The Good, The Slow, and The Eliminated

By Big Break ProducerJune 18, 2013, 2:00 am

It’s always exciting to get to play some straight up golf on a Big Break, especially when we have some talented players that will put on a show. We were all looking forward to seeing what Brent could do on the 3-hole challenge, and he didn’t disappoint! Three under on three holes of elimination for those of you keeping track at home, and Matthew was no slouch in the Aztec match, which had considerably more pressure given that only one player from the match would stay on the show.

Whenever we deal with slow play, we have to walk a tightrope between showing the slow player playing slow, and letting the action in the show get bogged down. Invariably we’ll receive viewer emails asking why one player was penalized, when their screen time doesn’t seem terribly different from other players. Screen time and real time are very different though. During the Olmec match, Jason started out slow, and by the 7th hole, it had turned into a bit of a chess match. Our rules official put him on the clock, and was getting times north of 5 minutes a shot in real time. So at the end of the 7th hole Jason received a slow play warning, and he picked up the pace on 9.

Why didn’t we play the 8th hole you ask? During our location scouts we spend a lot of time looking at what works well for cameras and our crew, and what parts of the course will be tough for us to move through. The move from the 7th green to the 9th green is easy for our mobile tower, audio metacorder, safe city competitors and crew, and it gives us a good test of golf. The 8th hole, while a good hole from a player’s perspective, was a tougher move for the crew. When it’s difficult for the the crew to reposition, it causes an interruption to the players, and we try to put them in the best position to play great golf with the least amount of production interruption.

Chad had a bit of a fascination with intimidating Brent on the course. We slipped a few choice bites from his interview into this episode. Keep an eye on that blossoming rivalry as the series progresses.

We finally get our first elimination in (and our second, third and fourth) this episode. Lindsey took the hit on Olmec, after fighting back from an early deficit. On the Aztec side McKenzie struggled to recover from an early bobble, and Rob self-destructed. Emily hit some great shots but couldn’t get the flat stick going on the greens. Ironically, the only Aztec player that came out of episode 4 that was interested in another chance to right the ship was Matthew and he won the day. Now he’s all alone on Big Break, we’ll have to see how that affects him.

Before I go, here’s the answer to a viewer question from the Big Break Facebook page about last week’s show. Tim writes to ask “shouldn't there have been a penalty in the speed challenge for Liebelei putting with flag stick in?” Glad you asked, Tim. On Big Break, each challenge is its own stipulated round with its own special set of rules.  Before a challenge begins, each competitor receives a written copy of rules for the challenge which they sign off on. All competitors together receive a rules briefing on the challenge, and are able to ask any questions they might have. Those briefings are given by the producers that write the challenge rules, our rules official, and a third party standards and practices attorney. For Speed Golf, we built in an exception for rule 17-3c, so players did not have to remove the pin when putting from the green. All of the competitors received a briefing to that effect. Some of them chose to putt with the pin in, others chose to pull the pin. But no, in this challenge, Liebelei shouldn’t have received a penalty for putting with the flagstick in. Thanks for writing in!

-Jon Painter, Series Producer

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry