Big Break Ireland Producer Blog: And Then There Were Fore


Mallory can’t stand Andy and she wants him off the show. He rubbed her the wrong way from the moment they met at the airport eight weeks ago.  Before Andy’s elimination, I wonder what bothered her more; Andy’s “cockiness” or the fact that she could have ended up facing him in the finale.

Julien, the once quiet Canadian, is now very vocal about Andy being chicken after Andy passed the captaincy off to Mark on the last show. Andy claimed it was a mind game, but Julien didn’t buy it. Off camera Julien remarked that he didn’t fully intend to insult Andy, but that he had to call out what he claimed was nonsense.  Mark, on the other hand, has managed to play it cool – especially after some bad shots and tangling with Joe Campbell (eliminated in show 5) – and he continues to let his sense of humor alleviate tensions on and off the course.

The day started with “The United Airlines Around the World Challenge”.  I thought for sure Mark had the win sealed.  With nearly a 10 foot lead, Mark duffs and Andy becomes the winner pocketing his 2nd $5,000 prize.  I get to talk to our golfers about a range of topics: family, dreams, setbacks, and worries. Mark mentioned that his terrible shot made him “question his ability.” As we sat together and talked later that night, I could see on his face how the shot had affected him. As much as he tried to look ahead, it was eating at him. 

Andy picks the one person who has NEVER choked in elimination: Mallory. I thought by now everyone would have learned that Mallory earned her title “The Eliminator” for a reason. She beat Andy in a playoff and Andy headed to the final round of elimination in which he faced off against his other smack talking rival, Julien.

Julien is a conundrum.  He’s hit some bad shots and no matter what, saved himself each time. He doesn’t let a bad shot eat away at him. Like Mark, he looks ahead and that’s an integral part of his game: digging himself out of holes. Is it skill or is it luck? Perhaps a mixture of both.

Andy said, “his luck’s gotta run out sometime.” And it sort of did against Mark. Julien had a chance to win his first round and instead ties with Mark because he came up short. Once again, two competitors have to go back to the tee resulting in a win for Mark because of a mistake made for the second time by Julien (he missed the same putt twice).

And that’s just another unpredictable thing about Big Break. Everyone expected the “2 best players” (Andy and Julien) to win their matches and avoid the final round of Elimination. But the complete opposite happened.

Andy and Julien faced off in a contentious match, Andy’s luck completely ran out by 3 putting on Hole 17 of the Palmer Smurfit Course, and he was eliminated on the 18th. And that’s when we see Andy’s deep, genuine passion for the game of golf; uncertain about his future, tears in his eyes, defeated.  It looks like Mallory got her wish. Let’s just hope Andy finds his game, again.