Almost Home… West Virginia. Country Roads…Take me home to the place I belong… West Virginia!
Although John Denver was born in New Mexico and lived most of his life in California he nailed it when he sang about West Virginia and all the beauty it possesses. White Sulphur Springs, WV and the Greenbrier Resort was the place we belonged for the better part of June filming the newest season of Big Break.
Welcome back fans to the 18th edition of Big Break … Greenbrier! It’s my distinct pleasure to inform you that you are in for a treat. We have a cast of 12 amazing golfers whose talents on the course were a pleasure to witness.
We have 2 NCAA National champions (James and Liam)… a gentle giant (Isaac)… a man looking to put behind him a dark and troubled past (Stuart) and so many more! Two players with U.S. Open experience (Mark and Mike), over 75 mini-tour victories and over nearly 68 collegiate victories (Chan, Brian and Derek), a former rugby/Web.com Tour member (Ray), a pro-shop attendant who left his pregnant wife to compete on the series (Anthony) and a guy who is trying to outshine a major champion family member (Rick).
These 12 men put on a show and displayed golfing abilities and talents never before seen on Big Break. And it is my pleasure (along with my co-producers/editors and production staff) to bring this series to you.
I’ve worked on 13 seasons of this show and I will declare that this series will go down as the best golfing cast of all time. Big Break Mesquite (Matt Every – PGA Tour, James Nitties – Web.com Tour, Anthony Rodriguez – Web.com Tour – quick shout outs to Mesquite cast members not on tour: Benoit, Hiroshi and the champion of Mesquite- Brian Kontak all of whom are still touring or teaching touring players) currently hold the distinction of the best cast ever but these ‘West Viriginia’ boys will overtake them in due time. Consider my words marked.
We interviewed over 723 golfers and sifted through nearly 3,200 applications to finally come away with our cast. We were not disappointed.
We had great weather (aside from a few drops here and there) and had even better course conditions. I’ve been fortunate enough to play a lot of golf and see many of the world’s best courses and the four Greenbrier courses easily made my list.
Here are a few behind-the-scenes tidbits that won’t give anything away:
• During the practice round on The Greenbrier Classic home course (Old White TPC) the highest score was +3 (73)… the lowest round was a 63 (Rick) just 4 off the course record set by Stuart Appleby in 2010 (59).
• The Greenbrier Resortsits about 2,800 feet above sea-level – some players had issues adjusting to the altitude and based on player’s inability to adjust… it would end up costing him. He was subsequently eliminated.
• One player develops a strong affinity for the grass at the Greenbrier (Chan).
• Derek Bohlen can hit a driver farther than I can hit 2… Rick Cochran can hit a driver farther than I can hit 3!
• Isaac Sanchez has the best touch around the green… he’s 6’6” – 300+… that’s impressive.
• Liam Friedman KILLS it for a shorter guy and has one of the quickest releases on the greens.
• Anthony Casalino will hit 3 shots from 150 inside 10 feet and then can shank his next shot and still make par.
• Mark Silvers swing should go down in the Geoff Ogilvy Smooth Swing Hall of Fame.
• Ray Beaufils and Brian Cooper live in the same city, practice at the same course but never met until they came on the show.
• Mike Tobiason won 23 times in college… and still maintained his basketball skills enough to lead his team in rebounding.
• Stuart Gold is the funniest dude I’ve met in a long time. During the practice round he realized he forgot his wedge at home and had his wife to send him his back-up . It arrived just in time for the filming to start.
• James Lepp sometimes hits chip shots and bunker shots…even putts with his eyes closed.
Tune in Wednesday at 9PM ET for a special Big Break Greenbrier Preview show. This will be your first chance to get to know the 12 talented guys who will be competing for their chance to play at The Greenbrier Resort tournament next year. Watch the season premiere of Big Break Greenbrier on Tuesday, Oct 2 at 9PM ET.
Sneak Preview into Big Break Greenbrier
Bradley, wife welcome baby boy, already rocking Patriots gear
Keegan Bradley and his wife Jillian announced on social media that they welcomed a baby boy, Logan James Bradley, to the world last week.
The Bradleys both posted photos on Instagram over the weekend, introducing their healthy newborn baby, who was (not-surprisingly) already decked out in head-to-toe New England Patriots gear.
Bradley, 31, grew up in New England and is not shy about showing his support for the area's sports teams.
A big congratulations is in order for the new parents.
And all you other adorable kids of PGA Tour golfers, you've officially been put on notice. You've got some new competition.
Country music star Owen to play in Web.com event
Country music star and avid amateur golfer Jake Owen has accepted a sponsor invitation to play in the 2018 Nashville Golf Open on the Web.com Tour.
Owen, 36, has sold millions of albums while becoming one of the top male singers in the country genre. He has also been frequently spotted on the links, teeing it up last week alongside host Davis Love III in the RSM Classic pro-am and participating each of the last three years as the celebrity partner for Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Owen will now try his hand in competition against some of the game's rising stars at the May 24-27 event, held in his hometown and benefitting the charitable foundation of PGA Tour pro Brandt Snedeker.
"I am truly honored to have this opportunity to play golf with guys whose work ethic I admire so much, like my buddy Brandt Snedeker," Owen said in a release. "I know how hard everyone works to get to play in these (Web.com Tour) tournaments. I'm really grateful, and I can't wait for this week in May 2018 to get here."
Owen will be following in the footsteps of NBA superstar Steph Curry, who played on a sponsor invite earlier this year at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic and, while missing the cut, largely exceeded expectations. Curry is currently listed as a 0.8 handicap, while Owen played at Pebble Beach in February as a 3 handicap.
Like Curry, Owen will play via an "unrestricted" sponsor invite and will retain his amateur status.
Jeremy Roenick uses golf clubs to catch rattlesnake
The retired American hockey legend who currently works as an NBC Sports analyst was at it again over the weekend, coming across a rattlesnake in Arizona and just casually using a couple of golf clubs to catch it before grabbing it with his bare hands and showing it off for the camera.
Relaxing Sunday morning! What happens when you live in Arizona. pic.twitter.com/RhRwWTLs8s— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) November 19, 2017
The person recording can be heard calling Roenick "psycho" and "nuts" several times before the snake is thrown off the property.
That person is not wrong.
What's in the bag: RSM Classic winner Cook
PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook earned his first Tour title at the RSM Classic. Take a look inside his bag.
Driver: Ping G400 (8.5 degrees adjusted to 9.2), with Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X shaft
Fairway wood: Ping G400 (13 degrees), with Fujikura Motore VC 7.0 shaft
Hybrids: Ping G400 (19, 22 degrees), with Matrix Altus Red X shafts
Irons: Ping S55 (5-PW), with KBS Tour S shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50, 56, 60) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne
Ball: Titleist Pro V1