Juicy Subplots Mark Premiere of Big Break VII

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2007, 5:00 pm
The Big Break VIIAll that was missing from the premiere episode of The Big Break VII: Reunion was swimsuit calendars and Donald Trump. Sunday night, 16 of the most memorable female and male characters from the first six seasons of The Big Break were reunited for the GOLF CHANNELs popular series.

Also present were the seeds of discontent, masked with hugs and unveiled with a few well timed digs in the name of competition. Its not that all the 'Big Breakers' dislike each other, its merely that some of them have a history. Add the pressure of competition and redemption - of the current contestants, Bri Vega (Big Break VI) is the only champion from a previous season - and something has to give.
In the premiere episode no contestants were eliminated as three challenges determined players seed for coming episodes.
That didn't mean, though, that there wasn't competition and tension. Before the team of Don Donatello (Big Break II) /Ashley Gomes (Big Break VI) edged out the Mike Foster (Big Break II) / Kim Lewellen (Big Break V) duo by one point to win the top seed an a $5,000 bonus, the contestants found out who they would be competing against to earn an exemption to play in either the 2007 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour, the 2008 Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach on the Champions Tour or the 2007 Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika on the LPGA Tour.

One by one, as the eight females and eight males opened the door to a house at Ginn Reunion Resort, the host site for the series, they had no idea what would be waiting in the living room. Sometimes it was a grin and a genuine hug from a friend and others were greeted with faint smiles and insincere handshakes.
Bri Vega could only muster an are-you-kidding-me laugh when Kelly Murray walked into the room. She wasnt smiling in The Big Break VI when she wanted to trade partners with anyone to get away from Murray in the team portion of the series. While the two were forced to remain partners, the tension remained.
I had no idea he would be here, said Vega. Then I thought maybe they might bring him back for some Bri and Kelly drama.
When Don Donatello walked into the room Eddie Gardino was silent. The two disagreed on a ruling in The Big Break IV that rattled Gardino and led to his eventual elimination. Making the episode more absurd was Double D, as Donatello was known in The Big Break II, was only making a guest appearance on the show.
Tension like that just doesnt go away, Big Break IV contestant Tommy Gainey said of the relationship.
Neither does attraction.
Gardino was taken in by the fetching actress from Big Break V Nikki DiSanto and Gainey seemingly developed a crush on Vega.
Making the dynamics of the series more intriguing, the 16 contestants were broken into eight two-person teams. In Big Break VII style, each individual went to the confessional room, a place in which a contestant is alone and can say anything to an camera, with a sealed enveloped that contained the name of their partner. In episodes to come, the confessional will become one of the most interesting portions of the series.
When disappointed with the draw, most played nice like when receiving a tie for Christmas and trying to muster a thank you. Gardino, however, was honest and expressed he preferred Nikki over his partner Valeria Ochoa, who also confessed she wasnt happy with the draw. By the end of the day the two barely spoke despite Gardino saving the team in the first challenge when he broke the famed pane of glass with their last shot to win their match against the team of David Gunas (Big Break II) /Pam Garrity (Big Break III).
In the same challenge, where two teams predict how many shots it will take to break the glass and the team with the lowest bid has to do it or lose, Murray once again pulled his infamous driver off the deck shot to successfully shatter the glass a mere 20 yards away.
Throughout the episode comments were constant from the contestant gallery demonstrating the difference between The Big Break VII and the previous six seasons. In earlier seasons the first show was like a quiet freshman homeroom in high school where a feeling out process was underway, while this series has the rowdy seniors.
Of course, that should be expected when its the last shot for these 16 contestants to be the big shots on The Big Break campus.

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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.