The First Cut is Rough


The Big BreakThe Golf Channel aired the second episode of its 10-part original series, The Big Break, Tuesday in which 10 scratch golfers from around the country compete in a weekly showdown of golf skills challenges.
From here on out, one contestant will be eliminated each week until there is just one man left standing. The lucky winner will get the Big Break of his golfing career - exemptions into four Canadian Tour events airing on The Golf Channel in 2004.
As the sun was rising for the second show, so, too, were the contestants' fears, knowing that as the darkness fell later that evening only nine would remain and one unfortunate golfer would be sent packing.
The fact that someone was going to be gone, yeah, I was nervous about that, confided 41-year-old Jeff Brown of Hampton, Ga. But as far as what we were going to do, what type of shots, I wasnt nervous about that.
On the range at the Treetops Resort, the players all had an opportunity to warm up in preparation for the days two challenges ' the skills challenge and the dreaded elimination challenge.
While most were hard at work, 56-year-old Garrett Garland seemed more interested in his competition.
He was spending more time walking up and down the range feeling, Hey, Im the man, I got it or whatever, noticed a somewhat annoyed Charles Calhoun about Garlands time on the range.
Upon arriving at the site of their first challenge, the players were greeted by Golf Channel Troubleshooter Rick Smith and co-host Katherine Roberts. Smith, who will be on hand throughout the series to offer advice, tips and dole out words of encouragement, informed the golfers of the first stiff test.
Big Break Episode 2Each was given 90 seconds to try and chip as many balls as they could into a three-foot foam basket attached to the top of a golf cart. But with one catch ' the golf cart would be moving toward and away from them during their allotted time. The player scoring the most direct hits would win a Sony Home Theater System and the all-important Mulligan to be used in the elimination challenge.
Wrestling with the physical fatigue and delicate nature of trying to chip as many balls as possible in 90 seconds, the contestants struggled in trying to lock in on the target. After all 10 gave it a go, Justin Peters, Randy Block and Jon Roddy led the way with a total of three direct hits.
A playoff ensued and Peters used a last-second buzzer-beater to claim the prize and the mulligan.
You couldnt script it any better, I mean, what a great feeling. You know, at the buzzer to win, said Peters, who has played golf on the Hooters Tour. Its just a memory Ill cherish forever.
Finally the time had come for the groups first elimination challenge, and time to see whose nerves could withstand the daunting pressure. Distance control was the name of the game.
A white stripe was painted across the fairway, 150 yards from the tee box, and the players were told that they would have three attempts to get it as close to the line as possible. Each attempt would count, as the average distance away from the line would be used to determine the order of finish.
A version of the good, the bad and the ugly broke out as several of the contestants knocked it stiff, a few landed somewhere in the vicinity of the white line and some, well, werent even in the ballpark.
Big Break Episode 2I was real nervous; I did not want to be gone. I didnt feel I deserved to be gone, after the shots I had hit, said Anthony Sorentino. I just didnt want to be out. Id get dogged out by my friends if I was out on the first show.
It finally came down to the last swing of the day as Mark Farnham needed to knock it close in order to oust 56-year-old Garrett Garland. Seeing spots and battling dehydration, Farnham let go of what looked like an ugly swing, only to get the results he needed to survive another day.
The name of the show is The Big Break. Ive probably had the biggest break so far, said Farnham. The way I finished the first round, its like one of those get out of jail for free cards.
As for Garland, his chance at a Big Break had come to an abrupt end.
Its a little depressing, but its still OK, said Garland, the first man to miss the cut. I just didnt do as well as I should have. I cant make a lot of excuses about this and that.
Be sure to tune in to The Golf Channel Tuesday at 9:00PM (ET) as the group will face another round of tough challenges to see who will survive, and who will follow Garland off the show.
Related Links:
  • Video - Watch Garrett Garland's exit interview
  • The Big Break Home
  • Airtimes for The Big Break
  • Discussion Boards - Talk about the show
    The Big Break