Far Away So Close

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February 6, 2010

This particular day sticks out in my mind. At this point on the shoot, we were approaching the halfway point in the season. The next day, the 7th, was a make-up day. We planned to shoot group shots for the show open, course beauties and other scenic shots, but no competition was scheduled. We built the schedule that way in case we needed to catch up because of weather and to let everyone have a breather. In this case, it just happened to fall on the same day as a big football game, just a coincidence, I swear.

So far during the shoot, we’d had beautiful weather, but on that day, the clouds started moving in during the “decreasing length chip” challenge, and by lunch, it was pouring. The good news is that we had straight golf for the elimination, and we had some breaks in the rain. So we put the weather gear on the cameras, the ladies pulled out their rain gloves and headed to the range to warm up, and we set off to the first tee. Talk about guts and redemption! Taryn pulled a drive and was in jail the rest of the hole. She just handed the first round to Seema. Sara Brown chipped in for the eagle on Ryann, so “Ryann vs. Taryn” was our last act. Not only did Taryn crush a drive, but then she stiffed the same shot she missed first thing that morning. Just like that, Sweet Tea the Giant Killer eliminated Ryann.

People react to being eliminated in different ways. We’ve had contestants that were so upset that they couldn’t make it through the interview that night. I interviewed one contestant that borrowed some shoes and went for a 10 mile run after she got knocked out. Others are disappointed, but roll with it. I think on more than one occasion, an earlier-than-expected elimination has hastened a player’s exit from competitive golf. Let’s just say it’s been really nice to see Ryann pick up two wins on the Duramed FUTURES Tour while we’ve been posting the shows, because she’s got a lot of talent. It seems like she’s taken a lot of confidence away from the experience and figured out that everyone else on the show was scared to death of facing her. When we were cutting the show, we kept looking at her sixth chip in the decreasing length chips, and it was within an inch of tapping the flagstick. If it hits the pin and doesn’t go downhill, she wins the challenge. Then again, in last week’s show, at the “Take a Chance” challenge, her shot was within a quarter inch of being outside the mark. It really is a game of inches.