Rough Start For Big Break II Winner

By Kip HenleyMarch 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: Big Break II winner Kip Henley III will share his thoughts as he takes advantage of Nationwide Tour exemptions awarded by The Golf Channel.
Big Break II Aftermath
What an unbelievable ride! Winning The Big Break II was truly a life changing experience. I way underestimated the power of the show. It is still weird for me to be recognized out of my home state.
Practicing and playing in cities like La Quinta, Pinehurst, and Hilton Head where golf is huge, people come up to me no matter where I go. I can not imagine growing tired of strangers approaching me, but if that ever changes I could let my hair grow back to its normal color and stop most of it.
If things work out with my 'Big Break' it will only increase all of this which is fine by me.
My intentions are to parlay the four exemptions into the start of my career on the Nationwide Tour and use it as a stepping stone to make it to the PGA Tour. One day I plan to be the oldest dude to win The Masters. I heard you giggle but I am not joking.
I have been fortunate enough to receive two more Nationwide exemptions, three NGA Hooters Tour exemptions and even a special invitation from Peter Jacobsen to the CVS Celebrity Pro-Am later in the year. Not sure if Peter was just trying to make me feel great like he seems to do with everyone around him but he was so complimentary of how I did on the show. He is portrayed as a great guy on television because that is exactly what he is.
I'm practicing non-stop to prepare as much as I can for these opportunities and hope to be on top of my game when the flag goes up.
I would like to take this time to thank each and every member of the Golf Channel's Big Break team for all they did before, during and since the ending of the Big Break II, they are truly special people. To all my family, friends and supporters thanks for being there and cheer hard for me come summer.
Thanks for eveyone who pulled for me and all the calls and e-mails have been inspiring.
My First Hooters Event
I got into Flowery Branch last Sunday to prepare for my first Hooters event. It wasn't a very good week weather-wise, Thursdays round was washed out (which shortened it to a 54-hole event with a full field) but we were able to start our first round Friday after a two hour frost delay.
I shot even par with a poor ball striking day. Went to the range and found a couple things and was looking forward to Saturday. I didn't start my second round until 4:10 p.m. and was only able to finish nine holes and hit my tee ball on ten before play was halted due to darkness. At this point I stood 1-under-par for the tournament.
I left and went to eat with my family and caddies family and after eating 'pasta' with sausage I began throwing up around 1:30 a.m. I don't know if it was food related or a bug but I finished throwing up at 6:30a.m. and was able to stand up without throwing up at 7:00 a.m. I took a shower and got to the course at 7:45 and teed off without any practice balls or putts at 8:00 a.m. feeling if I could just finish my round I knew I would at least get a check and hoping with a break between my final round I would feel better.
Through my first seven holes I felt terrible but I wasn't throwing up but my last two holes I got weak fast. I had two bogeys and a double on my last nine holes and still made the cut by two. I couldn't even add up my score from feeling disoriented. I laid down in my car thinking it would pass and waited to see how long I had until the last 18 started. I had about an hour and 45 minutes to get better and all I did was get worse.
If I could have played one hole for a million dollars I couldn't have done it. I didn't even get out of my car, never hit a shot on the final 18. I started feeling better about midnight Sunday and Monday left for Auburn. I wasn't signed up for this next week but my girls had spring break and here I am in Auburn preparing for this next Hooters event with my girls by my side.
I feel positive about this first start although I am extremely disappointed about how things worked out. But there's always a reason for everything so I'll wait and see what this was for....thanks for all the support and the emails....Kipper
Related Links:
  • Henley Adds Invites to Exemptions
  • Big Break II Home
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    Reed: 'Back still hurts' from carrying Spieth at Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 10:48 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Friday’s marquee match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who are both undefeated in pool play, just keeps getting better and better.

    Following his 1-up victory over Charl Schwartzel on Thursday, Reed was asked what makes Spieth, who defeated HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, so good at match play.

    “I don't know, my back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup,” smiled Reed, who teamed with Spieth at Hazeltine National.

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    The duo did go 2-1-1 at the 2016 Ryder Cup and have a combined 7-2-2 record in Ryder and Presidents Cup play. Reed went on to explain why Spieth can be such a challenging opponent in match play.

    “The biggest thing is he's very consistent. He hits the ball well. He chips the ball well. And he putts it really well,” Reed said. “He's not going to give you holes. You have to go and play some good golf.”

    The winner of Friday’s match between Spieth and Reed will advance to the knockout stage.

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    Reed vs. Spieth: Someone has to go

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 10:11 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – The introduction of round-robin play to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was a necessary evil. It was needed to stem the tide of early exits by high-profile players, but three days of pool play has also dulled the urgency inherent to match play.

    There are exceptions, like Friday’s marquee match between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, which is now a knockout duel with both players going 2-0-0 to begin the week in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    That the stars aligned so perfectly to have America’s most dominant pairing in team play the last few years square off in a winner-take-all match will only add to what promises to be must-see TV.

    Sport doesn’t always follow the script, but the pre-match subtext on this one is too good to dismiss. In one corner, professional golf’s “Golden Child” who has used the Match Play to wrest himself out of the early season doldrums, and in the other there’s the game’s lovable bad boy.

    Where Spieth is thoughtful and humble to the extreme, Reed can irritate and entertain with equal abandon. Perhaps that’s why they’ve paired so well together for the U.S. side at the Ryder and Presidents Cup, where they are a combined 7-2-2 as a team, although Spieth had another explanation.

    “We're so competitive with each other within our own pairing at the Ryder Cup, we want to outdo each other. That's what makes us successful,” Spieth said. “Tiger says it's a phenomenon, it's something that he's not used to seeing in those team events. Normally you're working together, but we want to beat each other every time.”

    But if that makes the duo a good team each year for the United States, what makes Friday’s showdown so compelling is a little more nuanced.

    The duo has a shared history that stretches all the way back to their junior golf days in Texas and into college, when Reed actually committed to play for Texas as a freshman in high school only to change his mind a year later and commit to Georgia.

    That rivalry has spilled over to the professional ranks, with the twosome splitting a pair of playoff bouts with Reed winning the 2013 Wyndham Championship in overtime and Spieth winning in extra holes at the 2015 Valspar Championship.

    Consider Friday a rubber match with plenty of intrigue.

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    Although the friendship between the two is genuine, there is an edge to the relationship, as evidenced by Reed’s comment last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he was denied relief on the 11th hole on Sunday.

    “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys,” Reed said.

    While the line was clearly a joke, Reed added to Friday’s festivities when he was asked what makes Spieth such a good match play opponent. “I don't know, my back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup,” smiled Reed, a not-so-subtle suggestion that he carried Spieth at Hazeltine.

    For his part, Spieth has opted for a slightly higher road. He explained this week that there have been moments in the Ryder Cup when his European opponents attempted some gamesmanship, which only angered Reed and prompted him to play better.

    “I've been very nice to [Reed] this week,” Spieth smiled.

    But if the light-hearted banter between the duo has fueled the interest in what is often a relatively quiet day at the Match Play, it’s their status as two of the game’s most gritty competitors that will likely lead to the rarest of happenings in sport – an event that exceeds expectations.

    Both have been solid this week, with Speith winning his first two matches without playing the 18th hole and Reed surviving a late rally from Charl Schwartzel on Thursday with an approach at the 18th hole that left him a tap-in birdie to remain unbeaten.

    They may go about it different ways, but both possess the rare ability to play their best golf on command.

    “I’m glad the world gets to see this because it will be special,” said Josh Gregory, Reed’s college coach who still works with the world No. 23. “You have two players who want the ball and they aren’t afraid of anything. Patrick lives for this moment.”

     Where Reed seems to feed off raw emotion and the energy of a head-to-head duel, Spieth appears to take a more analytical approach to match play. Although he admits to not having his best game this week, he’s found a way to win matches, which is no surprise to John Fields, Spieth’s coach at Texas.

    “Jordan gave us a tutorial before the NCAA Championship, we picked his brain on his thoughts on match play and how he competed. It’s one of those secret recipes that someone gives you,” Fields said. “When he was a junior golfer he came up with this recipe.”

    Whatever the secret sauce, it will be tested on Friday when two of the game’s most fiery competitors will prove why match play can be the most entertaining format when the stars align like they have this week.

    It was a sign of how compelling the match promises to be that when asked if he had any interest in the Spieth-Reed bout, Rory McIlroy smiled widely, “I have a lot of interest in that. Hopefully I get done early, I can watch it. Penalty drops everywhere.”

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    Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

    We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

    But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

    One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

    It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

    And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

    Hey, whatever works.

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    Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

    By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

    Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

    The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

    “I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

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    Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

    “I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”