Maniac putting kept many contestants in the running, but in the finally showdown, the nail biting finish resulted in Kelly Villarreal taking the long walk.
No amount of letters on her golf gloves could help her short game in the end. The BRAVE and fearless fighter was knocked out by our Eliminator, Anya.
Anya's become quite the expert at surviving elimination being in the un-enviable position for 5 out of the last 7 shows. Make it stop!
After missing last week, I have lots to ask her and Natalia about both Episode 6 and 7, so let's get to it.
First up, Natalia. Natalia has a unique perspective on the past two shows - she was so close to the action, being only yards away from the competition, but unable to watch the drama unfold until now...
I'll try and catch up with Anya sometime this week between her practice rounds and training for the US Open which starts next Thursday.
Meanwhile, I'm delighted again that BlueFalcon has provided his analysis and commtary on this week's show. Check it out below and let us both know what you think.
Until next week...Play well and love the game!
Before I begin this week’s recap, I want to apologize for my error last week. I wrote that Christina Stockton is 2nd in Big Break points. In actuality, Gloriana Soto was 2nd coming into this week and Christina was 3rd. My apologies for the error.
Now, on to the good stuff…
6 ladies,5 episodes, 1 winner. This week, we saw some of the most dramatic play of the season, and maybe some of the best shots in Big Break history.
It started off with the players being informed that they would be playing 5 head-to-head matches, based on their points standings. Each winner would earn 15 championship points and immunity. The loser would go on to the next match. The exception being the 5th and final match. The loser of the final match-the elimination match-would be eliminated from Big Break Atlantis. As low person on the totem pole, Kelly Villareal, with 8 points, was automatically sent to the EM.
First match: Marcela Leon (1st in points with 60) vs. Gloriana Soto (2nd in points with 49.)
Hole: 2nd hole on Ocean Club course. Par 5. 475 yards.
Marcela: Hit tee shot into fairway bunker. 2nd shot from 267 in bunker, in fairway, now 166 to hole. 3rd shot missed green. 4th shot weak chip to green. Par putt powered by hole.
Gloriana: Tee shot in rough, flirted with hazard. 261 to hole. 2nd shot laid up in fairway to 86 yards. Hit green with approach on 3rd shot. High-sided birdie putt but made par to win hole and match.
2nd match: Marcela vs. Christina.
Hole: 3rd hole. Par 3.135 yards.
Marcela: Hit green with tee shot to 9 feet of hole. Made birdie putt.
Christina: Also hit green but well outside Marcela’s tee shot. Made long birdie putt coming back to force Marcela to make hers to send match to sudden death.
Sudden Death: 35 yard pitch shot. Marcela hits a great pitch to green. Christina flies green with her pitch, faces downhill putt from off green. Christina makes her putt! Marcela misses her birdie effort. Christina wins in dramatic fashion!
3rd match: Marcela vs. Selanee Henderson.
Hole: 4th hole. Par 4. 372 yards.
Marcela hit drive down left side in fairway. 2nd shot approach hit green. Selanee’s tee shot way left into rough. 2nd shot also way left in grass between greenside bunkers. Then…the rain and hail came. The match was delayed for a spell. When play resumed, Selanee’s chip barely reached green. Marcela missed her birdie putt but made short par save. Selanee missed her par putt. Marcela wins immunity.
4th match: Selanee vs. Anya Alvarez.
6th hole.Par 5.480 yards.
Anya hits huge drive off tee in fairway; has only 208 to hole. Selanee finds left fairway bunker with tee shot, has 213 to hole. Anya finds right fairway bunker with layup shot. Anya is away, her 3rd shot flies green. Still away, her 4th shot barely reaches green. After a wait, Selanee’s fairway bunker shot lands about 8 feet from hole. Anya is away with a par putt, which she shoves well by the hole. Selanee makes her birdie putt. Selanee wins immunity, forcing Anya to play Kelly in EC final match.
Before that, however, the 4 immune players played a special points match. Players hit 2 shots from one of four locations to points circles on green. Points accumulated added to championship points total. The caveat: the players would not choose their club or location to hit from, instead having to choose both from a board.
Results of Points Challenge:
Marcela: flop shot with wedge, 7 points.
Gloriana: 9 iron from greenside bunker, 2 points.
Christina: 8 iron from between branches of a tree, 1 point.
Selanee: 7 iron pitch shot, 2 points.
Points as of this challenge:
Elimination Match: Anya vs. Kelly
Hole: 9th hole. Par 4.382 yards.
Anya’s tee shot finds rough. Kelly splits the fairway with her tee shot. Kelly’s approach, barely finds green, has birdie putt from 39 feet away. Anya makes great shot from rough to green. Has 4 feet left for birdie. Then…Kelly makes her birdie putt from 39 feet!!!!!!
After getting over her shock, Anya makes her birdie putt to force sudden death. The players would replay the 9th hole. This time, Kelly has the honors first. Her tee shot finds right rough. Anya ‘s tee shot goes right down the middle.
2nd shots: Kelly doesn’t reach green with her approach from 160 yards. Anya does with hers from 114.
Kelly misses green again with 3rd shot. Anya birdie effort comes up about 4 feet short of hole.
4th shots: Kelly barely misses right with par effort. Anya makes her par putt to send Kelly home.
Now, on to the grades:
Anya Alvarez: Her middle name is Sarai. After this show, she might want to consider changing it to Kitty or some other derivation because she’s definitely used up a few lives in this season. Went to elimination for 5th time in 7 episodes-most among remaining competitors (by comparison, Selanee has been to 2 eliminations, Christina and Marcela, 1 each, and Gloriana has yet to face an elimination challenge.) No surprise she showed the mental strength to fight off Kelly’s fabulous shot in EC, given what she’s been through as a child sexual abuse survivor. Currently last in points with 29. Score: 7.
Selanee Henderson: Didn’t play match #3 vs. Marcela before or after rain delay. Did birdie hole in match vs. Anya, but was clearly helped by Anya’s struggles. 4th in points with 53. Score: 7.
Marcela Leon: Played poorly in first match vs. Gloriana. Was burned by Christina’s magic wand in 2nd match but came back to beat Selanee in 3rd match. The other players said she was a bit angry in that match. Maybe that’s a good thing. More than ¾ of the way to 100 points with 82 points as of end of this episode. Score: 8.
Gloriana Soto: Did well enough to win opening match vs. Marcela. Struggled in points challenge, but was handicapped by bad luck in choosing a difficult shot/club combination. 2nd in points with 66. Score: 6.
Christina Stockton: Made two dramatic putts in match vs. Marcela. Those weren’t dimes, they were quarters and half-dollars. Struggle in points challenge was similar to Gloriana’s. But after the two putts she made, it’s hard to quibble with Christina this week .3rd in points with 64. Score: 9.5.
Kelly Villareal: Despite the fact that Kelly was eliminated this week, she can leave with her head up. Did a lot of good things: led for a while in points. Beat Marcela in one of Big Break’s biggest upsets. But this week was the highest point, making one of the greatest shots in BB history. That wasn’t a dime either, it was a Susan B. Anthony Dollar, bay-bee!!!!!!!! What I will miss most about Kelly was the fact that she was the best dressed person for interviews. Her on-course sartorial attire deserves far less praise; in fact, none of the ladies were fashionistas on the course, but that’s a subject for another time and place. Score : 10 for the putt, 5 for the rest of her performance this week. Total: 7.5.