Lightning Never Strikes Twice

By Chris GrahamNovember 23, 2010, 1:07 am

Preparing and planning each episode of Big Break takes hours and hours of tireless, painstakingly intensive planning. However, even with all the planning and asking ourselves all the “what ifs”, there was no way we could ever have predicted what would take this place in this week’s show.

Let’s recap, shall we? Brian and Elena’s budding romance has hit full bloom. Brian beats Sara after being accused of cheating. Sara is permanently benched. Wait for it…

Sara is not permanently benched, because the girls get a Strike Eraser in the very next challenge. Elena is now pissed, because the girls want to bring Sara back. Even after some criticism from Elena, Christina gets elected to play in the Strike Challenge. She calls out A-Rod (who by the way is “puking his guts out”). Then he beats Christina. But, just as the show was getting good, the girls decide to have an all-out cat fight on the bus ride back to their villa. (I’m getting tired just thinking about it all.) The point is, we have been doing this show for 14 seasons, and this was the first show we have ever done that had so many unexpected twists and turns. Despite our unrelenting, tireless efforts, I think it’s safe to say the oven is definitely pre-heated for the finale.


Now here are some cool things you didn’t know (mainly because we didn’t show it or tell you).

-In the “Up and Down” Challenge you may have noticed we didn’t show Lori’s attempt, because there was no way the girls could win the challenge. But she did go, because MVP points were on the line. She attempted the six-point location but missed a six-foot putt.

-The Strike Eraser really was heard around the world. Well, at least around Casa de Campo. In fact, some of the grounds crew working on an adjacent hole actually radioed-up to the pro shop, because they thought someone was being attacked.

-Solving the dilemma of the “Brian testing the green” fiasco was handled by our on-course rules official, Kent Kahre. He did everything by the book and even called the PGA of America and the USGA to make sure his decision was in fact spot-on. They both were in total agreement. Sara, on the other hand, was not as on-board with the decision. I just hope she gets a chance to get revenge. (That’s called foreshadowing.)

The big finale is all that we have left! Stay tuned!

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.