Losing Derek in last week’s episode was very surprising to the whole cast and crew. But if there is one thing I have learned in my 15 seasons of producing Big Breaks, it would be you can never under estimate the amount of pressure getting up on a stage like Big Break and hitting a golf shot does to a player.
The players involved in this week’s Elimination Challenge are just as unpredictable in my opinion. And since I have the inside scoop as to what went down that we couldn’t fit into our 50 minutes of show time. Here are the top 6 things (5 wasn’t enough and 10 was too many) that I either couldn’t fit into the show but REALLY wanted to, Or... that happened when the cameras weren’t rolling.
#6 - Tom and Stephanie have one of the more dangerous jobs in golf. At each challenge they try to position themselves in places where they have a good vantage point of the incoming shots so they can accurately commentate, at the same time be out of the players eye line. In the first challenge, the sun played a pivotal role in them almost getting hit by Liam’s 2nd shot. A near miss to be sure. But Liam again targeted them in the Elimination Challenge when his tee shot at the 2nd hole narrowly missed Tom and Steph by a few feet. Of course they were both accidents, but Stephanie jokingly remarked, “Was it something we said??”
#5 - The reason Chan offered to buy everyone a Happy Meal if he hit it over 300 yards at the Draw/Fade wall challenge, is because the guys all aimed at a big McDonalds “golden arches” off in the distance when they were hitting the draw. I guess it just provided some inspiration.
#4 - In his interview, Chan made the astute observation that the grass on the Old White TPC course is much sweeter than the bitter grass on the Meadows Course. Must have something to do with the toxic pesticides they use...
#3 - After his hooked tee shot, Anthony actually smashed his driver against his three wood which as a result broke his three wood. Had he been selected for the Elimination Challenge, he would have been without that club.
#2 - Liam’s miracle shot thru the trees actually was THAT amazing. Both parts luck and skill played a roll. Some would say luck more than skill perhaps, but that’s the way golf is. Liam did admit afterwards, however, that while he hit the shot very solid, he had zero intentions of hitting it close to the pin. His intended target was “anywhere on the green”.
#1 - The cast and crew take a lunch break in between the 2nd Immunity Challenge and the Elimination Challenge. Chan had a very interesting ritual during this particular lunch break to get revved up for the Elimination Challenge. He took a nap. Right there in the lunch room, just curled up and got some rest. While I thought his nerves might have stopped this from even being an option, in the end he said it really helped him to get his head right and “reset” after the debacle at the Draw/Fade wall. A very interesting tactic to be sure, but as it turns out, quite effective.
Top 6 Stories That Didn't Make the Show
McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”
McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.
That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.
“I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”
McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.
Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.
“I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.
“So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”
McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.
Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter
Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.
His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.
Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.
No bogeys on the weekend!!— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) July 22, 2018
Is it a man or a machine???
No matter what happens
Amazing performance @F_Molinari
What a day— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) July 22, 2018
What a week
What a year
What a round by @F_Molinari. Played with him Thursday-Friday, not surprised! Guy is the hottest player on the planet currently. Bogey free out there today is a championship round— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) July 22, 2018
Viva Italia...— Gary Player (@garyplayer) July 22, 2018
How good has @F_Molinari been!!! Bogey free for the last 37 holes!— Cheyenne Woods (@Cheyenne_Woods) July 22, 2018
Wow just awesome So happy for @F_Molinari . What a fantastic player, a great person and super role model for aspiring golfers. What an achievement #championgolferoftheyear@TheOpen . So pleased for you and all the team. Enjoy the celebrations cos you deserve it— Ross Fisher (@RossFisher) July 22, 2018
Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.
Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.
Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.
“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.
“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”
Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.
Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger
Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.
His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.
We compiled some of their missives below:
Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.
Starting to wonder how many Tiggy is going to win by here........... #isheback— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
Tiger is leading the open pic.twitter.com/MbGnJIt1Jj— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) July 22, 2018
That FW bunker shot by Tiger tho... pic.twitter.com/Fi3GY6AegO— Scott Langley (@Scott_Langley) July 22, 2018
Tiger back doing Tiger stuff.......— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
I love you https://t.co/JovVz2clm2— Braden Thornberry (@tberrygolf) July 22, 2018
Omg lesgo @TigerWoods— Willy Wilcox (@willwilcoxgolf) July 22, 2018
Right now, Tiger is like everyone’s ex who we’ve given way too many 2nd chances to, and he has the opportunity to rip your heart right out of your chest but we’re all ok with it because we tend to only remember the good times— max homa (@maxhoma23) July 22, 2018