New Year New Season Of Big Break

By Big Break ProducerFebruary 5, 2014, 6:00 am


New Year. New Season. New cast. Same heart pounding Big Break competition.

It’s that time of year again. It’s the dawn of a brand new Big Break competition and this time around, we’re bringing it your way about 3 months early. Yup. Normally you’d have to wait until May for your 1st taste of this one-of-a-kind competition (cruel...I know), but for reasons only the Programming Department can explain in technical detail, those frigid Monday nights of late winter will now be filled with the sound of breaking glass and the fascinating inner monologues of these 12 amazingly talented LPGA hopefuls. This also means that we’re all in for the weekly insider insight we’ve all gotten accustomed to from the series Producers themselves.

Welcome to the 1st installment of Lead Producer, Brendan Havens’, incoherent thoughts and ramblings...

Last time we spoke, I was extolling the virtues of Matthew Galloway’s improbable run to the finale of Big Break Mexico. Since then...I’ve been a little busy. With what? Well, this is where the talk of this early premiere date comes in to play. Allow me to elaborate...

Right around the middle of Post-Production on Big Break Mexico (sometime around the mid/end of June), we got word from Programming that the premiere of the 1st Big Break season of 2014 would be moved from May all the way up to February. Now, to those who have never been involved in the Production of one of these series, this is nothing but fantastic news. “You mean we get our 1st taste of Big Break 3 months early?!?! AWESOME!!!” Now, for those involved in the production of the series, our reaction was, “Holy crap. How are we gonna get this thing shot in time.” To put this neurotic-esque reaction into perspective, I’m gonna do a little date/time math for you.

Normally, for a May premiere, we shoot the series in late January, early February. Without getting into crazy specifics, this gives us the appropriate amount of lead time to get everything in the series completed and ready for air on time (each episode takes approximately one-month to complete and there are 3 Producer/Editor teams working simultaneously on different episodes). By moving the premiere date up by three months meant that the series would have to be shot in October. So far, this doesn’t seem so bad. “But, Brendan it’s only June and you’re worried about a series that won’t be shot for another four months?!?!” This is a reasonable question, until you factor in what needs to be done before a Big Break can even be filmed. The competitors must be cast, the format of the competition has to be planned out, the challenges need to be designed, a crew in the upwards of 80-people needs to be signed on and, most importantly, we need a site to shoot it at. That whole process can take up to six-months under normal circumstances, so we were technically two-months behind schedule before we even had a chance to start. So, there I went, off to our 1st round of auditions at the on the Symetra Tour before my final episode of Big Break Mexico was even finished being edited.

What this crazily compacted schedule also meant, was that for the 1st time in the 10-plus years we’ve been producing this series, there would be three different Big Breaks shot in the same calendar year. At one point, Big Break Mexico, Big Break NFL and Big Break Florida were in some level of production simultaneously.

So, I guess you could say 2013 was a big year for Big Break. The copious amount of extra grey hair I’ve obtained during that time period could surely speak to that. I also consider them to be little colorless reminders to the immense amount of pride we have as a crew in being privileged enough to be the ones who bring you three-months worth of weeknight entertainment. And let me be the first to tell you...this may be the most entertaining three-months of Big Break you’ll ever get.

For this season, we’ve departed with the team format that dominated the past two Big Breaks and have gone back to basics, so to speak. All 12 of these ladies will compete as individuals and will find themselves having to avoid elimination from the very start of the competition. So, get ready Big Break fans. This old format takes on a whole new life with this cast. And, per usual, us diabolical Producers have a few new tricks up our sleeves for this season. It’s what we do, and it’s all new. Stay tuned...

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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 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 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.”

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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.

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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."

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."