Down to the Final Four -- Without Don

By Mark MitchellMay 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
The Big Break VIIDon Donatello lost his gamble on The Big Break VII: Reunion and it cost him not only $5,000 in cash but his spot on the series. Mike Foster and Ashley Gomes defeated the Sanford, Fla. resident to advance to next show while Donatello is left to wonder what if.
The stage for the drama was set three weeks ago when Donatello won an Ultimate Immunity Challenge that meant he could gain one-time immunity from an Elimination Challenge but would forfeit $5,000 that accompanied the prize . If he was able to make it to the final four without using the free pass he would keep the cash. However, should he enter an Elimination Challenge and be defeated, he would be off the show and lose the cash.
The Big Break concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in challenges that test physical skills and mental toughness. During The Big Break VII, competitors will be eliminated with the last one standing crowned the winner. Each show features two to three challenges, the outcome of each influencing who stays and who goes home. Each challenge will demand precision shot-making designed to simulate conditions that players face every week on Tour.
After losing in an Immunity Challenge in episode nine of the GOLF CHANNELs popular series, Donatello decided to play the Elimination Challenge rather than turn in the Ultimate Immunity Challenge and advance. Reasoning he would have to beat the other competitors sooner or later, he let it all ride.
In the final stage of the competition, Donatello joined Foster and Gomes ' Tommy Gainey and David Gunas had already earned immunity earlier in the episode - to play the par-3 seventh hole on the Watson course at Ginn Reunion Resort in Reunion, Fla. twice from different sets of tees. After making a par on the first playing of the hole, Donatello led by one-stroke.
Then the pressure hit. After yanking his tee shot left into a greenside waste bunker, Donatellos risky bump-and-run shot ended short of the green and led to an eventual double bogey. Foster and Gomes both made bogey to match Donatellos score of 2 over par for the two holes.
The threesome matched par on the first extra hole sending them back to the tee for a fourth time. This time Donatellos first shot was short of the green and he once again confounded wisdom by putting his ball from off the green instead of hitting a chip shot. His putt went 15 feet by the hole. He missed the par attempt and was eliminated when Gomes made a short putt to join Foster in making par.
I hate being eliminated. It hurts, said Donatello. I feel like I have so much talent that I have to analyze everything to be 100% sure. A part of me feels so bad because I know I am better than those people still in there. I didnt split my pride away from my smartness.
I just hate being on the short end of the stick and wish some would show me what the heck is going on. Maybe Ill quit and maybe I will keep on playing. Time will tell and I will make the best decision for my family.
Making the outcome worse for the man who once caddied on the PGA TOUR for Chris DiMarco, Donatello was his own worst enemy during the competition. Time and again he made metal mistakes that ranged from not hitting enough club to attempting the wrong type of shot that led to disastrous results.
Hes kicking himself for going to the elimination because he had the chance to go right to the final four and he gave it away, is how Gomes summed up Donatellos plight.
His loss, though, is the other competitors gain. Donatellos departure means the remaining four contestants are competing for the grand prize. If one of the remaining male professionals is victorious, then he will earn a spot in the field of the 2007 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour. Should one of the females claim the title, then she will be invited to compete in the 2007 Ginn Tribute Hosted by ANNIKA on the LPGA Tour.
Related links:
  • The Big Break 7 - Home
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Reed races in 40-footer to put away Spieth

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 10:19 pm

    Three up with three holes to play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Patrick Reed missed an opportunity to close out his match with Jordan Spieth when Spieth won the 16th hole with a birdie.

    But Reed wouldn't let the match move to 18. Putting for birdie from the apron, 40 feet from the hole, at the par-3 17th, Reed raced in this putt to end the match.

    With the win, Reed moved to 3-0-0 for the week and advanced to the weekend at Austin Country Club.

    Getty Images

    Garcia's win-win situation: Move on or baby time

    By Rex HoggardMarch 23, 2018, 9:45 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Given his status as one of Europe’s preeminent Ryder Cup players, Sergio Garcia’s record at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is nothing short of inexplicable.

    In 15 starts at the event, the Spaniard has played the weekend just once – in 2010 when he lost in the semifinals to Ian Poulter – and since the event pivoted to round-robin play he’s never made it out of the group stages.

    His fortunes have changed dramatically this year, with Garcia going undefeated in pool play and cruising to the Sweet 16 following a 3-and-1 victory over Xander Schauffele on Friday.

    “I would love to have done a little better than I have,” said Garcia, who will play Kyle Stanley in the Round of 16 early Saturday. “I have had some good weeks here. But not probably as good as I should have. So hopefully this week it will be better.”

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

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

    Garcia made no secret of the source of his turnaround following the birth of his first child last Wednesday, a girl named Azalea. Even on Friday when he found himself 2 down through 11 holes and in danger of not advancing he kept an upbeat attitude.

    “The way I looked at it, when I was 2 down, we're going to try to turn it around, but if we don't, it means that I get to spend more time with [his wife] Angela and Azalea for the weekend,” Garcia said. “I tried to look at it in a good way.”

    Getty Images

    DeLaet: WGC's robin-robin format 'sucks'

    By Grill Room TeamMarch 23, 2018, 9:20 pm

    Graham DeLaet isn't teeing it up at Austin Country Club this week because he didn't qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but that doesn't mean he lacks an opinion on the event's format.

    DeLaet hopped on social media Friday during Day 3 of the WGC-Match Play to torch the round-robin format that's been in place for three years, saying he much preferred the single elimination that was in place when he played in 2014.

    "Played Match Play in Tucson in 2014. Early group on Wednesday, lost. Threw clubs in my car and was on my couch in Scottsdale by 2:00 pm. Collect 30K and spend the weekend at home, he tweeted. "That’s a good format. This one sucks."

    DeLeat's comments may be the strongest to date, but he's not alone in his opposition to pool play. Several players lamented Friday's "meaningless" matches earlier this week, and Henrik Stenson cited the lack of a do-or-die atmosphere as his reason for skipping the event.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Kuchar makes ace at WGC-Dell Match Play

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 9:09 pm

    In his bid to advance to the weekend at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Matt Kuchar aced the par-3 seventh hole Friday at Austin Country Club.

    With an 8-iron from 181 yards, Kuchar landed his ball short of the flag and watched it roll and roll ... and drop.

    The hole-in-one moved Kuchar 3 Up in match against Ross Fisher. 

    The last hole-in-one at the Match Play came in Sunday's consolation match last year, when Hideto Tanihara aced the same hole before later losing to Bill Haas.