Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 6

By Big BreakApril 4, 2014, 7:00 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: We all knew the episode would come where the girls would stop being polite and the claws would come out. What better way to harvest drama then incorporate another team competition!

Annie: As Jackie mentioned on this episode, the team challenges are tough because you can’t necessarily control your own fate, and we as golfers are not used to that. I’d imagine the individual nature of the sport is why most of these girls play, so to watch girls pick teams or hit shots that directly affect you going into elimination is unsettling. But it makes for great TV!

Kelly: When the girls were picking the teams it was obvious who they had faith in. However, I think Renee was chosen last because of her lack of confidence, not because of her lack of ability. She has pulled off some of the best shots on the show, now her confidence needs to match! You can’t help but pull for her and was great to see her step it up this episode!

Annie: The girls clearly think Sadena and Jackie are the best players on the show. I don’t disagree with them, but I wish they would all have a little more confidence in their own games to challenge that. I did like Kristi’s comment about Fiamma being underrated – I think she’s right.

Kelly: It was priceless when Kristi and Kylee sent Renee to the bench and decided to take on Mary. I’m sure everyone expected Mary to be pissed. I thought is was pretty hilarious, especially after she was motivating Renee to hold strong against the other two. After the backhanded motivational speech, she ends up being the player the other girls deem easiest to beat! Annie what are your thoughts on this?

Annie: I just laughed. You could tell the producers were teeing it up for Mary to be picked. Although you do have to keep in mind Mary was picked third earlier that morning for the teams, and Renee was picked last two weeks in a row. And Mary won her first and only elimination challenge pretty easily. Given the last couple episodes, it would have been no surprise if Kristi and Kylee picked Renee. That being said, it did end up being a good choice as Kristi beat out Mary and won her team immunity.

I was a little confused why Mary was so angry after she lost this challenge. She kept talking about how great her shots were. Um… but you lost. So apparently not that great, Mary. Perhaps we need to pull out Webster and look up a definition. Or maybe a thesaurus for some antonyms. Bad, poor, atrocious – yep, those make more sense to me.

Kelly: I think it was a gutsy decision by Kylee and Kristi but I love their reasoning of trying to get into Mary’s head and I think it was the right choice. Of course Mary reacted with the usual of covering up her nerves/anger by trying to verbally intimidate the other girls. I think this challenge proved that the girls aren’t scared of her and aren’t going to back down.

It’s up for debate whether Mary hit the better shot in the last match up against Kristi, but you never put the other player down. That’s just bad sportsmanship. Everyone hits good shots and bad shots, but golf is a game about how good your misses are. If you're upset about not winning, dial in your distances, hit it closer and quit making excuses.

Annie: But were the tears really necessary? Come on, Kristi. Sure Mary was playing mind games, but Kristi’s got to be stronger and smarter than to start crying about it. Mary said that Kristi hit bad shots. So? These were not personal attacks – she wasn’t calling Kristi a mean person, she wasn’t insulting her character, didn’t say she had bad hair. And Kristi, you still won. Get over it.

But Kelly, you’re right – the easiest way to get into someone’s head is to just play better golf than them. Let your clubs do the talking, as my mom would say. Look at Sadena and Jackie. They’ve got everyone convinced they are the best players, and it’s not been because of anything they have explicitly said on the show. It’s because of their performance.

Kelly: I love when the team challenges turn around and then they play against each other. Renee and Jackie both performed well, sending Mary and Tonya into the elimination. I think both girls are very strong players, but it’s that time in the competition that a strong player is going to be going home every week.

Annie: The quality of golf continues to get better, and there are no longer any girls on the show who are obviously weaker than the others. I love this point in the show, because it really is anyone’s game – and one bad shot can send you home.

Kelly: In the elimination I was rooting for Tonya because she’s my friend and was disappointed to see her go home. However, Mary makes the show much more entertaining and I’m really enjoying watching her every week because you never know what’s going to happen!

Annie: I can’t say that I know Tonya at all, but I was impressed with her attitude on the show. She has a quiet confidence, and I think she carried herself very well throughout the entire show. It will be interesting to see if she continues with golf as a touring professional with her two young kids at home.

Kelly: Tonya, great performance overall and I’m really looking forward to watching you get back into competitive golf! :)

Annie: And congrats to Mary for stepping up in the elimination challenge. Over / under she will make one more girl cry on the show? My fingers are crossed for over.

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Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


"I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.

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Daly (knee) replaced by Bradley in Open field

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 12:13 pm

Former champion John Daly has withdrawn from The Open because of a right knee injury and will be replaced in the field at Carnoustie by another major winner, Keegan Bradley.

Daly, 52, defeated Costantino Rocca in a memorable playoff to win the claret jug at St. Andrews in 1995. His lingering knee pain led him to request a cart during last month's U.S. Senior Open, and when that request was denied he subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

Daly then received treatment on the knee and played in a PGA Tour event last week at The Greenbrier without the use of a cart, missing the cut with rounds of 77-67. But on the eve of the season's third major, he posted to Twitter that his pain remains "unbearable" and that a second request for a cart was turned down:

This will be just the second time since 2000 that Daly has missed The Open, having also sat out the 2013 event at Muirfield. He last made the cut in 2012, when he tied for 81st at Royal Lytham. He could still have a few more chances to improve upon that record, given that past Open champions remain fully exempt until age 60.

Taking his place will be Bradley, who was first alternate based on his world ranking. Bradley missed the event last year but recorded three top-20 finishes in five appearances from 2012-16, including a T-18 finish two years ago at Royal Troon.

The next three alternates, in order, are Spain's Adrian Otaegui and Americans Aaron Wise and J.B. Holmes.