Another Big Break season is in the books and Mark Murphy is your champion. 33 years young, this reinvigorated aspiring professional golfer has NEW LIFE; he has finally ‘achieved’; Mark is a winner & a champion and that is a title NO PERSON can EVER take away from him; Congratulations or as they say in Gaelic - Go maire tú!
Mark’s exemptions: 2012 European Tour events
• Hassan Golf Trophy (Morocco) in March (22-25)
• Irish Open in July (late July)
When Mark auditioned for Big Break he told us that he’s had a long and often tumultuous relationship with golf. He often refers to himself as a life-time “underachiever” in golf. Mark grew up playing with the likes of Graeme McDowell, competing against many successful players that have done well on the European Tour and he’s HAS always believed he belongs with the best in the world. Now he’s got his opportunity.
The mini-tour lifestyle can be AWFUL. The mini-tours prepare aspiring golfers for two things- dealing with adversity and dealing with failure. The players who make it to the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour realize when they arrive that there ARE NO GUARANTEES they will be there next year.
Julien Trudeau is THAT player. This guy has immense talent, does many things in golf VERY WELL but he is one of many that have the same story; once made it (Nationwide Tour-2010)… but couldn’t remain. Like Mark, Julien sees this Big Break as a step towards his second chance. Best of luck Julien! Sláinte! (customary Irish toast meaning ‘health’).
Seeing Mark win makes me think back to when I first began working on Big Break (2004 – Big Break III-Ladies Only) and how cool I thought it was to be ‘IN’ television. While the coolness factor still remains it is not the prevailing emotion I gain once a Big Break finishes its production. Joy, pride and meaningfulness are the appropriate descriptions that dress me on a daily basis when I wake each morning to go to work. I am in the business of making people’s dreams come true… while I am not saving lives or defending our country or teaching America’s youth I do have an impact and that meaning inscribes itself into the faces of the winner’s of this series. Additionally, that emotion and impact affects the other players who participate in this show. For that, I will be eternally grateful to the Big Break Ireland cast. So thank you, Mark, Julien, Mallory, Andy, Nina, Nicole, Joe, Bennett, Kelly, Matt, Annie and Whitney.
Special thanks to my brothers/sisters in arms who slug it out with me in the trenches: Jay and Paul, to a wonderful post team, Chris G., Constantin, Chris C., Derek L., Derek K., Gaston, Courtney, Jason, Simon and Rob. Also to Tom, Pat and Max! Thank you so very much or in Gaelic - Raibh maith agat!
Big Break Ireland Producer Blog: Go maire tu Mark
Lewis wins Portugal Masters for second time
VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis won the Portugal Masters for a second time after shooting a 5-under 66 in Sunday's final round.
Lewis finished three strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67) and Australia's Lucas Herbert (71).
Sergio Garcia prepared for the Ryder Cup next weekend with a 65 to finish seven strokes behind Lewis.
Lewis made six birdies along with a single bogey on No. 10 to finish the tournament at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course on 22-under 262.
Herbert led through the first three rounds only to struggle on the final day. He hit a double bogey on the final hole to finish the round on par.
Lewis had trailed Herbert by nine shots after the first round.
''It's been a rough ride but this week I played hard,'' Lewis said. ''I obviously got off to a bad start, to finish the way I've been finishing has been brilliant.''
Lewis first won the tournament in 2011.
''I think this one means more,'' Lewis said, ''it means a lot to come and win this again.''
Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship
Tiger Woods began the final round of the Tour Championship with a three-shot lead, and he's cruising at East Lake. We're tracking him.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
Rose tries to ignore scenarios, focus on winning
ATLANTA – No one has more to play for than Justin Rose on Sunday at the Tour Championship.
The Englishman will begin the day three strokes behind front-runner Tiger Woods after a third-round 68 that could have been much worse after he began his day with back-to-back bogeys.
Winning the tournament will be Rose’s top priority, but there’s also the lingering question of the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus, which he is currently projected to claim.
“The way I look at tomorrow is that I have many scenarios in play. I have the FedExCup in play. I have all of that to distract me,” Rose said. “But yet, I'm three back. I think that's my objective tomorrow is to come out and play good, positive golf and try and chase down the leader and win this golf tournament. I think in some ways that'll help my other task of trying to win the FedExCup. It'll keep me on the front foot and playing positive golf.”
Although there are many scenarios for Rose to win the season-long title, if Woods wins the Tour Championship, Rose would need to finish fifth or better to claim the cup.
There’s also the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to consider. Rose overtook Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. He will retain the top spot unless Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka or Johnson win the finale and he falls down the leaderboard on Sunday.
McIlroy needs putter to heat up to catch Woods
ATLANTA – Although Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship and tied for second place he had the look of a man with a secret when he left East Lake on Saturday.
Trying to play catch up against Woods is never ideal, but McIlroy’s confidence stemmed from a tee-to-green game that has been unrivaled for three days.
“I definitely think today and the first day were similar,” said McIlroy, whose 66 included birdies at two of his final three holes. “I gave myself plenty of chances, and I think the biggest thing today was only just that one bogey. Got to put your ball in the fairway, put yourself in position, and for the most part, I did that today.”
For the week McIlroy ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, third in strokes gained: approach to the green and second in greens in regulation. But to catch Woods, who he will be paired with, he’ll need a much better day on the greens.
The Northern Irishman needed 30 putts on Day 2 and ranks 23rd, out of 30 players, in strokes gained: putting.
McIlroy skipped the first playoff event, opting instead for an extra week at home to work on his swing and the move has paid off.
“I hit the ball well. My wedge play has been really good,” he said. “I've done a lot of work on it the last few weeks, and it seems to have paid off.”