Big Break's Annie & Kelly Provide Insight on Show 8

By Big BreakApril 28, 2014, 1:16 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.

Kelly: I was really looking forward to this week, after all the hyped up previews! I feel like every single week, this season of Big Break is really bringing it. From the producers, cameramen, the hosts and the players, they all are doing an amazing job keeping this long running season fun and interesting!

I was excited to see the blackjack challenge right out of the gate. All golfers are essentially gamblers. Putting up our money to try and gain it back through our performance. This challenge should be right up their alley and it’s fun to see their poker face! Golf is such an emotional game so it was interesting to see them keep their emotions completely contained. If we all apply this mindset to our tournament golf, it would probably help us a lot, for as many times as our emotions get the better of us.

Annie:  I think Jackie said it best on this show – every week out on Tour golfers are gambling – paying their entry fee and hoping their game is good enough that week to come out on top.  Professional golf is so different from other professional sports, because the golfers have to finance themselves.  It’s one of the few professional sports where we have to pay to play.  I had a lot of friends go on to play their respective sports after college, and they were getting pay checks for sitting on the bench.  Not golf.  Whether you’re winning tournaments or missing every cut, you still have to find the way to pay in order to travel and compete.  It’s tough! 

Kelly: To start off the challenge, I was very impressed with Mary’s two-shot blackjack! She has been struggling with her distance control, so it was nice to see her dial it in.

Out of all the competitors, I think Jackie is the smartest. She always thinks her way through  the challenges while not letting her nerves and emotions rule her game. She is such an accomplished golfer and I think she can attribute a lot of her success to the mental part of her game.

Annie: I agree.  For people watching the show who don’t know these girls, I think she comes across as the most confident in her own game.  She seems to know her own game better than any of the other girls and is arguably the most accomplished player on Big Break Florida.  It’s fun to watch her think her way through each of these challenges. 

Kelly: Skipping to the last match, I loved that Renee decided to hit another shot when she was sitting at “18”.  Even though her ball came up just shy of the 3-point square, it was great to see her aggressive, confident play!

Annie:  Until she busted..

I was impressed to see Mary, Jackie, and Sadena all take the $2,500 cash when given the choice of cash or a mulligan.  What were your thoughts?

Kelly: Immunity is one thing, but to lose all that money just for a mulligan is definitely not worth it. Golf is so unpredictable; your mulligan could end up worse than your original shot. Good choice ladies!

Annie:  These three girls are probably the biggest gamblers of the group, so I wasn’t surprised that they all took the cash.  I don’t think choosing the mulligan would have been a bad choice, though.  Especially because golf is so unpredictable, and Big Break is even more unpredictable, choosing a mulligan would have been understandable – just boring.

Kelly: During the Immunity Challenge the girls had to combine their drives with their approach shots. I was interested to see the girls string together a few shots since we havn’t seen this besides in elimination.

Annie: Yes! These types of challenges help to separate the good players from the great players.  I like to watch these because it’s a better test of a player’s entire game.

Kelly: Ok, totally not golf related but how great was it when Melanie Collins was picking on Tom Abbott about his body type. Ha ha.  I watched that clip a few times! They were talking about how much distance a golfer could gain if they put on a lot of muscle. Melanie proceeds to tell Tom he has zero muscle on his body.  Ha ha Melanie, it took me awhile, but I just became a big fan.

Annie: Attention Big Break producers: I want more clips like this!  I was laughing at their banter as well. I also liked Tom’s “cat amongst the pigeons” comment.  I didn’t know what it meant, but I still laughed.  

Kelly: The top-two golfers during this multi-shot challenge were immune and Jackie, Kylee and Renee had to go into a playoff to determine the top two. I agreed with them completely when they thought whoever lost that playoff was going to be chosen for elimination. It’s always interesting to see the dynamics between the players, but it’s hard when you know politics play a big factor in your survival on the show.

Annie:  I think “politics” only goes so far on a show like this. I have a hard time believing that any of these girls would choose a girl for elimination that they didn’t think they could beat.  If you go into elimination, you’re going to choose the person who you think you have the best shot at sending home.  Right…?

Kelly: Both Jackie and Renee hit great shots and secured immunity for another week. Of course the predictions were right.  Fiamma chose Kylee for elimination. That would be a big emotional swing. Going from a playoff to win the entire challenge, to being in elimination.

Annie:  Watching Fiamma talk to Mary about who to pick for elimination was so aggravating to me!  Fiamma – figure out how to make your own decisions.   Mary – what are you doing? You should be practicing because you’re up for elimination!  It was pretty irritating to watch, but a smart move by Mary.  By offering “advice” she was really taking herself out of the equation.  You knew Fiamma wasn’t going to choose Mary after that conversation.  I do think Fiamma made the best choice by choosing Kylee for elimination, but the way she went about it just didn’t seem right. 

Kelly: We can always count on Mary for some type of drama and this time it came towards the end of the day. She was telling Fiamma who to choose in the challenge, ultimately making sure that Fiamma didn't chose her. Then proceeded to play both sides of the fence and tried to buddy up with Kylee. I can only imagine how annoyed Kylee was at this fake gesture, but honestly who can blame Mary for trying to keep her enemies close?

Annie:  I think this whole scenario showed Fiamma’s weakness more than anything.  If she’s not able to make her own decisions or analyze this game by herself, I won’t be surprised if we see her go home soon.

Kelly: I was proud of Kylee for sticking up for herself which then resulted in Mary calling Kylee a “witch” and saying she has a bad attitude. Wait….this is coming from Mary? Does she have any room to talk? I guess so, because she just did, and she’ll continue to do so.

Fiamma ends up winning and lives to see another day. How clutch was her birdie-birdie performance. I was very impressed and it proves that she was a very underrated player...until today.

Annie:  Let’s not forget about the help of that oak tree.  Her drive on the second hole was headed for No-Man’s-Land until it hit the tree and kicked into the middle of the fairway.  To spray that shot so far right with a one shot lead makes me think she’s not as clutch as she came across in this elimination challenge.  She hit a really bad shot at a high pressure moment, but just got an incredibly lucky break.  I will give her credit – she did capitalize on it by making a great putt and finishing with a second birdie. 

Kelly: I feel like most people could predict the outcome of this Elimination Challenge. Not based off of talent, but solely due to Kylee’s emotions heading into the challenge. She was still pissed and you could tell she carried all of those emotions into elimination. She is a great player, but still young. She showed us what she can do and I'm looking forward to seeing where golf will take her.

Annie:  Sometimes on Big Break, a player who we think will last a while will go home earlier than expected.   This hasn’t happened yet on Big Break Florida.  I feel like every week, the weakest players are going home.  Kylee seems to have a lot of potential; she’s just a bit inexperienced.  And I do think her attitude got the best of her this week.  With another year or so of playing experience, I’m sure we’ll be following her soon out on the Symetra Tour. Hopefully this experience on Big Break was a good one for her and has helped take her game to a new level. 

Looks like next week we will be seeing more drama unfold with the “friendships” that have been established.  Is it Monday yet?!

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U.S. captures Junior Ryder Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2018, 12:29 am

The U.S. defeated Europe, 12 ½ to 11 ½, in the Junior Ryder Cup at Golf Disneyland at Disneyland Paris.

Rachel Heck, 16, of Memphis, Tenn., clinched the winning half-point on the 18th hole with a 12-foot birdie putt that halved her match with Annabell Fuller, 16, of England.

"It was the most incredible experience of my life," said Heck, a Stanford commit who last week made the cut in her second LPGA major, the Evian Masters.

Michael Thorbjornsen, 16, of Wellesley, Mass., the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, drove the green on the 315-yard 18th hole, the ball stopping within 5 feet of the pin. His eagle putt completed 2-up win over 15-year-old Spaniard David Puig and ensured that the U.S. would retain the Junior Ryder Cup, as the defending champion needs only a tie (12 points) to maintain possession of the trophy.

Singles results

Match 1 - Lucy Li (USA) def. Amanda Linner (EUR), 4 and 3

Match 2 — Rasmus Hojgaard (EUR) def. William Moll (USA), 1 up

Match 3 —  Ingrid Lindblad (EUR) halved Rose Zhang (USA)

Match 4 – Nicolai Hojgaard (USA) def. Canon Claycomb (USA), 4 and 2

Match 5 — Yealimi Noh (USA) def. Emma Spitz (EUR), 3 and 2

Match 6 —  Ricky Castillo (USA) def. Eduard Rousaud Sabate (EUR), 3 and 1

Match 7 – Emilie Alba-Paltrinieri (EUR) def. Erica Shepherd (USA), 2 up

Match 8 — Michael Thorbjornsen (USA) def. David Puig (EUR), 2 up

Match 9 – Alessia Nobilio (EUR) def. Alexa Pano (USA), 2 and 1

Match 10 —  Robin Tiger Williams (EUR) def. Cole Ponich (USA), 2 and 1

Match 11 – Annabell Fuller (EUR) halved Rachel Heck (USA)

Match 12 — Conor Gough (EUR) def. Akshay Bhatia (USA), 1 up

 

TOUR Championship Final Round Becomes Most-Watched FedExCup Playoffs Telecast Ever and Most-Watched PGA TOUR Telecast of 2018

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 25, 2018, 6:48 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., (Sept. 25, 2018) – NBC Sports Group’s final round coverage of the TOUR Championship on Sunday (3:00-6:19 p.m. ET) garnered a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 7.8 million average viewers, as Tiger Woods claimed his 80th career victory, and his first in five years. The telecast’s TAD was up 212% vs. 2017 (2.5m). Television viewership posted 7.18 million average viewers, up 192% YOY (2.46m) and a 4.45 U.S. household rating, up 178% vs. 2017 (1.60). It also becomes the most-watched telecast in the history of the FedExCup Playoffs (2007-2018) and the most-watched PGA TOUR telecast in 2018 (excludes majors).

Coverage peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. ET with 10.84 million average viewers as Woods finished his TOUR Championship-winning round and Justin Rose sealed his season-long victory as the FedExCup champion. The peak viewership number trails only the Masters (16.84m) and PGA Championship (12.39m) in 2018. The extended coverage window (1:30-6:19 p.m. ET) drew 5.89 million average viewers and a 3.69 U.S. household rating to become the most-watched and highest-rated TOUR Championship telecast on record (1991-2018).

Sunday’s final round saw 18.4 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports Digital platforms (+561% year-over-year), and becomes NBC Sports’ most-streamed Sunday round (excluding majors) on record (2013-’18).

Sunday’s lead-in coverage on Golf Channel (11:54 a.m.-1:25 p.m. ET) also garnered a Total Audience Delivery of 829K average viewers and posted a .56 U.S. household rating, becoming the most-watched and highest rated lead-in telecast of the TOUR Championship ever (2007-2018). Golf Channel was the No. 2 Sports Network during this window and No. 7 out of all Nielsen-rated cable networks during that span.

 This week, NBC Sports Group will offer weeklong coverage of the biennial Ryder Cup from Le Golf National outside of Paris. Live From the Ryder Cup continues all week on Golf Channel, surrounding nearly 30 hours of NBC Sports’ Emmy-nominated live event coverage, spanning from Friday morning’s opening tee shot just after 2 a.m. ET through the clinching point on Sunday. The United States will look to retain the Ryder Cup after defeating Europe in 2016 (17-11), and aim to win for the first time on European soil in 25 years, since 1993.

 

-NBC Sports Group-

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Tiger Woods names his Mount Rushmore of golf

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 25, 2018, 6:29 pm
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Mickelson savoring his (likely) last road game

By Rex HoggardSeptember 25, 2018, 3:49 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Phil Mickelson lingered behind as his foursome made its way to the ninth tee during Tuesday’s practice round.

He needed the extra practice, no doubt. He’s one of just six players on the U.S. Ryder Cup team with even a modicum of knowledge about Le Golf National, but the likely reason for Lefty’s leisurely tempo was more personal.

The 2019 Ryder Cup will likely be Mickelson’s last road game as a player.

He’ll be 52 when the U.S. team pegs it up at the 2022 matches in Rome. Although there’s been players who have participated in the biennial event into their golden years – most notably Raymond Floyd who was 51 when he played the ’93 matches – given Mickelson’s play in recent years and the influx of younger players the odds are against him.

“I am aware this is most likely the last one on European soil and my last opportunity to be part of a team that would be victorious here, and that would mean a lot to me personally,” Mickelson said on Tuesday.

It’s understandable that Mickelson would want to linger a little longer in the spotlight of golf’s most intense event.

For the first time in his Ryder Cup career Mickelson needed to be a captain's pick, and he didn’t exactly roar into Paris, finishing 30th out of 30 players at last week’s Tour Championship. He’s also four months removed from his last top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.


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Although he’s reluctant to admit it for Mickelson Le Golf National looks every bit a swansong for the most accomplished U.S. Ryder Cup player of his generation.

In 11 starts at the Ryder Cup, Mickelson has a 26-16-13 record. Perhaps more telling is his 7-3-1 mark since 2012 and he holds the U.S. record for most matches played (45) and is third on the all-time list for most points won (21.5), just two shy of the record held by Billy Casper.

Mickelson’s record will always be defined by what he’s done at the Masters and not done at the U.S. Open, but his status as an anchor for two generations of American teams may never be matched.

For this U.S. team - which is trying to win a road Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993 - Lefty is wearing many hats.

“You know Phil and you know he's always trying to find a way to poke fun, trying to mess with someone,” Furyk said. “He's telling a story. Sometimes you're not sure if they are true or not. Sometimes there's little bits of pieces in each of those, but he provides some humor, provides some levity.”

But there is another side to Mickelson’s appeal in the team room. Although he’s never held the title of vice captain he’s served as a de facto member of the management for some time.

“At the right times, he understands when a team needs a kick in the butt or they need an arm around their shoulder, and he's been good in that atmosphere,” Furyk said. “He's a good speaker and good motivator, and he's been able to take some young players under his wing at times and really get a lot out of them from a partner standpoint.”

In recent years Mickelson has become something of a mentor for young players, first at the ’08 matches with Anthony Kim and again in ’12 with Keegan Bradley.

His role as a team leader in the twilight of his career can’t be overstated and will undoubtedly continue this week if Tuesday’s practice groupings are any indication, with Lefty playing with rookie Bryson DeChambeau.

As DeChambeau was finishing his press conference on Tuesday he was asked about the dynamic in the U.S. team room.

“We're going to try and do our absolute best to get the cup back,” he said.

“Keep the cup,” Lefty shouted from the back of the room, noting that the U.S. won the last Ryder Cup.

It was so Mickelson not to miss a teaching moment or a chance to send a subtle jab delivered with a wry smile.

Mickelson will also be remembered for his role in what has turned out to be an American Ryder Cup resurgence.

“Unfortunately, we have strayed from a winning formula in 2008 for the last three Ryder Cups, and we need to consider maybe getting back to that formula that helped us play our best,” Mickelson said in the Scottish gloom at the ’14 matches. “Nobody here was in any decision.”

If Mickelson doesn’t step to the microphone in ’14 at Gleneagles in the wake of another U.S. loss and, honestly, break some china there probably wouldn’t have been a task force. Davis Love III likely wouldn’t have gotten a second turn as captain in ’16 and the U.S. is probably still mired in a victory drought.

Lefty’s Ryder Cup career is far from over. The early line is that he’ll take his turn as captain in 2024 at Bethpage Black – the People’s Champion riding in to become the People’s Captain.

Before he moves on to a new role, however, he’ll savor this week and an opportunity to win his first road game. If he wants to hang back and relish the moment so be it.