Big Break Ireland Producer Blog: The Art of Planning a Challenge

By October 26, 2011, 2:00 am


The planning of just one episode of Big Break takes many many hours and is done many many days in advance. Part of my job is to go out early and scout every challenge that is competed on the show. During this scout we pick locations, decide where the cameras will go, and most importantly test everything to make sure that when we arrive there on the day of the challenge everything works smoothly.

The day we went to scout Portmarnock, everything was perfect. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and even rainbows looks particularly bright. It was one of those days when you just stand on one of the many fescue ridden dunes as you overlook the vast expanse better known as the Irish Sea and think about how insignificant you are.  

So, after some hemming and haww-ing we were all set. The sixth episode was all planned out and we couldn’t wait to take advantage of the amazing views Portmarnock had to offer.

Flash forward to the shoot day....

Upon arriving at the golf course at 5:30am, I was greeted with my hat being blown clear off my head and it was abundantly clear that our meticulously crafted plan was....... well...... not going to work. Sustained winds of 40 mph (blowing in the exact opposite direction as when we scouted) were going to make our already difficult challenge locations impossible. So we scrambled. And the result, if I daresay myself was quite good. We had much more long game challenges planned for the day, but decided to move everything in to inside 120 yards because the holes we were playing on had particularly difficult greens. For example, the shot Andy hit to 25ft from the sixth location behind the bush from 117, was for lack of a better term, “holy craptastic” (I’m trademarking that so don’t even think about it.). It’s hard to tell on TV but he started that ball 40 yards left of the pin and it ended up 10 yards right of the pin. The fact that he then made the putt, was just icing on the cake.


For the record, I have personally watched and re-watched the footage we have when Julien addressed his ball and claims it moved. From what I can tell, he definitely made contact with the ball, however, it appears to have nudged forward ever so slightly and then returned to it original position. Under the rules of golf, this is not a penalty. However, one of the uniquely great things about golf is, it is entirely up to the golfer to decide what did or did not happen. Julien felt the ball moved and therefore assessed himself the penalty because ultimately he didn’t know if it came back to its original position. He only knew he touched it and didn’t want to take any chances. I for one respect that.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.