Do you have to be great to get the Big Break? The big snub from the Big Wiesy, the 50-yard sand shot, Shaft Skinz review
For the average golfer who dreams of one day getting a big break and playing on tour, consider the “fantasy tour” instead unless you come equipped with a low handicap, solid-looking swing and a glowing camera presence.
The golfers from season-one of the Big Break (2003) were chosen by open audition with the main prerequisities being “scratch” handicap and demonstrative proficiency with various types of shots. Personality, of course, also had to be “engaging” to the viewer as Jay Kossoff, Senior Producer of the Golf Channel, once said, “positively or negatively".
Eleven seasons later, the Big Break: Prince Edward Island premieres with a similar premise but, according to the Golf Channel Big Break forum, BB Moose states that now you have to be “very good, be yourself and be able to execute at an audition". Add to the mix a great look and the group of possible auditioners just got smaller. How many golfers really have that “Survivor” look?
Out of the thousands that apply, only two handfuls get the go-ahead. BB Moose’s advice to get a shot at the Big Break? “Apply and hope!”
From a former Marine who once played a match with Tiger Woods to competitive Irish dancer Brenda McLarnon who claims, “people will probably hate me, but that’s their problem,” (shades of Danielle Aimee?) the entertainment value is going to have to match the $100,000 prize that is being dangled in front of the contestants. Get ready for the “wow” factor and “do not try this at home” stunts beginning tonight (April 20th, 9pm EST) on the Golf Channel.
We also discuss yet another faux pas by Michelle Wie, this time on the KLPGA Tour where she decided to practice instead of play in the pro-am, because she couldn’t use her own caddy.
With Wiesy’s downward spiral in her quality of play and the nonchalant way she’s been treating her sponsors, e.g. KLPGA, Michelle may find herself auditioning for the next Big Break!
The fifty-yards between the sand and the green can be one of the most daunting shots in golf. We offer up our opinion on how to get the ball to the hole without using your wedge and review Shaft Skinz, a decorative and protective heat-shrink cover for your shafts.
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I want to hear what your excuse will be when Lorena beats you by 32 strokes at the Corona Championships...that is if you make the cut.
Yeah, well, like I said, ahhm, you know, it was windy, and hot, and like said, there were, like, insects, obviously, the score does not show how I played... yeah, just a missed put, here and there. Tomorrow I will just have to, like, shoot a lot of birdies, you know.
Remember this one?
Ahhh, at least they did not turn on the lights and siren when they hauled me off the course for heat exhaustion....he he he
Yes, another fiasco in a long string of low points. How many holes did The Teenage Golf Sensation play before she was exhausted from heat? Only three or so, correct? Golf (with caddy, no less) is such an exhausting sport....
We might see this excuse being used again very shortly....
Better ready the ice cubes and stretcher in Morelia, Mexico. The forecast is going to average 100F with light airs. If MW doesn't break par the first round, look for the heat exhaustion routine.
I enjoy your posts.
Bubbles actually finished an impressive 9 holes that summer day when temperatures reached 88 degrees. (Ironically, the number 88 has caused her to drop out twice; once because of temperature, and second because she was avoiding that score in Annika's event to elude being disqualified for a year in the LPGA.) She had absolutely no chance at making the cut after her opening round of 77. She was 2 over after nine, and eight over for the tournament when she bailed.
Anyone can get sick at any time. But with Bubbles, one has to wonder with the repeated excuses and poor decisions.
To put the Corona Championship in perspective, Lorena is going for her fourth win in a row. Last year she shot 25 under par and won by 11 strokes. I do not think that the "Wunderkind" has shot a total of 25 under par during the last three years! I wonder if she will decide to play in the Pro-Am should they have one. Evidently, the Lotte Mart people went against the rules and allowed Bubbles to play though she didn't play in their Pro-Am. I do not think the Corona people are going to be so accommodating to the "Golf Queen." I guarantee that there will once again be controversy in the "Wie Camp" during the tournament. The sga continues. Sometimes I wonder if the "Wie Fans" have a NASCAR mentality and show up just to see the wreck.
My prediction for Bubbles this week is more of the same. As Alex pointed out earlier, she has been consistently making the cut on the cut line. I think she will do it again, then finish about 10th from last. But one can never be sure with Bubbles, her finishes range from being a runner up, to walking off the tee box with two holes to play to avoid an 88. We all know she has the ability, but I think her long line of failures are snowballing and her best years at golf are probably behind her.
It might be overly optimistic to assume that Bubbles will make the cut and finish about 60th. Such a finish would be about the same as that in her last two LPGA events.
But in Korea, she made the cut on the number against a field of a mere 108 golfers, very few of which were even in the second tier of Korean women.
The Lotte tournament was at best a third tier event.
I only saw her play once in person, that in 2005 in the Publinx near Cincinnati. But a few friends of mine have seen her live since, and it is their opinions that Bubbles' game is no where near that of three or four years ago.
It may not have to any good at all if, after her poor to mediocre play, there is any truth to the rumor that she received more in appearance money at the Lotte in Korea than the total purse of the event.
Alex USMC 1969-73
I also have only seen her play live on one occassion. I followed her at the 2007 Ginn Open in Mount Plesant, South Carolina. I will never forget what she did on the 3rd hole 478 yard par 5. Her first tee shot was very dangerous, as she pushed the ball over spectators heads, into a parking lot, hit the door on a pickup truck, then the ball rolled into a storm sewer inlet. She teed up another ball. This time (3rd shot), she hooked the ball over severely into the middle of a pond. The gallery went completely silent. She finally hit a playable tee shot (5th shot), but found the bunker on her next fairway shot (6th shot). Long story short, she took a 10 on the par 5.
Then, five holes later on the par 3 eighth hole tee box, she was conversing with her caddie and some other men, then walked off the tee box (note that she started that day on the back 9).
I would agree with your friends, her game is no where near what it was. Her coach has blamed it on her campaign to challenge male golfers that has completely ruined her swing.
As for how she will do this week, I think my prediction may be "best case."
As far as Ms. Wie is concerned, I think she'll be just fine.
There are a lot of misconceptions ...from guys basically...one of the major ones is that the other LPGA players don't like her, or resent her... and that, I can tell you, is absolutely not true. I've spent time with a number of LPGA players and there's no truth to that at all. There was the incident with Annika but that was short lived and involved only Michelle and Annika... no one else took sides... because the LPGA players basically like here, find her pleasant, and know that Michelle Wie sells massive amounts of tickets and generates enormous buzz, and that's so needed with the decreasing ticket sales and shrinking sponsorship dollars. Sadly till now the vast majority of LPGA fans are men. That's a fact. And Michelle Wie, by going out again and again and trying to compete on the Mens tour became known by these male fans. Many may hate her...but they know her and they want to "see what she does this time" The rest of the LPGA players and the Administrators realize this and appreciate it.
Also, I think she's good with her parents and her parents care about her. I don't know how thinks will turn out in the end for Michelle Wie but as I said, I think she'll be fine.
You probably mean well when you completely forget Michelle's track record since she turned pro. You also probably think that the Taliban are simply poor misunderstood Muslims.
Wie is the number 2 rookie and she is proving that she belongs on tour. If what you are saying is correct, she was a lot better 3 or 4 years ago. That must mean she was incredibly good at that time--and it was ridiculous for anyone to say she had not earned jher LPGA invites.
Ahhh yes, Bubbles fine start of 9 under after 2 rounds has brought out the Wie-wees (although I think you are the only one left). I am not surprised, as she seems to do the best where there is no pressure, where no one is expecting her to do great. She had a great first LPGA appearance of 2009, then she barely made the cut at several consecutive evens. Then in Mexico this week, she is playing awesome (at least for the first two rounds). But in the fourth round, if she is in contention, she will fail. She simply does not have the drive to be a winner.
Also Jim C, Bubbles is not a rookie. Putt4par explaned this to you in a previous post (I guess you did not accept the reasoning of a fellow Wie-wee). The only reason she is considered by some to be a rookie is because this is the first year for her to have a card. But in reality, she has been on the tour (on and off) for a long time.
I do agree that she belongs on the tour though Jim C. THE LPGA THOUGH, NOT THE PGA TOUR.
After Bubbles second round 71 and the top 15 were shooting from 6 to 9 under par, I think the reality of just playing six months a year on the LPGA is finally sinking in. Ochoa is showing all the gals why she is the no.1 player in the world with another 65. Bubbles has already shot herself out of the tournament and I figure she will finish around 15th place. Bubbles had stated that she must be more consistent in order to be competitive on the LPGA. I have been following her since she was 14 and I can not remember when she put two low rounds together. It would not surprise me if Ochoa put together two more 65s for a total of 32 under par. It is a well know fact that she really attacks the par five holes in nearly every tournament she plays. Bubbles is going to have to learn this before she can ever think of challenging Ochoa. I think Bubbles will finish 69 and 70 for a final 16 under par. Pettersen shot a 64, but, I do not think she will overtake Ochoa.
You wrote: "Bubbles has already shot herself out of the tournament."
Joe, I agree with you, but when Bubbles has nothing to lose is when she performs the best. I am impressed with a 9-under after 2 rounds, even if the top 15 is shooting that well or better. That is fine golf, and Bubbles has very few bogies. She is not as erratic as she has been, hitting more greens and more playable drives. Where she cracks is when the competition gets tight. I do not think it will be a close call in this case as it looks as if Ochoa is going to run away with it all. But if Lorena does cool off and gives Bubbles a chance, Bubbles will choke with about 9 holes to play in the final round. She is just not a clutch player and was rewarded before she ever won an event.
The fact is that Michelle has more money in the bank than Sorenstam. Financially she is under no pressure and has the mindset of six months of golf and six months of school. When she enters a tournament, it is to "have fun" and not to win the tournament. She simply does not have the drive to be a champion and I doubt if she will ever have the drive. Yes, she has started to play more consistent golf, however, the LPGA competition is tough and with Ochoa around for at least five or six years,(hall of fame) Michelle is going to have to make serious decisions about her career. As you know Ochoa is a real birdie machine, if not better than Annika, in my opinion. She can go very low in any tournament and Bubbles is going to have to deal with that fact. The past has shown that "the last six holes" are Bubbles' demise. Even as a amateur, she had trouble closing out a match. Evidently, Bubbles is planning on playing in more LPGA tournaments this year, so, it will be interesting to see if she can retain her LPGA card for 2010.
After a third round 72, Bubbles is 10 strokes back of Ochoa. It is interesting to see that the par fives were not the issue, but, the par fours were. Ochoa is 11 under on the par fours and Bubbles is three under. The par fives were -10 versus -8 for Bubbles. Bubbles never did figure out the par 3 14th and has bogeyed the hole all three days. I said she would shoot a 69 in the third round and I missed it by three strokes. I still think she will end up tied for 15 place, which is better than what she has done the last two tournaments. The saga continues.
Last year anything over 100Gs got you top 100 and at least Category 11 status. With less money avaiable this year, Wie pretty much wrapped up top 100 in her first event. A top 20 this week will probably be enough to put her in the top 80 imroving her status to Category 1.
Your prediction of Bubbles 15th placement is reasonable. Still, since she is out of contention and in the absence of pressure she may do better and put together a great fourth round. She has played very well during this tournament with all three rounds so far being under par. I think we all agree, she has the capability, just not the drive.
I am predicting Ochoa over Peterson as well. When Lorena is on, she will be tough to beat. Plus, she seems to really know this course.
I really get a kick out of Jim C's glorying over the fact that Bubbles will probably get to keep her LPGA playing privileges for next year.
Gone are his rosy predictions of multiple major wins a year, and back-to-back wins several times. Now, keeping her card is a great accomplishment.
Bubbles seems to be playing it too cozy in Mexico. With an unprecedented birdie fest going on, she is playing very conservatively. True, she isn't making many bogeys, and has avoided any doubles and other big numbers.
But with the lowest aggregate total score for a field in LPGA history, mostly pars and a birdie here and there won't get it done.
I heard yesterday that thus far in the tournamnet in Morelia, 1284 birdies have been made, along with 26 eagles and two aces.
Bubbles is a pretty fair golfer, but she is no where near the prodigy that the hype made her out to be.
In a field of tough female golfers like Lorean, Suzann, and yes,even Morgan, she is probably hopelessly outclassed.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Bubbles is 2 under through 7 holes on the front 9. I do not see her shooting any lower that a 68 which will put her at 15 under for the tournament. With Suzanne breathing down Lorena's' neck, I think she will turn it on and shoot around a 66 to end up 27 under for the tournament. It seems that Bubbles is still taking the conservative route in her tournaments. Is it she doesn't want to post a big number or she just wants to finish in the top 30? Looking back on her career, I think she has only shot a handful of 66s during the last nine years. It looks like she is planning on playing around 10 to 12 tournaments in 2009, where most of the LPGA gals play 25 to 30 tournaments each year. Part time golfer is not going to get it, even for the "golf prodigy" Bubbles.
I think Bubbles is content on just finishing in the top 20 and playing well for a change. She probably realized after the second round that their was no way she was going to win with Lorena playing the way she has. So, I think she is just trying to make a good showing after sucking so bad during her last few outings.
Regarding the expectations of the Wie-wees, yes, it is declining all the time. Pretty soon, Jim C will get excited because Bubbles make the cut at an LPGA event!
MICHELLE WIE: It's been great this year. Even though I've played a lot of LPGA tournaments before, it's definitely a different feeling. It's been great playing almost every week, and it's been a lot of fun, especially this past weekend, we had the huge LPGA Sunday, my first one as an LPGA player. It was very interesting and I learned a lot of stuff. I feel great about the future. I feel great about the season, and I'm definitely having a lot of fun.
This girl is a student at Stanford? Good grief!
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