Losing Derek in last week’s episode was very surprising to the whole cast and crew. But if there is one thing I have learned in my 15 seasons of producing Big Breaks, it would be you can never under estimate the amount of pressure getting up on a stage like Big Break and hitting a golf shot does to a player.
The players involved in this week’s Elimination Challenge are just as unpredictable in my opinion. And since I have the inside scoop as to what went down that we couldn’t fit into our 50 minutes of show time. Here are the top 6 things (5 wasn’t enough and 10 was too many) that I either couldn’t fit into the show but REALLY wanted to, Or... that happened when the cameras weren’t rolling.
#6 - Tom and Stephanie have one of the more dangerous jobs in golf. At each challenge they try to position themselves in places where they have a good vantage point of the incoming shots so they can accurately commentate, at the same time be out of the players eye line. In the first challenge, the sun played a pivotal role in them almost getting hit by Liam’s 2nd shot. A near miss to be sure. But Liam again targeted them in the Elimination Challenge when his tee shot at the 2nd hole narrowly missed Tom and Steph by a few feet. Of course they were both accidents, but Stephanie jokingly remarked, “Was it something we said??”
#5 - The reason Chan offered to buy everyone a Happy Meal if he hit it over 300 yards at the Draw/Fade wall challenge, is because the guys all aimed at a big McDonalds “golden arches” off in the distance when they were hitting the draw. I guess it just provided some inspiration.
#4 - In his interview, Chan made the astute observation that the grass on the Old White TPC course is much sweeter than the bitter grass on the Meadows Course. Must have something to do with the toxic pesticides they use...
#3 - After his hooked tee shot, Anthony actually smashed his driver against his three wood which as a result broke his three wood. Had he been selected for the Elimination Challenge, he would have been without that club.
#2 - Liam’s miracle shot thru the trees actually was THAT amazing. Both parts luck and skill played a roll. Some would say luck more than skill perhaps, but that’s the way golf is. Liam did admit afterwards, however, that while he hit the shot very solid, he had zero intentions of hitting it close to the pin. His intended target was “anywhere on the green”.
#1 - The cast and crew take a lunch break in between the 2nd Immunity Challenge and the Elimination Challenge. Chan had a very interesting ritual during this particular lunch break to get revved up for the Elimination Challenge. He took a nap. Right there in the lunch room, just curled up and got some rest. While I thought his nerves might have stopped this from even being an option, in the end he said it really helped him to get his head right and “reset” after the debacle at the Draw/Fade wall. A very interesting tactic to be sure, but as it turns out, quite effective.
Top 6 Stories That Didn't Make the Show
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.