Who's The Real Eliminator Here?

By Big Break ProducerJuly 10, 2012, 2:00 am

On your average Big Break shoot, there are four interview producers.  With the usual number of twelve contestants on the series, a simple calculation reveals that there are three interviewees per interviewer.  (And I remember wondering at the time, 'When am I ever going to use this 4th grade math?')

At about an hour or more per interview, that's roughly three-and-a-half hours of talking about the day that was.  But, arguably, they're the most important hours of a production day.  Getting deep inside the heads of the competitors is what sets the Big Break apart from most other varieties of golf.

We're never quite sure if the players enjoy the interviews as much as we do.  After all, there's more golf to be played and another long day ahead tomorrow, and to a golfer -- especially a Big Breaker -- sleep is more valuable than prison cigarettes.

Like them or not, the only way out of a post-game interview is for a player to be eliminated.  During the Atlantis series, Meghan had the dubious honor of giving the first goodbye interview.  By random predetermination, I was the one charged with asking the questions of Meghan throughout what became her limited run on the show.

Now if there is an upside to losing a contestant, it's gaining the extra hour of sleep the following night.  I would have been happy to chat with Meghan for one or several more episodes.  Alas, it just wasn't in the cards, and the following night I hit the pillows that much earlier.

In Show 3, Zakiya took the walk, and since she was another of my interview subjects, you'd think that was even better, right?  Not quite.  Losing two interviews so soon doesn't guarantee you anything, because the numbers don't add up at that stage.  Some other hard-working interview producer still had three players to talk to.  So we reshuffled.  Two for him, and two for me.

Prior to episode four, I added Aubrey to my interview list; lo and behold she didn't survive the day.  Before show five, Natalia.  Gone.

By then, my fellow producers were calling me 'The Eliminator'.  A human cyanide capsule with a note pad.  Anya.  Christina.  Bang.  Zoom.  Schedule an interview with me and you might as well write your living will and your Big Break obituary while you're at it.  Of the first nine players to say goodbye to Atlantis, half a dozen of them had to do it while looking at yours truly.

Of course, there was another 'Eliminator' on the show.  Namely, Selanee Henderson.

Each time I was asking one of the aforementioned castaways how it feels to hear that last putt drop on them, or when it actually sinks in that the dream is over, there's a very good chance that their travel reservations were made by virtue of a Selanee birdie.

Seville had its barber.  Eastwick had its witches.  Through nine episodes, it's been remarkable to watch Selanee evolve into the Eliminator of Atlantis.  Early in the series, she was backing off of short putts like there were wasps in the cup.  But somewhere she turned a corner, and since then she's been like Big Break Ebola, devouring anyone who's unfortunate enough to catch her at the end of a show.

Selanee has relished the new role she's carved out for herself.  Marcela is into the Championship Match.  Gloriana has yet to face elimination, but with only Selanee standing between her and a ticket to the finale of Big Break Atlantis, that's looking like an inevitability.
And now that I'm fresh out of players to interview, we'll find out who the real Eliminator is.

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Added videos shed light on Reed rules controversy

By Will GrayMarch 21, 2018, 2:39 pm

Additional fan videos shed some light on a rules controversy involving Patrick Reed during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, when Reed suggested that Jordan Spieth would have gotten free relief after he was denied a favorable ruling.

Reed had sailed the green with his approach on the 11th hole Sunday at Bay Hill, coming to rest under a palm tree. As the below thread of videos from fan Tyler Soughers illustrates, Reed wanted a free drop because he believed a nearby television tower was in the way of the shot he planned to play.

The initial rules official didn't "see" the shot Reed planned to attempt given the tight confines, and his decision to deny Reed a free drop was upheld by a second rules official. Reed eventually tried to play the ball, moving it a few feet, before being granted relief from the tower from the ball's new position. He ultimately made double bogey on the hole and tied for seventh.

After finally taking his free drop away from the tower, Reed was heard muttering to nearby fans, "What a crock of s---."

Reed and Spieth will have plenty of time to discuss their favorite rulings Friday, when the two players face off on the final day of round-robin play in Group 4 during the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin.

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Callaway’s $1 Million FanBeat Challenge

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 21, 2018, 2:30 pm

Callaway’s $1 Million FanBeat Challenge is a new live-action game presented by Golf Channel, where golf fans answer trivia and predictive-play questions during tournament coverage for a chance to win $1 million and dozens of other Callaway-sponsored prizes.

Click here or on the image below to play now!

Here's how to play:

  • Two pre-round questions are available to answer anytime.
  • Additional questions are posted during breaks in the action of each round of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (previously contested at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Valspar Championship, WGC-Mexico Championship).
  • Users will earn points for every correct answer to move up the prize leaderboard during each round.
  • Players earn chances to win additional “instant win” and tournament prizes just by playing along and answering questions.

Callaway’s $1 Million FanBeat Challenge is a play-along game that makes watching golf coverage on Golf Channel and NBC more interesting and entertaining. Answer fun questions like “Where did Phil Mickelson play his college golf?” or “How many birdies will Sergio Garcia have on the back nine?”.

The start times to play during this week's API are:

  • Group play, Wednesday: 5 p.m. ET
  • Group play, Thursday: 5 p.m ET
  • Group play, Friday: 5 p.m. ET
  • Round of 16, Saturday: 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Quarterfinals, Saturday: 3 p.m. ET
  • Semifinals, Sunday: 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Finals, Sunday: 4 p.m. ET

Ace all questions during any of the up to 19 rounds (over the course of the four events) for a chance to win $1 million. Or, compete for a chance to win one of dozens of other prizes offered by Callaway, including full sets of clubs with custom fittings at the Callaway Performance Center in Carlsbad, Calif.; Rogue drivers; Toulon-design putters; MD4 wedges and much more. Click here for full details of the official rules.

Disclaimer: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Legal residents of the 50 U.S. or DC who are 18 or older. Begins February 27, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. ET and ends March 25, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Limit 1 entry per person. To enter, and for official rules, odds, and prize details, visit www.golfchannel.com/fanbeatchallenge. Sponsor: FanBeat, Inc. The $1 million grand prize may be awarded in an annuity or lesser lump sum. Should there be multiple winners, the grand prize will be divided evenly among qualifying winners.

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 21, 2018, 1:00 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson (2) J. Thomas (3) J. Rahm (4) J. Spieth
(32) K. Kisner (21) F. Molinari (28) K. Aphibarnrat (19) P. Reed
(38) A. Hadwin
(48) P. Kizzire (43) C. Reavie (34) H. Li
(52) B. Wiesberger
(60) L. List (63) K. Bradley (49) C. Schwartzel
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama (6) R. McIlroy (7) S. Garcia (8) J. Day
(30) P. Cantlay
(18) B. Harman (20) X. Schauffele (25) L. Oosthuizen
(46) C. Smith (44) J. Vegas (41) D. Frittelli (42) J. Dufner
(53) Y. Miyazato (51) P. Uihlein (62) S. Sharma (56) J. Hahn
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood (10) P. Casey (11) M. Leishman (12) T. Hatton
(26) D. Berger (31) M. Fitzpatrick (23) B. Grace (22) C. Hoffman
(33) K. Chappell (45) K. Stanley (35) B. Watson (36) B. Steele
(58) I. Poulter (51) R. Henley (64) J. Suri (55) A. Levy
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren (14) P. Mickelson (15) P. Perez (16) M. Kuchar
(29) T. Finau (17) R. Cabrera Bello (24) G. Woodland (27) R. Fisher
(39) T. Pieters (40) S. Kodaira (37) W. Simpson (47) Y. Ikeda
(61) K. Na (59) C. Howell III (50) S.W. Kim (54) Z. Johnson
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Els: Tiger playing well validates his generation

By Doug FergusonMarch 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Tiger Woods has come close to looking like the player who ruled golf for the better part of 15 years, and Ernie Els is happy to see it.

Never mind that Els was on the losing end to Woods more than any other player.

He speaks for his generation of Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and others. Els keeps hearing about the depth of talent being greater than ever, and he has seen it. But he gets weary listening to suggestions that Woods might not have 79 PGA Tour victories if he had to face this group.

''I'm just glad he's playing like I know he can play to validate me – validate me, Phil and Vijay,'' Els said. ''We weren't bad players. This guy was a special player. To see him back, playing special stuff again ... is great for the game.''

Generational debates are nothing new.

Every generation was better than the next one. Then again, Jack Nicklaus used to lament that Woods was lacking competition from players who had more experience winning majors, such as Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros.

Mickelson, Els and Singh combined to win 12 majors. Els says Woods won 14 on his own because he was that much better.

Does it get under his skin to hear fans rave about this generation's players?

''It doesn't (tick) me off. Can you imagine how it must (tick) Tiger off?'' he said. ''He was leaps and bounds the best player. People forget very quickly, and then you see special players like we have now, the younger generation. But I know what I played against. You can't take anything away from anybody.''

Doug Ferguson is a golf writer for The Associated Press