Insight on Show 3 by Big Break’s Kelly Jacques

By Big Break ProducerOctober 23, 2014, 7:57 pm

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 3

 The flop wall is here! Pair that with the rising tension and the contentious Anthony, you get an awesome third episode!

 The producers always change up this staple challenge to keep it interesting and keep the competitors on their toes. This season, they hit from a set distance, over the wall towards the pin and into a circle. If the player’s ball finishes inside the circle they earn 10 points. If they fail to do so they earn 0 points. Now here is where it gets interesting. The producers brought back the drama causing: In and Out Benches. While each player hits, the remaining players either sit on the “in” bench or the “out” bench, depending on if they think the player will hit it inside the circle or not. For every right answer each player will receive 2 points. The players with the highest four point totals will automatically move on to the next show, with the highest point total receiving $2,500 courtesy of Macanudo. I love these types of challenges that combine both skill and strategy.

 

Tessa was the first to hit and she nearly made it finishing just a few feet from the hole. Surprisingly, she was the ONLY player to successfully hit it inside the circle. A few epic fails were Anthony who had the quick and nervous chip resulting in a chunk; Katy H., who barely hit it over the wall; and Dave, who squarely hit the wall. Everyone took their time but Anthony, who literally walked up to the shot, barely set his feet and hit. This is an interesting approach when under pressure. I have a feeling that he isn’t as confident as he leads on. Tessa had the skill and also proved she’s smart too. She knew with a few players to go, no one could overtake her at the top position, as long as she mirrored Caroline’s picks. She did just that and secured the $2,500 cash. However, there was a playoff between Charlie and Toph to decide that 4th immunity spot. Anthony ruffled some more feathers by refusing to join the group while watching the playoff. I’m not so sure about his approach to this competition. I get his mentality that he is here to win, not make friends. However, making friends and having them on your side will always serve you well. It will be interesting to see if alienating himself will have a backlash. Charlie proceeded to hit a great shot inside the circle while Toph did not.  The golfers moving on to the next show are Tessa, Caroline, Katy H and Charlie. I am not surprised by these results, with the exception of Emily. With her impressive resume, including winning the USGA Amateur Public Links Championship, I’ve been surprised by her lack luster play thus far. I’m hoping she’ll settle down and start playing her game!

 Moving onto the second part of the immunity challenge, the players had to hit their 8-iron as close as possible to the pin from any distance over 90 yards. The first time around, the closest two players are immune. Meanwhile the remaining players have to hit the shot again, combining their two distances. After the second shots, the closest player is immune, while the player who has the worst distance is sent to elimination. Emily hit first from 148 yards and stuck it to 6’7”…finally…an impressive shot! What was more impressive was the yardage she chose…into the wind, she’s a beast! Another solid shot was posted by Christian who hit second from 162 yards to 10’5”. After that, the quality of golf was pretty poor…actually flat out horrible. Dave decided to hit from 160 yards even though he was hitting it 170 yards on the range. Result? 10 yards long. If he would have stuck with his yardage he would have been pin high. A bit of advice, play whatever game you bring to the course that day. Moving on, Katie hit a full 8-iron from 120 yards and came up short of the green. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say she completely miss-hit it and there was a massive gust of wind…into her. Anthony continued his questionable play, as he decided to hit his 8 iron from 100 yards. This is such a high risk shot, and has to land the ball perfectly to get it close. He proceeded to block it right to 26’2”. Emily and Christian hit it the closest and got to watch the 2nd round from the bench. There is literally no better feeling on this show than knowing your safe and you can watch the others battle it out. The golf, in this 2nd round was even worse. Anthony hit from the same distance with the same result and Toph found himself in the last spot, securing his position in the elimination challenge by missing the green…again.

 Toph decided to choose Katie D to play against in elimination, solely because he’s buddies with Dave and Jimmy. See Anthony…having allies pays off! In this elimination challenge, the two players will face off in 4 locations. Each location has a set par, and in order to earn points, they have to hole out with a score of par or better. They started off with a 6’ straight in putt. Toph and Katie both drained it right in the center earning 1 point. Next was the chip. Katie has a very strong short game and it was no surprise that she almost made it. Toph hit it about 7 feet past but made a statement as he drained his come-back putt. Impressive! The third location was a 100 yard par 3 and both players made par, earning themselves 3 points. The final location was a 380-yard par-4 for Toph and a 323-yard hole for Katie. I don’t know what he was thinking, but Toph pulled driver, and blocked it dead right, losing it in the hazard. In my opinion, you need to just put the ball in play on this short hole. You don’t get anything extra for making birdie, so there is no reason to be aggressive here. Katie, being as straight as she is, hits driver right down the center. Katie hit her second to the back of the green and hit her lag putt to 5 feet. She had a chance to send Toph home but unfortunately blocked her putt and left it out right. This is so easy to do when you are nervous. Golfers tend to come up and out of their posture, resulting in the open putter face. I want to point out Toph’s amazing display of true sportsmanship. When Katie had 2 putts to win, you can hear him talking to her ball to get closer, and on her second putt he told it to get in. Toph, that is incredible. You won me over and I hope viewers took notice of that as well.

 Ok…playoff time, and this time around they’re playing stroke play! Knowing that he was just given a present, Toph pulls 3-wood and stripes it down the fairway and Katie of course joins him, in perfect position. Toph hit first and left it just short of the green while Katie pulled her 94-yard shot into the left green side bunker. She hit a great shot out and gave herself a chance to make par. Toph almost made his chip and tapped in. Katie’s putt looked fairly similar to her last putt just moment ago, but she did the same thing, leaving her putt out to the right securing her fate.

 Honestly no one can judge until they’ve been on Big Break and felt that pressure. A regular shot at a tournament can turn into the hardest shot of your life on Big Break. These competitors put their game to the test on TV, in order to make their dream a reality. Give credit to these players, it’s not as easy as it looks and this is their passion. For this exact reason, it’s always sad to see someone get eliminated. That feeling when you realize your Big Break experience has come to an end is definitely a sad one. I’m proud of Katie for holding her head high, playing with grace and keeping everything in perspective. She’s not a long hitter but she can definitely make that up with her short game. I know this experience will serve her well in the future, and I’m looking forward to seeing her smiling face down the road.

 Until next week!

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

“You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

 “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”