Beware the Sick Golfer


The Big Break VII Fighting bronchitis and strained ribs, Laura Londons chances of surviving the fourth episode of The Big Break VII: Reunion appeared slim. However, proving you should never underestimate a wounded competitor, she defeated Kim Lewellen in an Elimination Challenge while Mike Foster sent Mark Farnham packing.
London showed up at Ginn Reunion Resort and Spa with an illness that produced a cough so violent it strained her ribs. Not the ideal turn of events in a series where one bad day and youre gone. Turning up the pressure a notch, LPGA Tour winner Brittany Lincicome was a surprise guest who competed in the first challenge.
Im sick as a dog, London said. If I was at home I wouldnt be moving from my house for five days, let alone playing on TV for an LPGA Tour exemption.
But there London was in an episode featuring three of the remaining six coed teams playing two challenges with the winner exempt to the next episode. Making matters worse, her teammate, Farnham, was struggling with his game.
Taking advantage of the situation, Don Donatello and Ashley Gomes compiled the winning total in the first two challenges sending London to face Lewellen while Farnham and Foster played for survival.
Each show features two to three challenges, the outcome of each influencing who stays and who goes home. Each challenge will demand precision shot-making designed to simulate conditions that players face every week on tour.
Competitions in The Big Break VII are team events with the losing teams going to an Elimination Challenge. Once there, teams are split and males compete against males and female take on other females.
London got up-and-down from a greenside bunker to take a one shot lead over Lewellen in their Elimination Challenge. She then matched Lewellens three strokes from a fairway bunker to advance.
When the going gets tough there are only two things I know about myself, and that is in sickness and in health Im either going to die or Im going to win said London after the show. The reality is I didnt want to come back in two days and think that had I given it that extra effort I still would be playing.
Her effort was not lost on the other competitors.
For her to come out and stay strong and fight like that to beat Kim, I was shocked, said Gomes, who also competed against London in The Big Break VI: Trump National. She deserves to be here.
One of the funniest and most liked characters in the series, Farnham lacked the game to ultimately be successful in The Big Break VII. Even after stunning Gary Ostrega in an Elimination Challenge in the first episode, the Chicago, Ill., resident had an uphill climb that was fueled by desire.
The struggle ended when the wheels came off the little train that could. He struggled in the second Immunity Challenge when it took 16 shots to hit a target in the fairway. Later in the Elimination Challenge, Farnham recorded five strokes from both the greenside and fairway bunkers.
You come here to compete and you come here to play hard, said Farnham, who was a contestant in the original Big Break. When you get eliminated, you understand this is only a game and life goes on.
For the remaining 10 contestants, they still are competing for the grand prize. If one of the eight male professionals is victorious, then he will either earn a spot in the field of the 2007 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour or the 2008 Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach on the Champions Tour. Should one of the eight females claim the title, then she will be invited to compete in the 2007 Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika on the LPGA Tour.
Farnham and Lewellen are two of the six contestants already eliminated from the series. The Big Break concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in challenges that test physical skills and mental toughness. During The Big Break VII, competitors will be eliminated with the last one standing crowned the winner.
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