Insight on Show 6 of Big Break Myrtle Beach

By Big Break ProducerNovember 17, 2014, 8:30 pm

Former Big Break Ireland competitor and LPGA/Symetra Tour professional Kelly Jacques is back to lend her insight on Big Break Myrtle Beach. Here's what she has to say about episode 6:

 I can’t believe we are in week 6 already! This season is flying by and with only three girls left, I was excited to see how this episode played out! Pair that up with a calmer, nicer Anthony, I’m not really sure what to think!

Immunity Challenge #1
During the first immunity challenge, the players are playing for a total of $5,000 in travel credit courtesy of Travelocity. They would chip from two locations. The player, who finishes the closest to the hole has the first opportunity to make his or her putt. The first two players to hole out win immunity.

The first location had the golfers concentrating extra hard as they had to hit through an opening in the ruins. Tessa went first and hit her chip to 22’1”. No one hit it close, with Christian being the closest at 18’1”. Jimmy ended up the farthest away as he was the only one to not make it through the opening. That had to be pretty embarrassing to be the only player to hit the wall. It will be interesting to see his ability to let go of the past and move forward with equal confidence.

Christian had the first opportunity to make his putt for immunity, but barely missed. Toph and Tessa both missed as well. Charlie then made his 23’ putt dead in the heart. He won $2,000 in travel credit and became the first to be immune and onto the next show. He said that if you want it to happen, you make it happen. His game continues to impress me! Moving down the list of players, Emily barely missed her putt and Anthony makes his 33’ putt from off the green to capture that second immunity and $1,500!!!! When the pressure is on he delivers!!! Wow Anthony, people love to root against you, but everyone has to respect your game!! I’m thoroughly impressed…again!

The remaining players moved onto the second location. It was the same format, with the first two players to hole out moving on to next week! It was a fairly straightforward chip from the side of the green. Katy was up first and she left her chip to 10’4”. You could tell she was disappointed in her effort as that was definitely not going to hold up. Toph hit second and stuck his chip to 1’3”. Well that’s a tough one to beat! Tessa hit a poor chip but Emily followed it up with a shot to 1’8”. Christian proceeds to step up and makes the chip!! That is so clutch after watching Emily and Toph hit great chips in tight. That chip in won him immunity and $1,500 in travel credit courtesy of Travelocity. I feel like this was perfect timing. He has been playing mediocre golf and has been flying under the radar. By making that chip, Christian just upped his stock in this game. Toph ended up being second closest to the pin and made his shorty to also walk away with immunity and $500.

The four players who earned immunity in this first challenge (Charlie, Anthony, Christian and Toph) were treated to a spa day! For many of them, this was their first experience getting a facial and pedicure. I thought this was pretty hilarious…4 boys win a spa day. I’m sure the girls were quite jealous when they found out about their relaxing afternoon!

Immunity Challenge #2
In the second immunity challenge, each remaining player would hit their drive, then an approach shot to the green. The players got one mulligan to use, either on their drive or approach. If they use their mulligan, that ball is now the ball in play. The player who ends up closest to the hole is safe and will win $2500 courtesy of Macanudo. The player whose second shot ends up farthest away from the hole is sent to elimination.

The remaining players of Jimmy, Katy, Tessa and Emily all hit their drives down the middle. Jimmy hits his approach to 13’9”. He decides to take his mulligan and improves his distance to 7’2”. Great job stepping up your game and taking advantage of the mulligan! Emily missed the green on her first approach and went pin hunting on her mulligan. She stuffed her second shot to 5’10”. Tessa hit her first approach to 16’11”. She had to take her mulligan but hit it even further away to 20’8”. Katy was in the easiest position, as she was the last to hit and knew exactly what she had to do. She hit her first approach way short at 35’. She had no choice but to take her mulligan. She improved her shot to 8’2” but still finished 1 foot outside of Toph.

Since Tessa’s ball finished the farthest away from the hole, she was sent straight to elimination. With Toph and Emily immune, she had to choose either Katy or Jimmy to join her. She ends up picking Katy, and Katy does not hide how mad she is. Katy said that because she was chosen, Tessa doesn’t respect her as a golfer. Are you kidding me?!?! She had two players to choose from and Jimmy just came off an impressive performance in elimination last week. You have never been in one! I guess I just don’t understand how choosing you is disrespecting you as a golfer? As a competitor you should always be ready to rise to the challenge.

Elimination Challenge
In the elimination challenge, Tessa and Katy had to battle it out in the traditional 2-hole stroke play shoot out.

The first hole was a 370-yard par 4. Tessa hit it right onto the cart path and her approach shot left of the green. Katy hit a perfect shot down the center and hit her second pin high left. They both made par and moved onto the second hole all square.

The second hole was a 428-yard par 5. Tessa and Katy both hit their drives over the steam, down the middle. Tessa hit first from 158 yards and left her approach shot plugged in the short right bunker. I felt so bad for her here! That is the last thing that needs to happen in a 2-hole shoot out. She surprisingly hit an amazing shot out and onto the putting surface. Katy apparently didn’t learn anything from the swirling wind and hit her second shot short as well from 149 yards. She had an awkward chip over and down a side hill. She also hit a great third shot, leaving her with a very makeable 6 footer up the hill. Tessa proceeded to barely miss her birdie putt and to everyone’s surprise, Katy missed hers as well! I was very surprised that Katy didn’t take advantage of the situation and eliminate Tessa right there. I’m sure Tessa felt like she just dodged a bullet!

To break the tie, the girls had a sudden death playoff and went back to the same hole they just finished. Tessa hit her drive confidently down the middle. You could see the wind was removed from Katy’s sail as she hit her drive 34 yards shorter than just moments ago. Her approach was from 183 yards and she sailed her approach over the green left. Tessa had 154 yards and hit a great clutch iron to the front of the green just below the hole. Katy had a straightforward bump-and-run chip and hit it way past the hole. Tessa’s fate was now back in her hands as she had an eagle putt to win and eliminate Katy. She said her hands were shaking like crazy trying to line up the ball. She took a few extra seconds to calm her nerves and when she stepped up to her putt her hands weren't shaking anymore! This is a great tactic to calm your nerves! I think it’s important to have steps in place to fall back on when things start sliding or your nerves kick up! When you practice these strategies, you will have a lot more confidence in your game under many different circumstances! It pays off huge here as Tessa made her eagle putt! I was excited to see how she was going to respond in elimination. She has earned her immunity in the first immunity challenge in the last five episodes! This is the first time we really got to see her play golf and she didn't disappoint! Great job Tessa!

Even though the girls are falling fast, I’m confident with Tessa and Emily being the only ones left. I feel like their games are solid right now and I hope they can hang on and start knocking off some of the boys! I’m excited to tune in next week to find out!!

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 11:00 am

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

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Alabama faces 'buzzsaw' Arizona for NCAA title

By Ryan LavnerMay 23, 2018, 2:00 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – There was no way Laura Ianello could sleep Monday night, not after that dramatic ending at the NCAA Women’s Championship. So at 12:15 a.m., the Arizona coach held court in the laundry room at the Holiday Inn, washing uniforms and munching on mozzarella sticks and fried chicken strips from Sonic, her heart still racing.

Ianello got only three hours of sleep, and who could blame her?

The Wildcats had plummeted down the team standings during the final round of stroke-play qualifying, and were 19 over par for the day, when junior transfer Bianca Pagdanganan arrived on the 17th hole.

“Play the best two holes of your life,” Ianello told her, and so Pagdanganan did, making a solid par on 17 and then ripping a 6-iron from 185 yards out of a divot to 30 feet. There was a massive leaderboard positioned to the right of the par-5 18th green, but Pagdanganan never peeked. The only way for Arizona to force a play-five, count-four playoff with Baylor and reach match play was to sink the putt, and when it dropped, the Wildcats lost their minds, shrieking and jumping over the ropes and hugging anyone in sight.

Watching the action atop the hill, Alabama coach Mic Potter shook his head.

“I was really glad we didn’t win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed,” he said, “because they’re a buzzsaw with a lot of momentum.”

Given new life, Arizona dispatched Baylor by three strokes in the playoff, then turned its attention to top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Facing two first-team All-Americans, the Wildcats beat them, too, continuing the curse of the medalist. In the afternoon, worried that the adrenaline would wear off, Ianello watched her squad make quick work of Stanford, 4-1.

“They’ve got a lot of great momentum, a lot of great team energy,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “They thought they were going home, and now they’ve got a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with an edge.”

After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday at Karsten Creek, Arizona now has a date with Alabama in the final match of this NCAA Championship.

And the Wildcats better rest up.

Alabama looks unstoppable.

“They’re rolling off a lot of momentum right now,” Ianello said. “We know Alabama is a good team. But they’re super excited and pumped. It’s not the high of making it [Monday]; now they’ve got a chance to win. They know they have to bring it.”

Even fully rested, Arizona will be a significant underdog against top-ranked Alabama.

After failing to reach match play each of the past two years, despite being the top overall seed, the Tide wouldn’t be stopped from steamrolling their competition this time.

They roughed up Kent State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then frontloaded their lineup with three first-team All-Americans – Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight – in their semifinal tilt against Southern Cal.

Potter said that he was just trying to play the matchups, but the move sent a clear signal.

“It gets pretty tedious when you never miss fairways and hole a lot of putts and your opponent knows that you’re not going to spray it,” Potter said. “That’s tough to match up against.”

They breezed to the first three points, draining any drama out of the semifinals. Of the 99 holes that Bama’s Big 3 played Tuesday, they trailed after only two.

“We’re always consistent,” Stephenson said, “and that’s exactly what you need in match play. Someone has to go really low to beat us.”

That Arizona even has that chance to dethrone the Tide seemed inconceivable a few months ago.

The Wildcats had a miserable fall and were ranked 39th at the halfway point of the season. On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, sent a text to Ianello that she was turning pro. Once she relayed the news, the team felt abandoned, but it also had a newfound motivation.

“They wanted to prove that they’re a great team, even without her,” Ianello said.

It also was a case of addition by subtraction: Out went the individual-minded Quihuis and in came Yu-Sang Ho, an incoming freshman whom Ianello described as a “bright, shining light.”

Because incorporating a top-tier junior at the midway point can be intimidating, Ianello organized a lively team retreat at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, where they made vision boards and played games blindfolded.

They laughed that weekend and all throughout the spring – or at least until Pagnanganan made that last-ditch eagle putt Monday. Then tears streamed down Ianello’s face.

Folding uniforms after midnight, she regaled Alabama assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel with stories from their emotional day on the cut line, not even considering that they might face each other two days later for a national title. She was too delirious to ponder that.

“I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby,” Ianello said. “But we’re going off of adrenaline. This team has all the momentum they need to get it done.”

Yes, somehow, the last team into the match-play field might soon be the last team standing.

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Pairings, tee times set for championship match

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

“We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.

Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”