Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 5

By Big BreakMarch 28, 2014, 3:45 pm

Former Big Break Ireland competitors Annie Brophy and Kelly Jacques are back. Only this time, it is not to play on Big Break, but to lend their insight and provide some fun facts about the ladies of Big Break Florida. Each week, Annie and Kelly will give you their thoughts on that week’s show, including what the pressure is like each week, since they have been there before. They also will provide you with some behind-the-scenes info on the ladies – Annie and Kelly have played alongside most of them on the Symetra Tour the past few years. While they have no knowledge of any results on the series, they will offer up thoughts on their favorites – and some non-favorites – on Big Break Florida. When not providing their Big Break commentary, Annie and Kelly currently work for GolfNow.com, Golf Channel’s official online tee-times provider.

Kelly: I was waiting for the flop wall challenge... and it’s finally here! In my opinion this is one of the most entertaining challenges. I know I’m not alone when I found amusement in watching the girls’ shots denied by the infamous wall!

Annie: I did a mini fist pump when we saw the flop wall right out of the gate this last episode. I love this challenge, and yes, I admit I too love to see a good blade or chunk right at it. I was intimidated by that last flop wall just sitting on my couch. I was glad to have a remote in my hand and not a lob wedge.

Kelly: I loved the team aspect they added to this first challenge. It’s definitely more pressure when your play can affect someone else's fate and it was interesting to see which girls rose to the occasion and which girls crumbled under the pressure.

Annie: Agreed! This was a great team challenge! How about everyone’s comments about Sadena at the beginning of the challenge? If they had it their way, seemed to me they would have named her Big Break Florida Champion right then and there. No doubt she’s a great player, but I think they’re giving her too much credit. It’s hard to compete against someone if you think they’re better than you…

Kelly: Everyone seemed surprised when Sadena wasn’t picked first by Mary. I thought this was awesome. It showed that Mary is confident in going against the grain and confident in her own opinions... but I think we already knew that :).

Annie: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I think Sadena and Jackie are the best players at this point this season. Mary has played with Jackie more out on tour and knows her game. I think it was a good move. Although it was really a win-win for her.

Kelly: Once again Sadena and her team pulled off a solid win in the flop wall challenge. Every team struggled, but Kristi and Fiamma pulled it together and gave Sadena the chance to do what she does best… finish it off and win!

Kelly: Annie did this bring back any memories from our Big Break season in Ireland since almost our entire season was team-based?

Annie: It absolutely did, I’m glad you asked the question! It’s tough to be on a show like this with team competitions, because you can’t always determine your own future. You have to rely on other people’s games - which is not how we are used to playing the sport. It’s great fun if you’ve got a solid team, but a weak link brings everyone down in a hurry.

Kelly: Once again the winners of the first challenge had to choose between $2,500 or immunity. You can really tell that these girls are starting to get tired. Even though I think all 3 players would have been able to take the money and survive elimination, it was probably a good decision to rest up and get ready for the next day.

Annie: People don’t realize the hours that go into filming Big Break. It’s a lot of early mornings and late nights. Our first day filming in Ireland, I was awake for 22 hours! Unless we see these girls getting offered more money, I’d imagine they will be more interested in immunity.

Kelly: Challenge #2 flipped the tables and forced the girls to compete against the team they just worked alongside. Gosh I love these producers... always thinking of ways to throw a curveball! Renee finally showed up and stuck her 150-yard shot to 2’6’’! That’s a quick way to guarantee you’ll survive another day. I’m hoping we’ll start to see her nerves calm down and her steady play shine through.

Annie: I’ve been impressed thus far with the challenges. This season has been well thought out, and the viewings and ratings have reflected that! I played quite a bit of junior golf with Renee, and those are the shots I’m used to seeing from her. Finally!

Kelly: At the end of the immunity challenge, I was surprised to see both Tonya and Kylee in the bottom two. They were now faced with the decision of who to pick to join them in elimination. They stood behind Lindsay and Jackie trying to decide who to choose, ultimately choosing Lindsay. I thought it was so contradictory when Lindsay then called that a “jerk move” when they stood behind her watching. How was that a jerk move? They were playing the game and seeing how each girl would react under pressure. Especially coming from the girl who convinced Courtney to choose Mary in elimination because she knew Courtney was uneasy about going up against Mary. Come on girl, you can’t pull the “jerk move” card when you pulled the ultimate “jerk move” just a few episodes ago.

Annie: Ha! That’s a good point. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. I think they would have been silly to pick Jackie. And they knew it. I was even surprised that Tonya and Kylee even suggested picking Jackie. Pretty sure their element of surprise tactic would have sent one of them home instead.

Kelly: I honestly am a fan of Lindsay but I was very surprised at her comments during the interview. She mentioned that on the tee she was already thinking this may be the last hole she plays on Big Break, so she might as well enjoy it! You are in the middle of fighting for your survival on this show and you’re already thinking about being eliminated? Enjoy yourself yes, but you need to be so engrossed in the task at hand that being eliminated should be the last thing on your mind. I think she had a good run on the show, but in my opinion the right player got eliminated once again. I loved her upbeat and quirky personality and I think some more experience will really help. Best of luck with everything Lindsay.

Annie: I became a big Lindsey fan after this show! I thought her attitude was great. You’re right, anything can happen, but I don’t think she gave up in the least bit. She pulled her driver on the last hole when the other girls hit fairway woods and went down swinging. I did notice she wasn’t wearing her beanie during the final interview. We should have known something was off then.

Kelly: Ok, can we please end on Jackie’s accurate and bold prediction? She mentioned she would be surprised if she didn’t get her 2014 LPGA card. For those of you who don’t know, back in December (after Big Break Florida was filmed) she earned partial LPGA status for this year! Her game is really coming along and just this past week at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic Symetra Event she tied for 2nd, posting 5-under! Way to go girl. Along with Jackie’s great week, other Big Break Alumni rocked it as well. Matt Every from Big Break Mesquite won his first PGA TOUR event at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rick Cochran from Big Break Greenbrier finished runner up at the PGA TOUR Latino America event and Gerina Piller from Big Break Prince Edward Island finished T15th at the LPGA Founders Cup!

Annie: It’s so great for the show to have Big Break Alums play so well. It’s also great for the fans to be able to cheer for players they feel like they already know. And it all helps bring more attention to the sport we love! And what about you and me, Kel? We had a great week selling tee times on GolfNow.com!

I’m looking forward to next week’s episode. Looks like there is going to be some drama. The girls have been too nice and supportive of each other. I’m ready for the claws to come back out. Mary, I’m talking to you! Give us something to write about…

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Daly WDs from U.S. Sr. Open, blames USGA for denying cart request

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 5:13 pm

John Daly has withdrawn from this week’s U.S. Senior Open because of a knee injury.

In a tweet, Daly said that he has “deteriorating osteoarthritis” in his right knee but that the USGA denied his request for a cart this week at The Broadmoor in Colorado.

“Don’t know what’s ahead for me,” he tweeted.

Daly said that he is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires players or caddies to submit medical documentation proving “substantial impairment” and that the use of a golf cart is necessary. The USGA can deny the use of a cart if providing it to a player “fundamentally alter(s) the fairness of the competition.”

A USGA spokesperson confirmed Monday that Daly requested the use of a cart but declined to comment on Daly’s condition or the specific reasons why his request was denied, “as it is considered private, personal information.”

“Consistent with the ADA, we review each request for cart usage on a case-by-case basis,” the USGA said in a statement. “We deeply respect the privacy of all of our players.”

Daly has three top-10s in eight starts this season, including a tie for seventh last week in Wisconsin. Prior to that, he withdrew from each of his previous three events. He was replaced in the field by David McKenzie.  

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Kang grouped with world No. 1, USWO champ at KPMG

By Randall MellJune 25, 2018, 3:36 pm

Defending champion Danielle Kang will be grouped with Rolex World No. 1 Inbee Park and reigning U.S. Women’s Open champ Ariya Jutanugarn in the first two rounds of this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club outside Chicago.

Here’s a look at some of the notable groupings (all times ET):

Kang, Park and A. Jutanugarn: 9:10 a.m., Thursday; 2:20 p.m., Friday.

Kang broke through to win her first LPGA title at Olympia Fields last year and is looking to join Se Ri Pak and In Gee Chun as the only players to claim major championships as their first two LPGA titles. Park is aiming to win this major for the fourth time. She is the last player to win it back to back. (Actually, she won it three times in a row, 2013-15). Jutanugarn is looking to win back-to-back majors after claiming the U.S. Women’s Open a month ago.


Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and So Yeon Ryu: 2:10 p.m., Thursday; 9 a.m., Friday.

Thompson is seeking her first victory this year, but she arrives in good form. She tied for third Sunday at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, her third consecutive top-10 finish. Ko won the LPGA Mediheal Championship in April and also is coming off a top-10 finish last weekend, her fourth in her last six starts. Ryu won the Meijer Classic two weeks ago.


Michelle Wie, Charley Hull and Nelly Korda: 2 p.m., Thursday; 8:50 a.m. Friday.

Wie won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March and has been flirting with another victory ever since. She has six finishes of T-15 or better this season, including a T-10 finish at the U.S. Women’s Open. Hull’s first LPGA title felt like a major at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in 2016, but she’s looking to claim a real one this week. She finished top 10 in both of the women’s majors played so far this year. She was T-6 at the ANA Inspiration and T-10 at the U.S. Women’s Open. Korda would like to follow Kang’s lead and become another first time LPGA winner at the Women’s PGA. She tied for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open a month ago and followed that up with a T-9 finish at the Meijer Classic two weeks ago.

Here's a look at full tee times:

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Monday Scramble: Again and never again

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 3:00 pm

Bubba Watson takes title No. 3, Paul Casey folds, Rory McIlroy's putting struggles continue, Phil Mickelson apologizes, Ho-sung Choi stars and more in this week's edition of Monday Scramble:

Bubba Watson still defers to 2015 as the best year of his career. That’s when he won in Los Angeles, Augusta, Shanghai and the Bahamas. During the PGA Tour wraparound season, however, he won only twice, and it wasn’t nearly enough to top Jordan Spieth for Player of the Year honors.

This season might be different.

There are still two majors and the playoffs left, and voters tend to weigh major victories more heavily, but the 39-year-old Watson has to be considered the current favorite for Player of the Year.

He’s the first three-time winner of the campaign, and his three titles have come on a variety of courses and even formats – at Riviera, at the Match Play, at TPC River Highlands. The common denominator is a strong field, and Watson prevailed again Sunday after a closing 63.

The only issue for Watson’s POY candidacy: He’s entering a portion of the schedule (July-September) in which he’s never won. He has only one top-25 at The Open. He hasn’t contended at the PGA since a playoff loss in 2010. He has stated that he isn’t particularly fond of East Lake, site of the all-important FedExCup finale.

But maybe this is the summer it all changes and Watson becomes the Tour’s top player for the first time in his career.

1. Just 71 yards. Tight lie. Downwind. Tucked pin. Desperately needing birdie.

Of the many spectacular shots that his boss has hit in his career, caddie Ted Scott put his hand on Watson’s shoulder and told him this was the best yet:


2. Watson’s final-round 63 was the lowest closing score by a winner on Tour this season. His round included six birdies and no bogeys over his final 10 holes, as he chased down a sputtering Paul Casey and eventually passed him, erasing a six-shot deficit. 

3. It wasn’t a surprise, of course.

Watson has three wins, six top-10s and eight top-25s at TPC River Highlands. His scoring average there: 67.48. His career earnings are north of $4.7 million.

“I feel like this is my home course,” he said. “I can play golf around here.”



4. Even with a drought-busting victory earlier this year at Innisbrook, Casey on Sunday couldn’t shake his reputation as a talented ball-striker who has trouble closing.

Staked to a five-shot lead after the opening hole, Casey shot 2 over in the final round – including crushing bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 – to finish three shots back of Watson. His was the worst score of anyone inside the top 35.

Casey has 53 top-10s on Tour but only two wins. Odd.

5. Without question, Casey wasn’t as sharp as his third-round 62, but it didn’t help to be in the final group behind J.B. Holmes.

Indeed, one of the Tour’s most notorious slowpokes was at it again at TPC River Highlands.

After icing Alex Noren with a 3-minute standoff with his ball at Torrey Pines, Holmes dropped at least a hole behind on the closing stretch Sunday.

It clearly affected both quick players in the final group, Casey and Russell Henley. Yes, it’s a shame that Holmes can continue to disrupt the competition without repercussions, but Casey needed to be prepared for that situation.



6. Another stellar week of ball-striking was for naught last week for Rory McIlroy. He tied for 12th, but his statistics really told the story at TPC River Highlands:

Strokes gained: tee to green: First

Strokes gained: putting: Last

Since that highly publicized lesson with Brad Faxon resulted in an emphatic victory at Bay Hill, McIlroy has only had negative strokes-gained weeks on the greens.

That’s not a knock on Faxon’s methods. It’s more a reflection that even the poorest putters on Tour can find a spark for a week.

7. Well, it’s official: Jordan Spieth is mired in the worst slump of his young career.

Never before has the 24-year-old gone six consecutive starts without a top-10 finish. But that’s exactly what Spieth has done now, dating to the Masters.

The Travelers may have been his biggest head-scratcher yet. He shared the first-round lead after a 63, then played 3 over the rest of the week and finished outside the top 40.

It wasn’t his suddenly suspect putting that let him down, either. He finished the week ranked 21st in strokes gained: putting; once again, it was his long game (he was 60th in strokes gained: tee to green).

Spieth didn’t sound concerned afterward. He said that his putting is the “best it’s been for a couple of years” – keep in mind he was ranked ninth and second, respectively, in 2015-16 – and now it’s just a matter of sorting out his alignment with his long game.

He didn’t rule out adding another start before his title defense at The Open – the most likely landing spot is the Deere, where he won in 2013 and ’15 – but he also took three weeks off before capturing the claret jug last year at Royal Lytham.

8. U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka said he never thought about pulling out of the Travelers because of fatigue, and he was rewarded with a Sunday 65 to post a top-20 finish. He also wasn’t surprised by the number of “stupid mistakes and mental errors” he made, a product of being wiped out after a long, trying week at Shinnecock.

Last year, remember, Koepka didn’t play another event after his win at Erin Hills and followed it up with a tie for sixth at The Open. This time, at least, he has a few extra reps before heading to Carnoustie.

“I’m shutting it down for a while,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to play. I feel like my game is in a good spot.”



9. Four days too late, Phil Mickelson finally offered an apology for his actions during the third round of the U.S. Open – and it’s precisely what many thought Mickelson would say after he finished his week at Shinnecock Hills.

Since he was still fired up after his Saturday round, fine, let him blow off steam, continue to be defiant and provide an excuse (albeit a confusing one). But the next day, after some time to reflect? Fall on your sword and show some contrition. That’s on the first page of the PR handbook.

And yet Mickelson didn’t talk at all to reporters after the final round, and he only issued a statement three days later, after “a few days to calm down.”

“My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend,” he said. “I’m embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.”

That’s a step in the right direction, but he’s sorry for what exactly? Sorry that he deliberately broke the spirit of a rule? Sorry that he made a farce out of the competition? Sorry that he didn’t withdraw? Sorry that he told fans and fellow players to “toughen up” if they were offended? Sorry that he offered a lame excuse about wanting to break that rule for years? Sorry that he didn’t just admit that his window to win the U.S. Open is almost closed?

So many questions remain.

10. One question that seemingly WAS answered Monday: Mickelson won’t partner with Tiger Woods again at the Ryder Cup.

It wasn’t that absurd of a consideration, the two aging warriors and rivals whose relationship has thawed in recent years. It’s possible it’s their final Ryder Cup together, and perhaps this time, 14 years later, they’d bring out the best (and not the worst) of each other.

But U.S. captain Jim Furyk laughed off the idea Monday, saying that it’s not a “good idea” and that if the two stars heard it on TV they “just fell off the couch laughing.”

OK, then.

11. If you’re reading this column over lunch, well, sorry, but Greg Norman recently had a photo shoot for ESPN the Magazine’s “Body Issue,” and the results were nothing short of horrifying.

The Shark is still crazy-fit at 63, but he's also a similar age to my parents and at some point this just becomes weird.


Growing up, my favorite player to watch was Tiger Woods.

Over the past few years, it’s been a joy to watch Rory McIlroy up close.

But there’s no one, anywhere, at any time, who is more entertaining to watch than Ho-sung Choi. I’d never heard of him before last week, and perhaps we’ll never hear of him again, but what a thrill it was for him to come into our lives. His WILD body English after shots, his twisting and contorting and pirouetting, was beautiful and mesmerizing.

Playing in the Korea Open, Choi nearly stole one of the two available spots into The Open. Perhaps the powers-that-be can offer him a special exemption into Carnoustie – you know, for the good of the game and all that.

This week's award winners ... 


Another Rules Investigation: Bryson DeChambeau. After photos surfaced of DeChambeau using a compass during the Travelers, Tour officials informed him that they’re looking into whether it’s an allowable device during competition. He uses the compass to check the “true pin locations,” since he says sometimes the Tour-issued sheets are slightly off. Credit him for his response afterward: “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.” He's now up to eighth in the Ryder Cup standings ...

Best This Decade: Stewart Cink. Following up a fourth-place showing in Memphis in his previous start, Cink closed with 62 in Hartford to share second. It’s the first time since 2008 that Cink had consecutive top-5s on Tour.

Awkward: Paul Casey/Peter Kostis dynamic. As his student kicked away a five-shot lead in the final round, we would have loved to watch Kostis’ reaction in the CBS booth.

Must Be a FSU Thing: Chase Seiffert. A former teammate of Koepka’s, Seiffert parlayed a Monday qualifying spot into a top-10 at the Travelers, earning a spot in two weeks at The Greenbrier.  

Making It Look (Big) Easy: Jovan Rebula. The rising junior at Auburn won the British Amateur to earn a spot into the first two majors of 2019, provided he remains amateur. Even more interesting: Rebula will join his uncle, Ernie Els, at Carnoustie.  


Time to Go Low: Thorbjorn Olesen. The best score for the first three rounds of the BMW International Open was 67 … and then Olesen hung an 11-under 61 in the final round to finish one shot out of a playoff. Meanwhile ... 

Home Hurt: Martin Kaymer. Trying to score a victory in his home country, Kaymer bogeyed the 71st hole when he thinned a wedge shot over the green. He finished one stroke shy of Matt Wallace.

Can’t Make This Up: Marc Dull. You might remember the name from the two stories we published about him last month – he’s the Florida amateur whose "inebriated" caddie allegedly sucker-punched his opponent during a rain delay at the State Mid-Am. Well, he found himself in another rain delay, this time in a playoff for the State Amateur. His opponent, Gabriel Lench, emerged unscathed during the rain delay and won on the second extra hole.

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Daniel Berger. Technically, he earned a paycheck (T-67), but the week was a massive disappointment for a player who A) lost in a playoff at the Travelers last year and had a tie for fifth in his other prior appearance, and B) tied for sixth at the U.S. Open after holding the 54-hole lead. Sigh.  

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Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”