The Odds are Improving

By November 4, 2003, 5:00 pm
The Big BreakEditor's Note: The Golf Channel aired the fifth episode of its original series, The Big Break, Tuesday in which a group of scratch golfers vie in a weekly showdown of golf skills challenges. Each week one contestant will be eliminated until there is just one man left standing on the tee box. That lucky winner will get the Big Break of his golfing career - exemptions into four Canadian Tour events airing on The Golf Channel in 2004.
 
With each passing competition and one player continuing to be eliminated, the odds were starting to become more apparent ' both good and bad. Good for the fact that the smaller number of contestants meant the chance of winning the Big Break was becoming more of a reality for the players.
 
But also a reality was that the odds of going home were rising and the players were becoming a little more subdued as a result.
 
The atmosphere is definitely changing. Everybody is getting a little quieter, spoke Justin Peters about the groups mood. Friendship is still there, but the competitiveness is going to start creeping through and pressure is building, the stakes are rising.
 
Added Anthony Sorentino, Now its getting closer, you can smell it a little bit. Its not going to turn into us rooting against each other at all - because it's golf. You just try to hit good golf shots.
 
Big Break - Group looks onThe first skills challenge had the contestants hitting a wedge from 90 yards out to three targets varying in size and point value within a 90-second time frame. The largest target was about 400 square feet in size and held a five-point value, the second was 225 square feet and worth 10 points. The smallest target was about the size of a small bathroom but worth a very tempting 20 points.
 
The risk/reward factor definitely had the players contemplating their approach to the shot and the all-important mulligan given to the winner of the challenge.
 
I just wanted to start off at the five pointer, get into a groove then move my aim over to the 10s and then maybe one of the last ones hit toward the 20, said Craig Pawling on his strategy. It was a timed event and Ive come to learn, for me, speed golfing doesnt exactly work with me. I get real rushed and dont make my normal swing.
 
With scores ranging from 0 to 25, Anthony Sorentino walked away with the mulligan and a pair of mountain bikes and a kayak in the process. But the fun was over, as the players waited for what was in store in the elimination challenge.
 
This elimination was designed to test their ability to control both distance and accuracy by hitting four different clubs to a pin located on a green 120 yards away. A pitching wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron and a 7-iron were to be used and the player with the highest aggregate total distance from the pin would be sent packing.
 
Watching the skills challenges on TV, Ive always watched them thinking, Id love to do something like that, it looks so fun, said an excited Peters about the shows different formats and challenges. Im having a blast hitting all these crazy shots, testing our skills.
 
Craig Pawling was the first to go and established the mark to beat with a total distance of 147 feet 10 inches. Next up was Mark Farnham and a wayward third shot cost him big-time, landing some 90 feet away from the pin. His four-shot total of 159 feet 1 inch put him in a precarious position.
 
The next four contestants all held their own, with Randy Block coming in with the shortest distance of the day, just 72 feet 0 inches. Only Jon Roddy and Sorentino remained as Farnham stood by patiently waiting for the results.
 
Big Break - Jon RoddyAfter three indifferent shots, Roddy needed to get his last ball somewhat close in order to move on and leave Farnham on the outside looking in. His knockdown 7-iron looked to be just the shot he needed until it hit a small bump on the front of the green that deflected the ball sharply away from the pin. A bad break had suddenly ended Roddys chance at the Big Break.
 
I executed the shot the way youre suppose to. It was coming in fine and then it just took that roll to the left, said a disappointed Roddy. But Ill learn from it. Thats life, its tough.
 
It was the first elimination challenge where somebody hit a pretty good shot and a funny bounce took the guy out of it, added Pawling on the breaks of the game.
 
After the challenge the popular Roddy said his goodbyes and made his way back to the cabin to pack up his things.
 
Today was the most emotional day, said Sorentino, who easily made the cut in the elimination challenge. Jon was a class kid and he was real good at golf. Hes got a great swing. Everyone was pretty sad today, everyone was bummed out.
 
With the field now pared down to six contestants be sure to tune in to The Golf Channel Tuesday at 9:00PM (ET) as the group will face some physically and mentally exhausting challenges sure to have everyone on their toes.
 
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”