Beware the Sick Golfer

By Mark MitchellMarch 21, 2007, 4:00 pm
The Big Break VII Fighting bronchitis and strained ribs, Laura Londons chances of surviving the fourth episode of The Big Break VII: Reunion appeared slim. However, proving you should never underestimate a wounded competitor, she defeated Kim Lewellen in an Elimination Challenge while Mike Foster sent Mark Farnham packing.
 
London showed up at Ginn Reunion Resort and Spa with an illness that produced a cough so violent it strained her ribs. Not the ideal turn of events in a series where one bad day and youre gone. Turning up the pressure a notch, LPGA Tour winner Brittany Lincicome was a surprise guest who competed in the first challenge.
 
Im sick as a dog, London said. If I was at home I wouldnt be moving from my house for five days, let alone playing on TV for an LPGA Tour exemption.
 
But there London was in an episode featuring three of the remaining six coed teams playing two challenges with the winner exempt to the next episode. Making matters worse, her teammate, Farnham, was struggling with his game.
 
Taking advantage of the situation, Don Donatello and Ashley Gomes compiled the winning total in the first two challenges sending London to face Lewellen while Farnham and Foster played for survival.
 
Each show features two to three challenges, the outcome of each influencing who stays and who goes home. Each challenge will demand precision shot-making designed to simulate conditions that players face every week on tour.
 
Competitions in The Big Break VII are team events with the losing teams going to an Elimination Challenge. Once there, teams are split and males compete against males and female take on other females.
 
London got up-and-down from a greenside bunker to take a one shot lead over Lewellen in their Elimination Challenge. She then matched Lewellens three strokes from a fairway bunker to advance.
 
When the going gets tough there are only two things I know about myself, and that is in sickness and in health Im either going to die or Im going to win said London after the show. The reality is I didnt want to come back in two days and think that had I given it that extra effort I still would be playing.
 
Her effort was not lost on the other competitors.
 
For her to come out and stay strong and fight like that to beat Kim, I was shocked, said Gomes, who also competed against London in The Big Break VI: Trump National. She deserves to be here.
 
One of the funniest and most liked characters in the series, Farnham lacked the game to ultimately be successful in The Big Break VII. Even after stunning Gary Ostrega in an Elimination Challenge in the first episode, the Chicago, Ill., resident had an uphill climb that was fueled by desire.
 
The struggle ended when the wheels came off the little train that could. He struggled in the second Immunity Challenge when it took 16 shots to hit a target in the fairway. Later in the Elimination Challenge, Farnham recorded five strokes from both the greenside and fairway bunkers.
 
You come here to compete and you come here to play hard, said Farnham, who was a contestant in the original Big Break. When you get eliminated, you understand this is only a game and life goes on.
 
For the remaining 10 contestants, they still are competing for the grand prize. If one of the eight male professionals is victorious, then he will either earn a spot in the field of the 2007 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour or the 2008 Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach on the Champions Tour. Should one of the eight females claim the title, then she will be invited to compete in the 2007 Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika on the LPGA Tour.
 
Farnham and Lewellen are two of the six contestants already eliminated from the series. The Big Break concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in challenges that test physical skills and mental toughness. During The Big Break VII, competitors will be eliminated with the last one standing crowned the winner.
 
Related links:
  • The Big Break 7 - Home
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.