Shootout in The Desert

By Mark MitchellSeptember 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: The best field in series history battles for a shot at the PGA TOUR. All new series premieres Tues, Oct. 2 at 10 p.m. ET.
With careers hanging in the balance, The Big Break: Mesquite will face-off 12 golfers at the corner of fame and failure. And the right turn just may put one competitor on the road to the PGA TOUR. Seasoned but hungry, each thinks he has what it takes to call himself champion and earn the right to play in the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic on the PGA TOUR. They all have the resume, but only one will be worthy of the reward that could put his career on the fast track.
When the 12-week series premieres on Oct. 2nd at 10 p.m. ET, more is at stake than merely an exemption. Fueled by both competitive energy and pride, each of these men will attempt to prove that they are the best player in what may be the most difficult competition in the series history.
These professionals are up to the challenge and worthy of the reward. While looking for the final piece of the puzzle in their already seasoned careers, combined they have:
  • Competed on various tours worldwide, including those in Europe, South America, Australia and Asia
  • Won more than 10 NCAA tournaments
  • Earned four NCAA All-America Awards
  • Won two RE/MAX Long Drive World Championships
  • Competed on two Palmer Cup teams
  • Competed on one Walker Cup team
  • Played in three majors
  • Earned one Canadian Tour Order of Merit
  • Crowned Canadian Tour Rookie of theYear
  • Won one Ben Hogan Award for the top collegiate player in the United States
    The Big Break: Mesquite marks the first time a Big Break winner will earn an exemption to play in a PGA TOUR event. Past champions have competed on some of the worlds top professional tours, such as the Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour.
    This time around GOLF CHANNEL producers have added an all-new element to the competition ' for the first time ever the series will feature more of a tournament feel, complete with a new Big Break: Mesquite scoring system. Each of the 12 shows will consist of challenges that allow the players to earn points. These points will then be used to determine which players make or fail to make the cut. The cut line varies from episode to episode and is based on a players cumulative points for the series. The cut will be announced at the start of each show and will be applied directly after that episodes final Points Challenge. Players who make the cut advance directly to the next episode. Players who fail to make the cut will go to the elimination challenge. The competitor with the worst performance in a shows Elimination Challenge will be eliminated from The Big Break: Mesquite.
    In addition to the PGA TOUR exemption, the series winner will receive an Adams Golf endorsement contract -which includes $10,000 cash - to keep the champion on top of his game. Also, Dicks Sporting Goods will provide both $5,000 in cash and a $5,000 shopping spree. Finally, the ultimate winner will drive away in a new 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible.
    Shot in Mesquite, Nev., Golf Mesquite offers seven challenging golf courses ranked as some of the very best in Nevada and Utah. The Big Break: Mesquite is contested on two of the courses ' the Palmer Course at the Oasis Golf Club and the Palms Golf Club ' and shows why the desert oasis is unlike very few golf destinations. Also available at Golf Mesquite is a vacationers dream of exclusive world-class spas, award-winning cuisine, superb accommodations in your choice of six hotels and dazzling casinos. Golf Mesquite has quickly become the golf destination of choice, offering stay and play packages that include a variety of accommodations and golf courses, all of which can be quickly reserved online at
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.