Worst. Breakfast. EVER.

By Brendan Havens, Big Break ProducerJune 28, 2011, 2:00 am

Necessary?  Maybe.  Highly intriguing development?  For sure.  Diabolical?  Um…YEAH.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, what I speak of is none other than that God awful message Carl had to read at the breakfast table before John and Petey’s eggs even had an opportunity to get cold.  “Instant Elimination Match”.  If there were a taste that could have described the way the two of them must have felt after hearing that, it must have been like drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth.  If a sound could describe it, the phrase “we need to talk” coming out of your girlfriend’s mouth comes to mind.  I could continue to go on and come up with a description for the remaining three senses I haven’t touched upon, but I won’t waste your time.  We’ve all got better things to concentrate on. 

For those who had their doubts about the significance of one’s position on that money list, I believe the gigantic thud you just heard was that theory falling flat on its face.  As we all witnessed last night, the competitors’ lack of money can have highly significant consequences (and not just when it comes to the half-stroke purchase option in the Elimination Challenges).  As the competition makes its final turn toward the home stretch, careless spending and poor performances will make for some VERY difficult days for those in the lower recesses of the money list.  Of course, given the events that transpired in the show’s second Elimination Challenge, this most certainly translates into some bad news for you David fans…but that’ll have to wait ‘till next week…I digress…

As detailed by yours truly in Week Four’s blog entry 'You Gotta Know When to Hold Em', these challenge ideas/show structures are planned out months before a single camera rolls on the first bit of drama inflicted by our fiendish challenge formats.  This Instant Elimination Challenge was a direct byproduct of adding the Playback Challenge into our series’ arsenal of twists and turns.  With the addition of former players thrown back into the competition mid series, the elimination numbers get thrown completely out of whack.  To explain, it’s now time for a little Big Break math lesson.  We get ten episodes in a season.  If we cast 11 competitors, and eliminate one per week, that leaves us with two for the finale.  It’s a pretty simple formula.  The problem is, once we have an episode where one competitor is added and none are subtracted, the numbers don’t work out any more.  Now you get into a situation like that stupid word problem we all had to answer on the SAT’s: “If two trains leave from different stations, one 40 miles away, the other 25 miles away…

The simple solution is to eliminate two in an episode to even out the numbers.  Although, for all you math wizards out there, I can hear you saying right at this moment; “but we’re still currently on track for a three-person finale…”  Well, you’re right.  We are.  Is that what will happen though?  Once again, I digress…

Eliminating two competitors in an episode isn’t unheard of in Big Break lore.  We spent the better part of an entire series (Big Break: Reunion) eliminating two per episode.  In Big Break Prince Edward Island, we eliminated two in the episode before the finale.  So, when trying to figure out a way to get rid of two competitors after the playback, we obviously knew we needed a double elimination somewhere.  But, how could we do it differently than we’ve done in the past?  Well, taking into account the overall structure of the series (the money list), adding in an educated guess as to what kind of state the money list would be in after the playback show, and factoring in the possibility of the extra half-stroke being purchased at times during the preceding episodes, the maniacal masterpiece rose like a phoenix from the ashes.  OK, so maybe that was just a tad dramatic, but I do believe one of us let loose a patented “Dr. Evil laugh” immediately after the idea hit the air.

The craziest part of all this was the anticipation, on the Producer’s part, leading up to this episode.  Knowing that this Instant Elimination was coming from the very beginning of filming, the second “Shank” started rolling that half-stroke purchase snowball down the hill, I could not wait to see who would aid in their own demise by essentially buying their way into this Instant Elimination Challenge.  And to be honest, one of the main reasons why we structured this challenge the way we did was to reinforce that there would, in fact, be some form of retribution for those who did decide to (some would say carelessly) spend thousands of dollars on an extra ½ shot advantage.  So, when John needlessly gave away half his stack in last week’s episode, you can understand the feeling as our evil plan came to fruition.  John, you’re an awesome dude and a super nice guy, but this made for damn good TV.

So, was the Instant Elimination necessary?  Well, aside from the essential task of knocking down the numbers of competitors, in my mind it was.  As Kent said last night, “I think everyone got too comfortable buying the half-shot.”

Was this a highly intriguing development?  In the competitors’ eyes, it sure was.  These guys, during the course of their stay on the show, basically live in a world that we’ve created for them.  What we say is the law, so if we say that one of the bottom-two on the money list will be eliminated first thing in the morning, all they can do is accept it.  Due to this Instant Elimination twist, they now know that really anything is possible at this point.

Was it diabolical?  Damn straight it was.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.