bGolf Channels Big Break IV Features International Cast USA vs Europe Theme Spotlights National Prideb

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. (July 12, 2005) ' A cast of 12 golfers representing six countries will play not only for national pride, but a chance at realizing their own dreams of making a career on one of the worlds top professional tours when the next Big Break series premieres Sept. 13 on The Golf Channel.
With a new twist, The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe will introduce a new team format but, ultimately, will name only one golfer as champion. The winner will receive exemptions into select events on the PGA European Tour and an endorsement contract from Bridgestone Golf.
In true Ryder Cup style, each episode of The Big Break IV will pit a team of golfers from the United States against a team from Europe in various skills challenges on the golf course. Although playing for country and team, the shows unique twist will turn the tables at the end of each episode as teammates are faced with competing against each other to avoid being eliminated from the show.
The team representing the USA includes: Randall Hunt, 26, a golf pro and youth counselor from Los Angeles, currently living in Arlington, Texas; Tommy Two Gloves Gainey, 29, a golf pro from Bishopville, S.C.; T.J. Valentine, 28, a teaching professional from Plymouth, Mass.; David Carnell, 28, a mini-tour player from Park Forest, Ill., currently living in Miami, Fla.; Paul Holtby, 38, a teaching professional from Simi Valley, Calif.; and Bart Lower, 28, a real estate professional from Ionia, Mich., currently residing in Naples, Fla. Lower, also a contestant on The Big Break II, was voted back on the show by a viewer poll.
The team representing Europe includes: Warren Bladon, 38, former British Amateur Champion from Leamington Spa, England; Guy Woodman, 27, a golf pro from Old Windsor, England; Edoardo Gardino, 29, former tour caddy and current teaching and golf pro from Azti, Italy, currently living in Crans-Montana, Switzerland; Marty Wilde Jr., 24, a golf pro from Tewin, England; Richard Gillot, 30, a golf pro and entertainer, from Paris, France; and Thomas Blankvoort, 25, a golf pro from Wassenaar, Netherlands.
As one of the most-watched original programs in the history of the 24-hour golf network, The Big Break series has entertained audiences by showcasing a new way to watch golf on TV. The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe will be a 15-week series, with each weekly episode premiering Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
The competition will take place at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, site of six Open Championships and future host of the 2007 Open Championship. Portions of the show also will take place on the hallowed grounds of the Old Course in St. Andrews, where the worlds best are playing this week in hopes of being crowned 2005 Open Champion.
The trademark of The Big Break concept showcases highly skilled golfers competing against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness. One golfer is eliminated from the series each week, with the last contestant standing awarded his/her Big Break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in select professional tournaments. Winners of previous Big Break series have won their chance to compete on the LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour.
For more information contact, The Golf Channel Public Relations, 407/355-4653
Getty Images

McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.