This week’s quick hits covers a variety of topics, including the Golf Channel’s popular Big Break series, Lorena Ochoa’s retirement and final tournament, Rory’s 62, Ryo’s 58 and more. Tiger is vulnerable and Phil is hungry in more ways than one. Read on!
1. The Golf Channel’s popular Big Break series returns this summer with Big Break Sandals Resorts. Filmed at the Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas, this years competition will feature women aged 23 to 32 seeking to gain exemptions on the LPGA and Ladies European Tour, along with cash and other prizes along the way. Most of the ladies in this year’s show play professional golf on the Duramed Futures Tour, which is the developmental circuit for the LPGA Tour. Since the series started several years ago it has become more and more commercial, with various products and companies being featured as sponsors. As annoying as this is, it shouldn’t take away from the competition. The show was taped in February 2010, and the cameras were rolling all day and all night, to capture more of the off course interactions than previous shows. With 11 beautiful and competitive women all staying in one ocean side villa, there may be some fireworks! (I’m not saying, just saying)
Big Break Sandals Resorts Cast Members
- Lili Alvarez, age 26, from El Paso, Texas
- Stacey Bieber, age 25, from Fort Worth, Texas
- Chris Brady, age 25, from Charlotte, N.C.
- Sara Brown, age 24, from Tucson, Ariz.
- Carling Coffing, age 24, from Middletown, Ohio
- Taryn Durham, age 24, from Glasgow, Kent.
- Ryann O’Toole, age 23, from Los Angeles, Calif.
- Elena Robles, age 26, from Redondo Beach, Calif.
- Seema Sadekar, age 24, from Las Vegas, Nev.
- Kelly Sheehan, age 32, from Orlando, Fla.
- Maiya Tanaka, age 24, from San Diego, Calif.
The series will premier on the Golf Channel on June 21, 2010.
2. Lorena Ochoa played her last competitive round of golf at the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico last weekend. Ochoa, who since announcing her retirement has been showered with praise and thanks from players and thanks for everything she has done, will not be eligible for the LPGA Hall of Fame unless they change the rules. She would have to play golf for 3 more years to meet the requirements. The LPGA Tour needed Ochoa in the wake of Annika’s retirement, and now without Lorena around someone else will have to step up and become the face of the struggling tour. In a sign that the LPGA Tour still has some things to learn, Lorena’s last tournament wasn’t even televised in the US. At least we got to see Annika go out in style at the US Open. Perhaps the LPGA and Ochoa should have planned it out better.
3. Rory McIlroy almost went home early last week at the Quail Hollow Championship, making the cut on the number at +1. He then took the tournament by storm, shooting 66-62 on the weekend to win going away. His 62 on Sunday was a remarkable round, and it left second place finisher Phil Mickelson with nothing but good things to say about his round. Phil shot 68 and got lapped. even more impressive was Mcilroy’s finish, going 5 under on the last five holes. If you watched CBS’ telecast, you heard them constantly tell us how the “Green Mile” was such a tough finish. Frankly, I got sick of hearing the announcers say “Green Mile” about 20 minutes into it. I’m sure somewhere Tom hanks was smiling. McIlroy will no doubt make the European Ryder Cup team, as he sits in second place in the points. Even if he didn’t make it on points, what captain would be foolish enough not to pick him? Oh, did I mention Rory is only 21?
4. If you thought Rory McIlroy’s Sunday 62 was the best round of the day, you would be wrong. In fact, Rory’s 62 wasn’t even close to the best round. Japan’s young star Ryo Ishikawa dropped a smooth 58 on his fellow competitors on Sunday to walk away with a victory on the Japan PGA Tour. Playing on a shortish par 70 layout in Nagoya, Japan, Ishikawa started the day six shots back of the leader Shigeki Maruyama but made 12 birdies to record a five-stroke victory at 13 under par. “It’s absolutely unbelievable, I don’t know where all those birdies came from,” said Ishikawa. “Seeing my score improve by 12 strokes at the end… it’s like a dream.” Maybe it’s fitting that the guys he beat, Shigeki Maruyama, once recorded a 58 in US Open qualifying. It’s the lowest score ever shot on a major tour. Oh, did I mention Ryo is only 18? What do they put in the water over there?
5. Phil Mickelson is closing in on Tiger’s number one world ranking. If he wins the Players Championship this week and Tiger finishes outside the top five, Phil will overtake Tiger as the best player in the world. I think Tiger will miss consecutive cuts for the first time in his career. In yesterday’s practice round, Tiger hit the ball into a water hazard five times in nine holes. Doesn’t look like he’s figured it out yet. Phil is hungry for another victory – and also for doughnuts it appears. After winning the Masters, Phil donned his green jacket and drove the family to Krispy Kreme for some breakfast… Classic.
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