Golf Channel's Big Break Series Selects Myrtle Beach as Backdrop for 22nd Season

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 8, 2014, 3:30 pm

Golf Channel’s popular Big Break competition series has selected Myrtle Beach as the production location for its 22nd season, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET.

Big Break Myrtle Beach, produced in partnership with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and South Carolina Tourism, will feature a cast of aspiring golf professionals – six men and six women – looking for that jumpstart in their golf careers with the goal of achieving their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers.  Taking place at Barefoot Resort & Golf, Big Break Myrtle Beach’s ultimate winner will receive an exemption to a 2015 PGA TOUR or LPGA Tour event, along with cash and other prizes.

Big Break is a cornerstone to our original productions franchises, and has been a proving ground for many professional golfers looking to break through to the world’s top tours, including South Carolina natives Tommy Gainey and Kristy McPherson,” said Jay Kossoff, Golf Channel vice president of original productions and Big Break executive producer.  “Our goal is to place our competitors in pressure situations while at the same time showcase an elite golf destination. We accomplished both with Big Break Myrtle Beach and are excited to bring the series to the Grand Strand for our 22nd season.”

Joining long-time host Tom Abbott as co-host for Big Break Myrtle Beach will be Golf Channel analyst and LPGA Tour professional Paige Mackenzie.  A seven-year veteran of the LPGA Tour who also currently serves as co-host for Morning Drive, Mackenzie will provide analysis from a player’s perspective throughout the series, detailing the pressure the competitors will face with each challenge.

“I’m excited to team with Tom in bringing insight to fans and viewers at home watching Big Break Myrtle Beach,” said Mackenzie.  “The series has gained a lot of popularity within the professional tours with past contestants sharing how the pressure is unlike anything they have ever experienced.  This season will be no different, with pressure and drama each and every week.”

Filmed on location in June, the series will unfold on three of Barefoot Resort’s award-winning golf courses – The Dye, Fazio and Love Courses – as well as Pawleys Plantation on Pawleys Island.

  • The Dye Course, a classic Pete Dye layout, has been ranked among the nation’s top 100 public courses by Golf Digest and was recently named 2013 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association.
  • The Fazio Course, designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio, has been ranked as one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest. 
  • The Love Course, designed by Carolina native Davis Love III, has been ranked among America's Top 100 You Can Play by Golf Magazine for years and as the top-ranked golf course in Myrtle Beach by Golf Digest. 
  • Pawleys Plantation, the award-winning Jack Nicklaus design just south of Myrtle Beach on Pawleys Island, also will host an episode of Big Break Myrtle Beach

The Marina Inn and Resort at Grande Dunes served as official host resort for the competitors and production team during the filming of the series.

“We look forward to showcasing everything a Myrtle Beach golf vacation has to offer and giving 12 aspiring young professionals an opportunity that could change their life,” said Bill Golden, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday President.  “Big Break is a Golf Channel institution, and the timing was perfect to partner the game’s most popular show with its most popular destination.  The drama of Big Break Myrtle Beach will unfold on some of the nation’s best golf courses, and we can’t wait for viewers to get an inside look at our destination.”

Big Break Myrtle Beach will illustrate what so many golfers already know about South Carolina – that it is the best golf destination in the country,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.  “Our year-round mild climate, naturally beautiful settings, challenging courses and major events combine to make South Carolina just right for golf.”

Golf Channel’s Big Break show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness.  During Big Break Myrtle Beach, the competitors – who will be announced in August – will be subject to skills challenges from tee-to-green, including the popular “Glass Break” and “Flop Wall.”  One contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded his or her Big Break, an opportunity to compete on the PGA TOUR or LPGA Tour in 2015.

For the past 21 seasons, Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series has proven to be the launching pad for many aspiring professional golfers looking to take that next step in their golf careers, including PGA TOUR winners Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey and Matt Every, and U.S. Solheim Cup participants Kristy McPherson, Gerina Piller and Ryann O’Toole.  Several other past Big Break competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Tony Finau, James Nitties and Mark Silvers on the Web.com Tour, and Nicole Smith, Jackie Stoelting and Kim Welch on the LPGA Tour.

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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.


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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.

@tommyfleetwood_1

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.