Maiya Tanaka Player Blog

By Maiya TanakaJuly 4, 2010, 3:44 am
Dang! I got eliminated! That wasn’t the plan!

I got to the airport around 4 a.m. It was still dark outside, and I was in my comfy sweats and UCLA travel gear, no makeup. After a few layovers and hours later, I arrived at the Bahamas, once again to darkness outside. This time we were greeted with cameras! Ah! This was my TV debut, and I was in sweats and no makeup, but that’s just how I roll. I was the only one who looked like they just rolled out of bed, but hello America!

In reviewing my thoughts in my journal, the biggest thing I worried about was how I was going to survive without my laptop and phone for two weeks! Other than that, I took a relatively relaxed approach to the show. I packed modestly: one bag and my golf bag. Of course, I forgot half the things I needed, but the girls had my back if I ever had to borrow anything. The girls were amazing!

First notable thing was that we got butlers! When we first arrived, we each had our own personal butler! He even carried my purse as we walked toward the rooms. Now that’s a real man! I also was so excited to eat anything out of the mini bar! Usually, that’s off limits, and I wouldn’t even think about opening it. It was awesome! I got into half that mini bar on the first night! The excitement of being there mixed with the surreal feeling of actually being selected was incredible.

We played a fun practice round the next morning, where I got to know Sara and Carling a little better. We did photo shoots, had our makeup done and just feel like girls! It was so much fun! If I could have had the whole trip be like this, I would be in heaven, no worries and no pressure. However, reality sunk in, and it was off to the competition!

The night before the first day, I couldn’t sleep at all. I wanted to know what the challenge would be. I was so excited! When we woke up, the cameras were there. From the moment we woke up to the very end of the day, we had microphones on us. This was the weirdest thing, knowing someone else was listening to everything you say at any given moment. But it also was fun messing with the sound guys and keeping them on their toes! We would joke around and say stuff just to check if they were listening.

Commenting on the first episode’s challenges, I was just so nervous. I couldn’t even hold onto the golf club. I also didn’t factor in the adrenaline and hit my first challenge shot way long. Then I did it again with the second challenge—hitting it long—then overcorrecting for the second shot. I’m just glad that I was able to relax and dial it in for the elimination challenge. It was closer to actually playing a real hole of golf. I was excited because that’s what I do, and that’s where I’m used to having the pressure put on me. The idea of only having one shot at a random location was the main reason I felt so much pressure. It's weird looking back on the shots. I feel like I could do them in my sleep now!

I received a lot of comments about my Breast Cancer Awareness shirt. That’s what the I <3 Boobies was for, for those of you who were wondering. I just wanted to show my support. I got the shirt at a cool pub-crawl for Breast Cancer that I went on. Support Breast Cancer Awareness!

On the second episode, I got saved, so I was able to get some pool time in. Not bad at all. :) I kicked back with a few piña coladas and worked on that sock tan! I was hoping they would let us practice, since we got very minimal practice in since we had arrived, but we couldn't. I do feel like I could have done well in the competition that day looking back on it, especially because driver is my favorite club to hit!


Elimination Day: Da-Da-Dum.

All I can think about is how long that day seemed. It was such a harsh day with roller coaster emotions. I was so happy and excited to see and meet Greg Norman, and it was so cool of him to give us pointers and tips and hang out with us at the range. I liked his accent, and he seemed really nice. Then, he becomes our worst enemy as he sets up the hardest shots he could have around the hole. Thanks Greg! But really, his thought process was, “where would the ball end up if you went for the green and missed the shot.”

I wanted to remind Greg we are pros and would never miss there! Just kidding. It made for a fun challenge. The fact that the winning group got to save someone also kind of made it interesting. The field went from nine girls to only five in what seemed like a heartbeat. That really put the pressure on, because in my eyes, Sara, Carling, Ryann and Taryn were the strongest competitors out there, and none of us were going down without a fight. After a few shots that were good, but not good enough, I ended up having to face-off with the one girl I've always had to compete with, Ryann. I didn't want to have to compete against her until the end. I wanted us to go all the way and then face each other in the finale. But, it came early, and it was Deja vu back to our UCLA days. Fighting for the last spot.

I’m happy to have been chosen to compete on Big Break. I leave with a smile on my face that will continue to shine on to see another tournament. I know just being chosen says a lot about my game and personality, so I could never leave feeling badly about what happened. Just in being selected, I felt like I won a raffle or something. But I would have felt like I won the lotto if I had won!

My main regret is the fact that I wasn’t able to really display my talent on the course.  I was nervous in every single challenge and couldn’t calm those nerves! The excitement and nervousness I felt was something unimaginable and a type of feeling that is solely the product of Big Break. There is no other feeling like it. I am confident that I will never have quite the same feeling again, because it is so unique, and I don’t know if I could handle it! It has, however, been the biggest and best preparation for my future that I could have asked for. I feel prepared for pressure situations, to be on camera and to be able to enjoy it. I feel like I could take on anyone, anywhere at anytime now, which is the perfect mindset as I pursue my career and try to reach my goal of competing on the LPGA Tour.

I can only hope they will do a reunion show and invite me back, so I can really show what I can do on the golf course. I think I would have a good chance the second time around, because now I know what to expect. But then again, I’ve learned that with Big Break, you can never really expect anything but the unexpected.

Continue to follow me and my career. I'll have a lot of fun stuff coming up! Thank you to everyone who believes in me and has faith I will make it one day! I appreciate all the love and support!!

<3, Maiya

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More sun, dry conditions expected early at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 9:14 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An atypically dry Scottish summer is expected to continue this week at The Open.

There’s a possibility of a few showers Thursday and Friday, but otherwise conditions are expected to remain dry with temperatures around 70 degrees and winds in the 15-20 mph range.

The forecast for the opening round at Carnoustie is sunshine with clouds developing later in the day. The high is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds increasing throughout the day, maxing out at 18 mph.

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

There’s a chance of rain overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, but it’s not expected to slow down the fiery conditions.

It’s been one of the driest summers in recent memory, leading to fairways that are baked out and fescue rough that is lighter and thinner than in previous years.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:40 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 18, 2018, 8:40 am

Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.