Just when you thought the weather couldn’t get any worse in Ireland, it did. The wind on this show was crazy. It seemed more like the show was taped in Florida during hurricane season than Ireland. What crazy conditions for the players to play golf in with umbrellas flying around and a tree falling that just misses the Big Break crew!
These windy conditions really put the players to the test. At times you didn’t see stellar golf, due to the wind, but they sure gave it their all under the circumstances.
Did pride get the better of Nina? That is what some on Team Liffey think. More on that in a minute. Despite the wind, this show was all about the golf. The immunity challenge was broken up into four holes and each hole was played out by a different format. This made it anyone’s game. The luck of the Irish continues to be on the side of Team Liffey, as they came out on top again.
With only two players left on Team Straffan, it was undoubtedly going to be Julien vs. Nina in the elimination challenge. Nina showed us hole 17 is not her friend as for the second time during the season she put a shot into the Liffey river. Nina was definitely finding a hard time finding her game. Unfortunately she never found it and ended up being the latest player eliminated from Big Break Ireland.
Watch Nina’s exit interview as she talks to Host, Tom Abbott about her victory against Nicole; what Nicole and Nina said to each other after Nicole’s elimination; Nina’s thoughts on the team aspect of Big Break Ireland and what surprised her the most about being on the show.
Nina’s Exit Interview- Watch Now
Happy Hour was a little lonely for Team Straffan because Julien is the last man standing on that team. Hear what Julien had to say about that emotionally and physically draining day. Plus, hear what Team Liffey had to say about Nina’s level of play and effort in the last challenge. Some people think she didn’t try as hard as she could have. Find out why!
Happy Hour- Watch Now
Also, hear what the hosts of Big Break Ireland, Tom Abbott and Stephanie Sparks, had to say about the crazy wind conditions during the show. Plus, hear what Tom and Stephanie had to say about Julien’s big save during the elimination challenge.
Host Analysis- Watch Now
Text BREAK to 55333 to sign up to get mobile text alerts about Big Break Ireland. And don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday at 9PM ET for an all-new Big Break Ireland.
Big Break Ireland: Show Seven Recap
Aggressiveness pays off for Spieth vs. Schwartzel
AUSTIN, Texas – On Tuesday, Jordan Spieth said he hoped this week’s format would free him up and allow him to play more aggressively.
Although that wasn’t the case early in his Day 1 match against Charl Schwartzel, Spieth was able to get his week off to a solid start with a 2-and-1 victory.
After playing his first nine holes in even par, Spieth moved ahead in the match when Schwartzel made bogey at the par-5 12th hole and the American hit his approach at the par-4 13th hole to 3 feet, a shot he said was “pivotal,” and he added another birdie at the 14th hole to pull away.
“I had a couple of iffy numbers and some swirly winds. I did not play aggressively,” Spieth said of his opening nine. “Once I got a couple numbers where I could put really nice, solid swings on, zeroed in at the target with no worry about anything else around, I did just that and it led to three or four birdies from the eighth hole on. You have to go at flagsticks to make birdies here.”
The early victory puts Spieth on a collision course with Patrick Reed, who also won his first-day match against HaoTong Li, 3 and 2. Spieth and Reed, who are a combined 7-2-2 when teamed together in the Ryder and Presidents Cup, will play each other in the final day of round-robin play on Friday.
List takes Thomas to 18 putting with a wedge
AUSTIN, Texas – As he walked off the sixth tee on Wednesday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Luke List “swiped” his putter into what he thought was a bush. It was a wall.
List’s putter bent slightly, which meant he wasn’t allowed to employ it the rest of the round. Using a wedge to putt, he lost his opening-day match to Justin Thomas, 2 down.
“Stupid on my part,” List said. “I'll get the club fixed and go on to my next two matches.”
Despite his putting disadvantage, List pushed Thomas to the 18th hole thanks to birdies at Nos. 13, 15 and 16, which included a chip-in from 18 feet at 15. Thomas was 3 up with four holes to play and managed to birdie the last, but it was far from stress-free.
“I was thinking about it, how bad that would hurt if I couldn't get it done,” Thomas said. “He hit some great putts and he made some good ones when he needed to.”
The situation also prompted Thomas to change his strategy on the greens, with not nearly as many conceded putts as normal.
“He putted probably two or three putts I wouldn't have made him putt with a putter,” Thomas said. “[No. 13] was a short putt he's probably going to make. It had a lot of break. But 12, that putt was 2 feet straight uphill. But I was like he's got a wedge, so I'm going to make him putt it.”
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0||(2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0||(3) J. Rahm:||(4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat||(19) P. Reed: 1-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0||(43) C. Reavie||(34) H. Li: 0-1-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
||(60) L. List: 0-1-0||(63) K. Bradley||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0|
|Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8|
|(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0||(6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0||(7) S. Garcia||(8) J. Day: 1-0-0|
|(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
||(18) B. Harman||(20) X. Schauffele||(25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0|
|(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0||(44) J. Vegas||(41) D. Frittelli||(42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0|
|(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0||(51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0||(62) S. Sharma||(56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0|
|Group 9||Group 10||Group 11||Group 12|
|(9) T. Fleetwood: 0-1-0||(10) P. Casey||(11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0||(12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0|
|(26) D. Berger: 0-1-0||(31) M. Fitzpatrick||(23) B. Grace: 0-1-0||(22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0|
|(33) K. Chappell: 1-0-0||(45) K. Stanley||(35) B. Watson: 1-0-0||(36) B. Steele: 1-0-0|
|(58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0||(51) R. Henley||(64) J. Suri: 1-0-0||(55) A. Levy: 0-1-0|
|Group 13||Group 14||Group 15||Group 16|
|(13) A. Noren: 1-0-0||(14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0||(15) P. Perez: 0-1-0||(16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1|
|(29) T. Finau: 1-0-0||(17) R. Cabrera Bello||(24) G. Woodland: 0-1-0||(27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0|
|(39) T. Pieters: 0-1-0||(40) S. Kodaira||(37) W. Simpson: 0-1-0||(47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0|
|(61) K. Na: 0-1-0||(59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 0-1-0||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1|
Hot Seat: The driver is burning Tiger
The men’s first major championship of the year is two weeks away, the women’s just a week away.
Here’s our Hot Seat lineup with the approach of the Masters and the ANA Inspiration in mind:
Smoking carbon composites – Tiger Woods
Woods is the betting favorite to win the Masters in most sportsbooks, and while his game is coming together quickly, he won’t be the experts’ pick without getting his driver under control.
The driver looks like the last piece Woods needs to once more become the favorite wherever he goes.
Right now, though, there’s an open wound that needs to be cauterized before he heads to Augusta National.
That double-cross Woods blew into someone’s backyard along the 16th hole Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational came from a reservoir of uncertainty that his driver continues to create.
Woods has come a long way with his driver. When he pulls it out of the bag, it isn’t like he’s ripping a bandage off anymore, not the way it was three and four years ago. Still, he doesn’t pull that club with the same relish Rory McIlroy does, or Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, for that matter. Physically and psychologically, they’ve got an advantage on him until he does.
Woods did not qualify for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, so he’s got extra time to address his biggest shortcoming.
“Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver,” Golf Channel’s Notah Begay said earlier this week. “Tiger has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”
Smoldering Tex Mex Tango – Dustin Johnson
The world No. 1 is playing just fine enough since his victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at year’s start. He’s just been overshadowed by the brilliance of a lot of fellow stars.
With McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas all winning in the last month, with Woods stepping up his game, Johnson has been quietly toiling toward the Masters.
Johnson has won 10 times since Woods' last victory, and yet Woods is the 8-to-1 favorite to win the Masters.
Johnson, McIlroy and Thomas are listed at 10-to-1 by the Westgate Las Vegas SportsBook.
It doesn’t rankle Johnson.
“It’s fine with me,” he said Tuesday. “He’s playing pretty well.”
Even as the defending champ this week at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, Johnson isn’t center stage, not with McIlroy marching into town off his dominant finish at the API.
Flying relatively under the radar might seem like a comfortable position for a world No. 1, but he won’t stay atop the world rankings for long flying under the radar.
Rolex Ranking Roast – Shanshan Feng
The women’s Rolex world No. 1 enters the week at the Kia Classic trying to hold off a strong field with the ANA Inspiration looming next week.
The top seven players in the world rankings, and 11 of the top 12, are at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California.
Feng has quietly reigned atop the world rankings for 19 consecutive weeks, holding off bids to overtake her by No. 2 Lexi Thompson, No. 3 So Yeon Ryu and No. 4 Sung Hyun Park.
They’ve all been close enough in world ranking average this year to take the top spot, but Feng isn’t backing down. She’s winless so far this this year, but she has finished fifth or better in two of her three starts.