Former Big Break Ireland competitor and LPGA/Symetra Tour professional Kelly Jacques is back to lend her insight on Big Break Myrtle Beach. Each week, Kelly will give you her thoughts on that week’s show, including what the pressure is like, since she has been there before. She also will provide you with some behind-the-scenes info on the cast – Kelly has played alongside a few of them on the Symetra Tour the past few years. While she has no knowledge of any results on the series, she will offer up thoughts on her favorites – and some non-favorites – on Big Break Myrtle Beach. When not providing her Big Break commentary, Kelly works for GolfNow.com, Golf Channel’s official online tee-times provider.
Big Break Myrtle Beach: Episode 1
Welcome back Big Break enthusiasts! Another season is upon us and based off the first episode, it’s not going to disappoint! In this 22nd season, we have 5 All-Americans, a 19 year old who turned professional after high school, a 35 year old mom of 2, the Latvian Amateur Champion, two guys with type 1 diabetes, an LPGA Class A teaching professional, a USGA Champion and the stories go on. These contestants have very different backgrounds and stories but they do have one thing in common…they came to win. They are willing to endure the intense pressure and put their game to the test for the opportunity to win over $100,000 in cash and prizes and the coveted prize of getting to tee it up with the best in the world on the PGA/LPGA Tour!
Let the viewing begin!
The twists and turns start right away with the reveal of the Super Immunity. This will give one contestant the opportunity to bypass an elimination challenge in the future. This is huge!!! They are playing as individuals this season, so having that security blanket has the potential to change the whole game, and it was all decided the first episode.
The players were asked to choose a colored golf ball. It was revealed the next morning that the color they chose, determines who they will be competing against in the first challenge….the glass break! They were in groups of three and the fastest two contestants to break their glass moved on and were still eligible to win the Super Immunity. The two standout players here were Carolin and Charlie. Carolin, who has a bright smile and an even brighter personality, took the fast approach and broke the glass on her first try, setting the bar high. Charlie stuck with his methodical game plan and it paid off…this time. He broke the glass on his first try as well but took his time. Some people did not like this approach but I think it was brilliant, but only because he stuck with his game plan. Under that type of pressure in a timed event, is hard to do. Kudos Charlie!
Four players moved onto the second of three stages to determine the super immunity winner. Thanks to producer Chris Graham, they were faced with a risk reward shot from behind a tree. Their ultimate goal was to get their second shot as close to the pin as possible, with the top 4 advancing. Everyone chipped out except Jimmy who advanced it closer to the green, but left himself with a tough short wedge from the rough. In a normal situation, I would definitely say chipping out to set up your second shot is the play. However, he had nothing to lose! There wasn’t elimination that day and no order of ranks would be set based off their performance. So why not?! I think that was a risk worth taking…it didn’t pan out this time…but way to have guts Jimmy, go big or go home!
Tessa and Charlie were at the top hitting it 1’1’’ and 3’ respectfully with Dave and Carolin making the cut as well at 4’9’’ and 5’5’’. Tessa, way to make your quiet presence known and stick it! She seems rather shy, but if she keeps hitting shots like that, who cares! I’m guessing this full time LET Player is going to let her game do the talking.
The remaining four players battled it out in 1-on-1 matches. Charlie beat out Dave with a birdie and Tessa beat out Carolin with a par. Charlie and Tessa advanced to the reachable par 5 for the final match. Charlie pulled 3-wood and split the fairway a good 300 yards. I think this rattled Tessa; she looked comfortable all day but started looking uneasy. Caroline hit it down the right side then into the left greenside bunker. Charlie proceeded to make birdie and capture the sought-after Super Immunity. This prize is huge. It not only gives him a safety net, but it will free him up to play his game, while the other players will continue to stress over every shot, knowing one bad swing can send them home.
After episode 1, I’m impressed with Charlie Harrison from Atlanta, Ga. He’s solid tee to green and has the confidence to do very well in this competition. Before the show he said, “It’s uncomfortable to feel nervous, but if you can be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, then you’re going to have a pretty good time out there”. For never having a lesson, I’m impressed, and at this time I’m going to say he is the one to beat, especially with that attitude.
Until next week…