Battle Lines Being Drawn

By September 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: The Golf Channel unveiled the first episode of The Big Break IV ' USA vs. Europe, the networks fourth installment of its hit television series. As the title suggests however, this seasons format has been tweaked to include a team dynamic. But that in no way means the stakes arent high for each individual, as the 12 contestants will be vying for entry into select European Tour tournaments in 2006.
 
The start of the Big Break IV was much like beginning of the previous seasons: players of all ages, from all over the country flying in from different locations. That, however, is where the new season jumped to another level. Or in this case, another continent: The Big Break IV headed across the pond to the famed Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland.
 
Big Break IV
T.J. Valentine celebrates after draining a long putt to keep his team in the match.
Last seen, Carnoustie was busy making a verb out Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 British Open. Now its to be the home of the Ryder Cup-style Big Break IV ' USA vs. Europe.
 
Big Break II you looked at it like you were going to meet the competition, said Bart Lower, speaking about the unique team format that this series presents. This time though, for me, was like Im going to meet my team.
 
And with that, team United States squad boarded a plush British Airways jumbo jet and headed over the Atlantic to meet up with there soon to be rivals from all over Europe.
 
Now we have little competition going. Now its not just boys having fun, said T.J. Valentine, after seeing a video in which Guy Woodman of England predicted his side would have the advantage in the upcoming contests.
 
That temperament rolled onto the range before the players began the competition, as the two teams finally got their first up close look at each other.
 
We sort of waved to them, and some of them didnt wave back and I thought, Oh God, is this going to be this serious all the way through, said Marty Wilde Jr. on what he perceived as a brush off by the Americans.
 
Co-hosts Vince Cellini and Stephanie Sparks eventually met with both teams and informed them they were not wasting any time and to head to the tee box.
 
Playing in three sets of twosomes, each team played the 17th and 18th holes at Carnoustie and the team with the fewest number of strokes would be given a shot to win a 2006 Ford Explorer.
 
Although no one was to be ousted from the show on the first day, it didnt take long for tensions and nerves to start to take hold.
 
I got to take the first shot of Big Break IV. The nerves kind of came in when I peeked up before my tee shot and saw everybody, admitted Valentine. Theres going to be a lot of people watching this shot dont screw it up!
 
Sure enough, Valentines opening salvo found a burn to put the first American twosome in a tough spot. He more than made up for his miscue, however, as he rolled home two straight clutch, par-saving putts to keep the score tied after the first pairing.
 
In the second group to go off, the U.S. sent out self-proclaimed country boy Tommy Gainey from Bishopville, S.C.
 
A guy with two gloves and a baseball swing, recalled Gainey on his welcome to the big time moment. Everybody was anxious to see me hit.
 
Up to the challenge, Gainey laid up just shy of the burn, much to the delight of his partner Randall Hunt.
 
Tommy takes out his 5-wood and he just ripped it! said Hunt.
 
The good vibe was short lived, as Team USA took a disastrous trip into one of the nasty bunkers at Carnoustie and fell five shots back of the Europeans heading into the final pairing.
 
Even though they had a substantial lead, I knew anything could happen in the Big Break, said Lower of the U.S., hinting at a possible comeback for him and his teammates.
 
After trading pars on the first hole, the Europeans clinched it with another easy par at the 18th to advance to the Prize Challenge for the Ford Explorer.
 
Its a good thing we came out a little bit squirrelly, because now we understand the snowball effect that can happen, said Lower about his teams defeat. So it was a good learning experience for us.
 
The Ryder Cup is the greatest event in golf for the greatest players in golf. So for the level we are, this is our Ryder Cup, added Edoardo Gardino of Italy, who had the opportunity in the past to caddy for the likes of Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal.
 
The European team then gathered at the home hole to take dead aim at a six-foot circle that was painted around the flagstick. From 100-yards out, any player knocking it inside the circle would drive off with a brand new vehicle.
 
You got one shot, and youve got to hit it pretty close, as the target is very small from 100-yards, said Wilde on the chances of cashing in.
 
In a driving rain that had kept up for most of the day, no one on the European side could quite dial in the number, leaving the Ford Explorer safe from a new driver.
 
Gathering all the players together once again, co-hosts Cellini and Sparks informed the group that come the next day, someone would be given the boot from the show and be traveling back to their home country. And an infamous glass breaking challenge would once again be making an appearance.
 
The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe airs each Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET), while Big Break IV: All Access airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET), as part of the networks Top Shelf Wednesday lineup of premium programming.
 
Related Links:
  • Big Break IV Home Page
  • Big Break IV Photo Gallery
  • Contestant Bios
  • Getty Images

    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.