Ladies Begin Big Break Quest

By February 8, 2005, 5:00 pm
The Big Break IIIThe Golf Channel unveiled the first episode of The Big Break III ' Ladies Only Tuesday night, the networks third installment of its hit television series. As the title suggests however, this season is just for the ladies. But that in no way means the stakes arent high, as the 10 contestants will be vying for entry into select LPGA tournaments, including the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, May 5-8, and the LPGA Corning Classic, May 26-29.
After meeting and gathering together for the first time over dinner, the ladies enjoyed a day swimming with the dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Fla., then boarded one of NetJets luxury jets and headed north to historic Williamsburg, Va., site of the abovementioned Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill Golf Club.
With a surprise seemingly around every corner, most of the ladies seemed to be enjoying the truly unique experience, especially the twist and turns that were sure to come.
Vince Cellini and Stephanie Sparks
Co-hosts Vince Cellini and Stephanie Sparks will guide the 10 contestants through The Big Break III.
We have no clue where we are going. And thats fun, said Liz Uthoff of St. Louis, Mo. I think the excitement of the unknown is fun.
Everyone has got this super bubbly personality, said Jan Dowling, who is originally from Ontario, Canada. Its almost hard to get a word in, because everyone has got that type-A personality. Its just been awesome.
With spirits high and camaraderie building, the next morning the group was taken on a foggy boat ride, eventually landing them at the Kingsmill course. Upon arrival, co-hosts Vince Cellini and former LPGA Tour player Stephanie Sparks welcomed them to what promised to be an emotional week of golfing challenges.
In what now is becoming the signature Big Break challenge, the ladies took turns hitting knockdown shots in effort to break a pane of glass with a competitors name on it.
The good news was that the last woman standing, or whose pane of glass remained unbroken, had first dibs on her choice of room and bed for the duration of the competition. Even better news was that no one, regardless of where they finished in the challenge, was going home.
The whole threat of were picking our bed and our room, everyone was like, I dont want to sleep on the floor, said Uthoff light-heartedly.
The quiet sounds of nature soon gave way to the reverberation of breaking glass, as one by one the contestants dropped out. With just two players remaining, Dowling finally took out Uthoff to claim top honors.
It was incredible to break a glass. It was a cool, cool feeling, said Dowling. It was fun to win the first one (challenge).
And the surprises kept coming as the ladies made their way to the lodge where a special guest was inside waiting for them.
Knock on the door and as soon as Matt Griesser answers the door, we all went, Get out of town! said an excited Pam Crikelair of Highland Beach, Fla.
Oh God, he is soooo funny, added Tasha Browner of Tarzana, Calif. I just love his voice. I could listen to him all day.
The Big Break III
Valerie Ochoa takes dead aim at Pamela Crikelair's pane of glass.
Griesser, co-host of The Golf Channel's Plugged In series, greeted the group and let them have the run of the house. As they made their way around the accommodations, they all quickly discovered, much to their delight, that The Golf Channel had spared no expense.

An indoor putting green, a billiards table, dart board, pinball machine, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a fridge stocked with beer and sodas, a beautiful view overlooking a lake and a Callaway Staff Bag for each of the contestants, each custom embroidered with their own name.
Finally, after a chef was brought to feed the ladies a wonderful steak and seafood dinner, reality started to set in as they all began to realize that when morning came, it was down to business.
They cant hold us all here forever, we have to start eliminating, said Crikelair about the next days inevitable elimination challenge.
You can see the game faces coming on, observed Danielle Amiee of Newport Beach, Calif.
Be sure to check in next week as Mother Nature gets into the mix at the first elimination challenge. At the end of the day one of the 10 contestants will be going home.
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    Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

    By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

    Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

    She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

    Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

    After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

    “The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

    Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

    It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

    “I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

    Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    “The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

    Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

    It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

    “I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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    Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

    CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

    The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

    ''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

    She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

    ''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

    Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

    ''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

    Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

    Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

    Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

    ''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

    She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

    ''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

    Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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    DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

    By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

    AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

    Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

    “He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

    Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

    The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

    It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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    Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

    By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

    BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

    Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

    ''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

    He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

    Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

    ''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

    Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

    ''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

    Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

    ''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

    Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

    Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

    Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.