Everything youve ever wanted to know about Big Break or at least everything I feel like writing about

By Jon PainterAugust 9, 2010, 10:15 pm

For my last blog on Big Break Sandals Resorts, I’ve decided to depart from the strict narrative form and polish the season off with whatever fun facts come to mind.

-During production, the second half of a series like Big Break is all downhill. At the beginning the days run long: those of us producing the show are up before dawn, the contestants get up around 4:30 a.m. to get camera-ready, and the last interviews finish around 11 p.m. By day eight, we’re in the homestretch and things are moving faster. Only four people take each shot, instead of 11. Everybody knows the drill, so we’re moving like a well-oiled machine. This day we finished at the course in the mid-afternoon, and I even had time for a dip in the resort pool before my interview. The Sandals Emerald Bay pool is the largest freshwater swimming pool in the Caribbean.

-When I bump into fans at a golf course, the first thing they want to know is always, “how much of the competition is real?” The answer is, “it’s all real.” We write the rules for the challenges months before we leave for the shoot. Big Break falls under the auspices of the Federal Game Show Laws (that’s USC TITLE 47 CHAPTER 5 SUBCHAPTER V § 509 if you care to look it up, but consult your own lawyer for interpretation), and all production is viewed and certified by a third party Standards and Practices legal team. We may truncate or omit parts of the competition that don’t affect the results in post-production, but the competition is as real as it gets.

-Speaking of rules, how about Rule 18-2 b. During the Flag challenge, Sara Brown addressed the ball before tapping it in. The ball rocked almost imperceptibly and took a slight turn. Sara immediately called Kent, our USGA Rules official over to assess the penalty. To give you an idea of how slight the movement was, the replay in the show is from our Red camera. It’s rolling at 4000 lines of vertical resolution (1080 lines are displayed on a HD television) so we blew the image up 400%, and you can just barely notice the ball move. Point is, Kudos to Sara for playing the game with integrity without hesitation.

-That was a big putt from Lili on the par 3. When there’s money on the line, Lili always comes through, at least to this point. Here’s a fun off-camera story. On the first day on the island, the contestants all play a practice round. They get to see the course and the other players, and we shoot some footage for promotional purposes. Lili was in a greenside bunker on the third hole. She called out to Ryann, who was on the green, “I bet I can get my shot closer to the hole than you can get your putt,” and promptly holed out. I knew at that moment, she was going to be around at the end of the season, because anyone who actively seeks that kind of pressure and forces themselves to back it up was going to handle the Big Break nerves pretty well. And now she’s in the final three.

-As long as were handing out compliments, I have to give Carling credit for suiting up and taking a swing at that ball in the water. You never know when one of those is going to drop in.

-I must admit that I thought Carling made a huge tactical mistake in show seven when she saved Taryn. It seemed like every time Taryn was in elimination with her back to the wall, she played some tough golf and sent the other player home. When Carling found the hazard in this show’s elimination, I thought it was over. I guess eventually Taryn just got used to living on the edge and let her guard down. She left the show with the same class she displayed throughout the competition.

-Here’s the last rules story: the USGA 2010 grooves decision was a fun one. At the time we started pre-production in November 2009 for a February 2010 shoot, we weren’t sure if we would even have a way to inspect and know for sure which grooves were 2010 compliant, and the Duramed FUTURES Tour wasn’t planning to adopt the new mandate until mid-summer 2010. So we wrote both the old and new clubs into our rule book and let each contestant decide which clubs to play. Just in case you were curious.

-That just about does it for me. Many thanks to the hotel and golf staff at Sandals Emerald Bay for taking care of us during our three week stay, especially Brian the Head Pro for taking care of our on-course needs, and Kerry, the proprietor of the Duck, Emerald Bay’s British pub, a crew favorite for the excellent food and hospitality.

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.