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Friday, June 6, 2014

A Tale of Two Big Breakers

Let's get this straight up front: In the grand scheme of things, one round of golf doesn't mean a whole lot.

Having said that, it's tough when you only get two rounds to prove yourself. We saw two very different stories play out Thursday and, although it was only one round, we already know the end to one of them.

Jackie Stoelting

Tuesday I did a post about the two Big Break winners teeing it up this week. I said it would be interesting to watch because "one or both of them really could be getting a Big Break."

For Isaac Sanchez, one round did him in. For Jackie Stoelting, the jury's still out.

Isaac shot +16 Thursday -- no birdies, 7 pars, 8 bogeys, 2 doubles, and 1 quad. (The quad came on the 11th, a par-3 island green. Enough said.) The weather in Memphis was rough, as a storm came through and delayed play for over 3 hours. But although a number of players still have to finish their first rounds, it's unlikely the cut will fall enough for Isaac to make it. If Isaac shot 58 today, he'd still be +4.

With the leader at -7, it's hard to believe there won't be a lot of low scores on a wet course. Isaac is dead last on the leaderboard, 7 strokes behind the next closest player. I don't know what Isaac's plans are -- if he even intends to try and make the PGA Tour -- but it looks like this won't be the way he makes it.

Meanwhile, for Jackie the story is much brighter. She shot -1, posting 4 birdies, 11 pars, and 3 bogeys. She's T34, 5 shots off the lead. That's pretty good, given how windy the course was. But given the caliber of the names ahead of her -- for example, the top 4 are Michelle Wie, Hee Young Park, Shanshan Feng, and Cristie Kerr -- it's not likely that she'll win the tournament.

Not likely, but not impossible. Jackie's still very much in the mix. There are 20 players tied at -1, like Suzann Pettersen; and Jackie's ahead of Angela Stanford, Catriona Matthew, and Lydia Ko, just to name a few. But because the leaderboard is so crowded, she'll need to play a solid round to make the cut.

Not that it really matters though... posted a story about Jackie and her plans for this season. Although she has some status on tour already, she's chosen to lock up a card next year by focusing on the Symetra Tour this year. Gerina Piller is quoted in the article, and she approves of Jackie's plan. (She tells why in the article. It's a good read if you want to know what players juggling tours have to deal with.) And it looks like Jackie will succeed, as she's #7 in their money list already.

It's likely that Jackie will end up spending the rest of this year on the Symetra Tour. (I wonder what happens if she makes it? After all, part of her Big Break prize was having all her 2015 Symetra Tour entry fees paid.) But no matter what happens today, it looks like Jackie's already succeeded in her Big Break.

It's amazing what a little confidence can do for a player, isn't it?



  2. 2 bad swings today but made the cut on the number! Thank you @ManulifeClassic and @BigBreak for this amazing opportunity!

  3. I was keeping check too, Phil. I'm glad she made it.

    Isaac didn't get to tee off at all on Friday. At least he'll get to play the weekend, even if if wasn't the way he hoped.