What started as a pleasant breakfast before the seventh episode of the series ended in one of the most bizarre scenes in Big Break history. The commotion began when Bri Vega confronted Pam Garrity about a remark made in a previous episode. Then Ashley Gomes joined in the fray. Making it a three ring circus, Laura London attempted to clear the air with Garrity about alleged comments that werent exactly Sunday morning worthy.
When the smoke cleared, Garrity decided she had enough of The Big Break VII and packed her clubs and took her ball home. It marks the first time a competitor has withdrawn from the series in the seven season run.
Im not that aggressive in life or in golf, Garrity explained about her decision to leave the show. I found myself in an uncomfortable position with all the gamesmanship.
It should come as no surprise trouble erupted. Put 16 competitive individuals in an environment where they are battling for a life-changing opportunity by day and sharing quarters at night, and sparks were bound to fly.
Its like throwing yourself back into your worst high school nightmare, said London, who also was a contestant in The Big Break VI: Trump National. What viewers dont understand is that there is the golf competition they see and then there is the psychological part of the competition.
And, by the way, there was serious competition in the episode that ended with Vega exiting the show after losing an elimination challenge to Mike Foster and Laura London.
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. 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.
After the three failed to earn immunity in the first three challenges of the episode they found themselves on the tee box of the par-4 18th hole of the Watson Course at Ginn Reunion Resort. In a stroke play challenge, the player with the highest score was eliminated from the series. Should there be a tie then those contestants would continue playing the hole until someone was eliminated.
London made birdie to advance while Foster and Vega matched par. On the second playing of the hole, Foster made a 15-foot putt to save par to tie Vega and stay alive. It also may be the turning moment in the series for Foster.
I finally have the competitive juices I have been looking for all week long, Foster, who played on the Nationwide Tour in 1992 - 93, said about making the putt. I felt the drive I need.
Focused, Foster made birdie on the third playing of the hole to send Vega packing. Her defeat signaled the end of an improbable Big Break run. The North Andover, Mass. resident won The Big Break VI. Vega was one of the most unlikely contestants to emerge as the winner of sixth season. After all, wasnt she one of competitors nobody wanted as a teammate in the first episode the series?
Im like the kid not being picked in dodge ball, a dejected Vega explained when she was not picked as a partner in Big Break VI and was forced to survive an elimination challenge to stay on the series. No one wanted me as a partner.
That changed in The Big Break VII when she was considered one of the favorites in the competition.
Im the only person here who didnt know what it was like to leave the show, said the 25-year-old North Andover, Mass. native. Its time for someone who hasnt had the chance to win to win. Someone who wins will feel just as good as when I won Big Break VI. I cant wait for them to experience what Ive experienced.
With Vegas departure, the remaining six contestants are competing for the grand prize. If one of the remaining male professionals is victorious, then he will earn a spot in the field of the 2007 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour. Should one of the females claim the title, then she will be invited to compete in the 2007 Ginn Tribute Hosted by ANNIKA on the LPGA Tour.