Clearing up Confusion

By TJ Hubbard, Big Break ProducerSeptember 29, 2010, 11:41 pm

Welcome. This is Big Break’s 14th season and my ninth. Hands down, this was the most fun I’ve had on a production in my career. We’re hoping this is the best Big Break ever! My job as producer is to ensure you enjoy the series, so I don’t want you to be confused. Below are all the specifics. 


Simple Breakdown of the Big Break Dominican Republic format:

Team Challenge

  • First challenge
  • Winning team members each receive 5 MVP points
  • Winning team chooses the match-up in the Benching Challenge & receives scoring advantage (i.e. 1 stroke over 2 holes--We want this challenge to mean something – this is a team competition!)

Benching Challenge

  • Second challenge
  • Winner receives 5 additional MVP points
  • Loser receives 1 Strike (earn 2 strikes=Permanently Benched)


How to win Big Break Dominican Republic

  • One team permanently benches the other team (knock out the other team!)


MVP Points Race

  • The player from the winning team with the most MVP Points wins $50,000 ($100,000 divided up amongst the team)
  • Winning MVP wins PGA TOUR EXEMPTION (Justin Timberlake’s event) or LPGA EXEMPTION (Kia Classic)


Things that you, the viewer, wouldn’t know unless we told you:

For two very long days in the Dominican Republic, our crew of coordinators, producers and hotel staff had to keep the contestants separate, so they didn’t know any of the following information:

- They were competing as teams             

- The teams didn’t know they were competing against the opposite gender

- That former Big Breakers were on the other team

This was all done in the hopes that the reactions we captured on tape were genuine when the contestants arrived at their villas to find out all the information about their new competition. 


By the Way: These are hands-down the best living conditions any Big Break cast has ever seen –the villas had their own maid staff, full-time cook and each villa measured about 10,000 square feet of great party space—not bad to call home for a few weeks! If I had the chance to go back, I would.


Player insight after first show:

--The big question: “How are they getting along?” Blake and Andrew are getting along and seem to be quite friendly to each other; it’s a slight change from their on-camera animosity in the Disney Golf season. Later in the season, without spilling too much, their new friendship is put to the test. 

--Lori and Christina friends? That remains to be seen. David was nominated captain by the men’s team to ensure there would be no issues when having to make difficult decisions. If it ever comes down to it (and it does), David will have to make tough decisions for the team. Whether anyone likes his decisions or his Captainship will be an interesting storyline. Brian and Elena seem to be the enigmas of both teams—they are the relative unknowns on the teams. Through show one, Elena has impressed her team, while Brian has some on his team (Blake during Glass Break Challenge) worried.


TEAM GLOSSY POSSE was named by Blair off-camera after breakfast. I’ll let you know a secret: one team will grow to despise the name, but I’m not telling which one.


Team Challenge (Glass Break) Fun Facts:

  1. The Glass Break challenge wasn’t won by the men by 1 second. It was won by 1.14 seconds!  We rounded down; it sounds better on TV. 
  2. Two - Total number of attempts Sara has taken to break two panes of glass in each of her Big Breaks.
  3. 1:02 seconds: Total time it took Brian and David to break their glass panes.
  4. 30 seconds:  Total time it took A-Rod, Football, Blake and Andrew to break their glass panes.
  5. 18 yards: Distance the glass panes are from the hitting area.
  6. 45 yards: Distance the glass panes were from the hitting area in Big Break I.
  7. When David finally broke his glass, he thought he had 20 seconds to spare.


Team Challenge (Singles Matches) Fun Facts:

  1. 8 IRON: Club used by Lori Atsedes when she carded her 8th career hole-in-one during practice round
  2. 8 IRON: Club used by Lori Atsedes when she rattled her shot off the flag stick in her match against David.
  3. While Blair didn’t hit a good drive (by her own admission) her ball still went over 260 yards (she’s long!)
  4. BOY SPIN: A new term I learned from the women’s team. It’s aptly named for shots that spin a lot hit by men (i.e. Blake’s bunker shot vs. Christina).


Benching Challenge Fun Facts:

  1. When A-Rod beat Brenda (benching her for the next episode), the $5,000 he won was the most money he had earned on a golf course in over a year.
  2. The 1-stroke advantage given to the Winning Team will be consistent throughout the series anytime the contestants play holes of golf. If the Benching Challenge is in another scoring format, you’ll find out.


Finally, here are some series Fun Facts:

  • This is the fifth co-ed Big Break season we’ve produced
  • The women will always play 85% of the men’s distances on challenges that measure longer than 125 yards. PGA of America runs their nationals championships this way: good enough for them, good enough for us.
  • Pete Dye (world-renowned architect and designer of the “Teeth of the Dog”/”Dye Fore” courses) lives most of the year at Casa de Campo (our host site).
  • Pete’s house overlooks the ocean on the front nine of the “Teeth of the Dog” course.
  • We shot this series during the World Cup/US Open and Wimbledon. We missed a lot of good sporting events.
  • The entire season is shot over 16 days.
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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.