What Flavor of Drama Do You Prefer?

By Big Break ProducerJune 26, 2012, 2:00 am


Brendan Havens here, with another mind bending, thought provoking, sometimes sleep inducing round of my incoherent thoughts and ramblings about this week’s episode of the greatest (only) golf reality competition series around:  Big Break Atlantis.

If you’re a fan of tense, clutch, straight up dramatic competition, it really doesn’t get much better than what the ladies put forth this week.  You had Marcela, the reigning Championship Points leader, on the ropes; Christina holing putts from everywhere; Selanee making yet another birdie when it really matters (not to mention taking another huge step toward curing her anxiety); and, of course, there’s that little putt Kelly managed to drain in the Elimination Challenge and Anya answering with that 5-foot knee-knocker.  I’m breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about it!  Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was still pretty awesome stuff.  But, being the cerebral kind o’ dude that I am, this goosebump-creating Big Break style of entertainment got me thinking.  Is this the best/most popular type of drama the Big Break franchise has to offer?

As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, there is a certain lack of childish, catty, backstabbing with the cast up to this point in the series.  There actually is a genuine camaraderie between these contestants and even though they all want to win, they are rooting for each other to do well.   Now, I know this isn’t the usual formula for typically successful reality entertainment, but does that make it not as entertaining?  Since this type of television permeated pop culture with the advent of The Real World and Survivor, the key to their success (and those that have followed) has been that interpersonal in-fighting that the general public just can’t seem to get enough of.  As you diehards can attest, Big Break certainly has not been immune to (pun intended) this “train wreck” type of fascination of people arguing with and insulting each other.  

During the course of the 17 seasons of Big Break there’s been a bit of a mixed bag of drama.  There have been seasons entirely dominated by bickering and backstabbing (Big Break III and Big Break Dominican Republic immediately come to mind).  On the other hand, there have been numerous seasons where the words of the late Rodney King were taken to task and everyone just got along.  It was the competition itself which served as that much needed antagonist (most recently Big Break Indian Wells).  So, I pose the question to you.  Which flavor of drama do you prefer?

I will say, there really is nothing like a Brian Skatell, Don Donatello or Carling Coffing.  With personalities like these, every day in the edit room was an adventure.  “What does Brian have to say about this shot” was always a fun question to ask ourselves day in and day out.  From a Producer’s perspective, the series that contains a surplus of outrageous soundbites and dramatic confrontations is an easy one to craft.  The storylines and moments are right there in front of you and it more or less edits itself.  There is a pitfall to this style of entertainment, though.  What a series like this lacks is depth.  When it’s all about the cat fights, the action tends to stay in the shallow end of the pool.

The seasons that don’t contain these powder keg type moments are inherently more about the personal/internal storylines and really derive that dramatic feel from the challenges themselves, rather than the challenges everyone has in getting along.  Where this can prove to be a much deeper and, when done correctly, more satisfying piece of television, the construction of these underlying stories over the course of an entire series is incredibly difficult to accomplish.

What it really comes down to with the Big Break is that it’s not a golf highlight show.  It’s a story about how a group of people who are all chasing the same exact goal with totally differing personalities manage to coexist with each other.  Golf just happens to be the glue that holds the whole thing together.  As the challenges unfold, the individual personalities come out and sometimes this leads to the formation of sworn enemies (Pam and Danielle from Big Break III).  Sometimes it leads to life changing friendships (Shank and Carl from Indian Wells).  It’s all totally unpredictable and this is what makes this series so consistently popular year after year.  It’s just about as real as reality TV can get.  And really…when the competition itself has so much inherent drama, as it did last night, who needs an argument to ruin it.



Getty Images

Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

Getty Images

Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

Getty Images

Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

Getty Images

Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."