Big Break 'World Premiere'

By Big BreakSeptember 20, 2011, 6:00 pm


Last week, I, along with five of my fellow cast mates, was lucky enough to go to a special preview screening of the first episode of Big Break Ireland in New York City.

We arrived in the Big Apple on Monday, got settled into the city and ordered in Chinese for the night.  Our plan was to visit SoHo, do a little shopping and get ready for our Big Day on Wednesday.  As we sat and chatted in the small two-bedroom NYC apartment (Annie’s older sister Ellie’s place), the discussion quickly turned to Wednesday’s special screening.  “What is it going to be like?” “It is going to be so weird seeing and hearing ourselves on TV?!” “How are we going to be portrayed and come across to the audience?” The conversation seemed to come up like word vomit between all of us.

Tuesday, we wandered around NYC taking in the sights and keeping ourselves occupied until the big day.

Wednesday morning.  We wake up to a message: “Sending this to all of you… there are a LOT of things said by y’all during the series that we use. This is reality TV, so just want you to be prepared.” Everyone was still pretty much sleepy or sleeping and I sat up immediately wide-awake!! “Oh, no!?! What does this mean?! Did you all get this message?!” I said loudly to everyone else as I read the statement aloud.  Everyone acknowledged they got it as well and stress levels rose immediately as we start to gossip about what this can mean to all of us, and secretly wonder what this means for us as an individual.  What are we going to look like to the rest of the world?  WE know what truly happened there those two weeks, but they can’t show all of it, there isn’t enough airtime, and now we are all the closest friends.   Slight panic, “Are we going to be friends after this airs? Am I about to lose someone I am close to now? Did I say something or did they? Did they mean it? Smack talk my golf all you want but are they going to say something about me as a person?”

After breakfast we packed up and went to catch a cab to head to the Warwick Hotel.  Thank you, Tourism Ireland for the great digs!! It was absolutely beautiful.  After we all arrived and got our stuff in our rooms, we occupied ourselves until it was time to get ready.  We occasionally chatted about the message again.   Trying to recall if we said or did something…  keeping our minds busy and trying not to over stress. Not gonna lie, I was a mess inside and Mallory seemed to be on the same page, as well.  The others had their moments, too.

Walking to The Perfect Pint was a blur. I wanted to get there so badly and sit down and watch the show.   It was surreal walking in, getting to see some familiar faces and new ones who were there to watch us on the show!! That was mind blowing, and I still do not think it sunk in completely.   We went up to the viewing-room, and there in the center was our Big Break Ireland poster. Looking at ourselves on that poster was jaw-dropping, grin ear-to-ear, excitement! I just could not believe this was really about to happen, after three months of waiting this is about to hit big time television for the world to see.  It was picture time with the cast, nerves set aside for a moment, but after that was done we realized we were within the hour of watching ourselves on TV! I was too anxious to eat so we all decided to take a delicious baby Guinness shot; “Cheers I love you all no matter what.  We are the only ones who know what truly happened.  We didn’t know each other then like we do now.”

We walked in and took our seats, all sitting together. Nerves were running high waiting for the show to start, and I truly felt like I was going to vomit.  But weirdly after the show started and I saw us, US! My friends and I on the screen, all the nerves left me and I just watched, screeching with laugher, taking in the snide comments, and just sat in amazement.  There was still a little rollercoaster of nerves going on but it was truly amazing!

After the show finished we all were so happy together.  We all know that things are going be said.  The pressure while you are there is more than anyone could ever imagine.  Emotions are running high, you’re tired, you’re hopped up on adrenaline, and fighting for the win.  We all understand that, and at the end of the day, the same people who may have talked a little crap on you were also the ones who comforted you.  We are our own Big Break Family.

Cheers to Golf Channel for capturing us on and off the golf course. And world, you better be ready for the greatest season ever of golf.  Sadly, you won’t be able to see all of it, as there is too much to show, but know it is all stunner golf skills!

Have fun watching this season of Big Break Ireland!

Nicole Smith

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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.