’m excited to see if/when it’s put in play. This could be a huge game changer throughout the show and I can't wait to see what happens!!! 

Now hurry up and get here Monday, Kelly and I are ready to watch some great golf on Season 23 of Big Break The Palm Beaches Florida!!!

 

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Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.

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Just like last year, Spieth in desperate need of a spark

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Jordan Spieth has arrived at the Travelers Championship in need of a turnaround. Again.

Spieth’s playoff victory last year over Daniel Berger, complete with a bunker hole-out and raucous celebration, went down as one of the most electrifying moments of 2017. It also propelled Spieth to some more major glory, as he won The Open in his very next start.

So it’s easy to forget the state of Spieth’s game when he first stepped foot on the grounds of TPC River Highlands a year ago. Things were, quite plainly, not going well.

He was struggling on the greens, even going so far as to switch putters at the AT&T Byron Nelson. He then failed to contend at Erin Hills, only netting a T-35 finish thanks to a final-round 69 that came hours before the leaders teed off.

So here we are again, with Spieth in search of a spark after a series of underwhelming performances that included last week’s effort at Shinnecock Hills, where he bogeyed the last two holes of his second round to miss the cut by a shot. Except this time, the climb back to the top may be even steeper than it was a year ago.

“I’m not sure where the state of my game is right now,” Spieth said. “If I strike the ball the way I have been this year, then the results are coming. But the last couple weeks I’ve played Muirfield and then the (U.S.) Open, and I hit the ball really poorly and didn’t give myself that many opportunities to let the putter do the work.”

While many big names play sporadically in the time between the Masters and U.S. Open, Spieth remained as busy as ever thanks to the Tour’s swing through Texas. So even after failing to contend much in the spring outside of a memorable finale in Augusta, and even after struggling for much of his week at TPC Sawgrass, Spieth looked out at his schedule and saw a myriad of possible turning points.

There was the AT&T Byron Nelson, played in his hometown and at a venue on which he was one of only a handful with any experience (T-21). Then a trip across town to Colonial, where he had beaten all but two players in a three-year stretch (T-32).


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Throw in the missed cuts at Muirfield Village and Shinnecock Hills, and Spieth has made it to the last leg of a six-event stretch that has included only one off week and, to date, zero chances to contend come Sunday.

“I think here this week, the key for me is just to get out in the first round and try not to do too much,” Spieth said. “I mean, 90-plus percent of the tournaments the last two years I’ve thrown out my chances to win a golf tournament on Thursday. I’ve had too much to do from here on.”

That was certainly the case last week on Long Island, where Spieth’s hopes for a fourth major title evaporated well before course conditions became a focal point over the weekend. He was 4 over through his first two holes and spent much of the next 34 stuck in a fit of frustration. He gave himself a glimmer of hope with four late birdies Friday followed by a pair of bogeys that snuffed it out with equal speed.

Spieth has continued to preach patience throughout the year, but there’s no getting around some eye-popping stats; he's 188th on Tour this year in strokes gained: putting and 93rd in fairways hit. It can foster a pressure to find a cure-all in any given week, especially given how quickly he got a middling summer back on track last year.

“It’s something that you fight, sure,” Spieth said. “It’s been that way just about every tournament except Muirfield, because then you go to the U.S. Open and think you don’t even have to shoot under par to win this golf tournament. So as much as that kind of comes into your head, it’s not bothering me this time. I’m going to try and have fun, and make progress.”

After this week, Spieth will have some down time with family before making the trip overseas to Carnoustie. He plans to have a few private dinners accompanied by the claret jug, one last toast to last year’s success before turning the trophy back over to the R&A.

But even Spieth admitted that as it pertains to his chances to follow in Brooks Koepka’s footsteps by successfully defending a major title, he’ll be greatly aided by working his way into the mix this weekend. It represents the last chance in this early-summer swing to get his name back on the leaderboard, an opportunity to light fire to a pedestrian campaign like he did a year ago.

No pressure.

“It’s your basic stuff that sometimes gets off, that the harder you try to get them back on sometimes, the worse it gets,” Spieth said. “It can be frustrating, or you can just kind of wait for it to come to you. I think I’m OK with where things are, whether it’s the rest of this year or next year. I feel like there are good scores coming.”

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Twice winner Kizzire on missing U.S. Open: 'Fuel to my fire'

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 5:59 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Based on recent form, there likely wasn’t a more decorated player watching last week’s U.S. Open from home than Patton Kizzire.

Kizzire is in the midst of a breakthrough season that has already included two wins: a maiden victory at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November, and a marathon playoff triumph over James Hahn at the Sony Open in January. While those titles got him into the Masters and the PGA Championship, they didn’t mean an exemption to Shinnecock Hills.

Kizzire got as high as 51st in the world rankings after his win in Honolulu, but his game started to turn shortly thereafter. A T-12 finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship is his lone top-25 finish in 12 starts since his Sony victory, and he missed four straight cuts from the Masters to The Players Championship.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


The U.S. Open grants exemptions to the top 60 in the world at two different cutoff points close to the tournament. But in the midst of a cold streak, Kizzire was 63rd and 65th at each of those deadlines. He attempted to earn a spot at sectional qualifying in Columbus, only to find that his score of 5 under was one shot too many.

“I guess just adding a little fuel to my fire, adding insult to injury,” Kizzire said. “Just to have narrowly missed several different ways of qualification was disappointing. But I just tried to spin it as a positive. I got two weeks off, and I did watch those guys struggle a little bit. I wasn’t struggling at home, we’ll just say that.”

Kizzire hopes to put the disappointment behind him this week at the Travelers Championship, where he finished T-53 a year ago. And while his pair of trophies didn’t get him a tee time last week – or guarantee him a berth in The Open next month – they put him in prime position to make the season-ending Tour Championship, which would mean spots in the first three majors of 2019.

The combination of two recent wins and a ranking outside the top 60 isn’t one that comes up often on Tour, but Kizzire maintains a balanced perspective as he looks to get back to playing the kind of golf that will ensure he doesn’t miss any more majors in the near future.

“If I would have played better in between the U.S. Open and my last win, I would have gotten in. So my play was the reason I wasn’t in,” Kizzire said. “You certainly could look at it and say, ‘This guy’s got two wins, he should be in.’ But I’m not making too much of it.”

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Masters, Players and U.S. Open champs grouped at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 5:50 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Fresh off a second straight U.S. Open victory, Brooks Koepka is getting right back to work at the Travelers Championship.

Koepka has stood by his commitment to tee it up at TPC River Highlands, becoming the first U.S. Open champ to play the following week on the PGA Tour since Justin Rose played the Travelers after his 2013 win at Merion. Koepka will play the first two rounds alongside Masters champ Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, who captured The Players Championship last month.

Here’s a look at some of the other marquee, early-round groupings for a star-studded field outside Hartford (all times ET):

7:50 a.m. Thursday, 12:50 p.m. Friday: Jason Day, Xander Schauffele, Daniel Berger

Day is making his second straight Travelers appearance, having missed the cut both last year in Cromwell and last week at Shinnecock Hills. He’ll be joined by reigning Rookie of the Year Schauffele and Berger, who took home ROY honors in 2015 and last year was on the losing end of Jordan Spieth’s playoff dramatics at this event.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


8 a.m. Thursday, 1 p.m. Friday: Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson

Koepka is making his third tournament appearance overall, but his first since a T-9 finish in 2016, before he had either of his two U.S. Open trophies. Reed has become a regular at this event and enters off a fourth-place showing on Long Island, while Simpson cruised to victory last month at TPC Sawgrass and tied for 10th last week.


12:50 p.m. Thursday, 7:50 a.m. Friday: Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Russell Knox

This was the tournament that turned things around last year for Spieth, who took home the title in his debut thanks to one of the most dramatic shots of the year in a playoff against Berger. He’ll start his title defense alongside a pair of past champs, as Leishman won here for his first Tour title back in 2012 and Knox was a winner two years ago when the tournament was played in August.


1 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. Friday: Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas

This group should get plenty of attention in the early rounds, with Thomas entering as the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 2 and joined a pair of players who will launch drives all across TPC River Highlands. Watson has feasted on this layout, winning in both 2010 and 2015 among five top-10 finishes, while McIlroy tied for 17th last year in his tournament debut but missed the cut last week at Shinnecock.