One by one, Big Break Ireland competitors have been eliminated from the Emerald Isle in a wind storm of great golf, unexpected challenges, and a twist no one saw coming.
Episode 5 is called “Erin Go Bragh: Ireland Forever”. Ireland may be “forever” but staying on Big Break isn’t. Whitney, Annie, Matt, & Kelly’s luck ran out and Bennett ended up getting appendicitis. Of all the things competitors think might eliminate them, getting sick isn’t one of them.
Team Liffey was down after losing three shows in a row to Team Straffan, and during breakfast, the fire in Team Liffey’s eyes burned. Mark is done talking, Andy knows talk is cheap, and Mallory is just sick of going into Elimination. She and I often laughed off camera about her title as “The Eliminator” and we both found it odd that there seemed to be a target on her back. Too bad for those who chose her, because each one of them missed and Mallory retained her title.
Nina’s failure to deliver on Hole #17 and Joe’s unlucky wild card draw of that same hole, put Joe in a no win situation. He had to eagle on one of the hardest holes in golf. The 17th hole is set right next to the River Liffey and that river swallows golf balls. Even Thomas Bjorn had 11 strokes on this Par 4, hitting his ball into the water several times in 2005. Joe fell to the same fate and ended up going into The Elimination Round. Joe had a decision to make and everyone thought his choice was going to be more than obvious…he had to pick Nina.
Then there’s the twist. Joe selects Julien after Nina played what Andy referred to as “less than stellar golf.” Everyone was shocked. We didn’t know what to make of Joe’s decision. Then I started thinking about it. If you believe in your game, and you think you have what it takes to win Big Break Ireland, then you would want to eliminate one of the strongest players on the show: Julien Trudeau. Julien’s performance has been solid and if Joe wanted to win Big Break Ireland, then he’d have to face Julien sooner or later - unless someone else eliminated Julien first – which is the real shocker because Joe could still be in the competition had he selected Nina and defeated her. But even that wasn’t a guarantee. As we’ve seen, Nina is driven, skilled, and fiery. She knows how to fight. She had something to prove and perhaps Joe thought that the element of surprise could have possibly given him the upper hand against Julien.
In the end on Hole #16, Julien made birdie and Joe beat himself by repeating a left hook into the River Liffey. One shot was the difference. That’s exactly what’s great and frustrating about competing on Big Break – expect the unexpected. We said farewell to a great golfer and a great guy: Joe Campbell.
Big Break Ireland Producer Blog: The River Iffy
Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff
Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.
The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.
Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.
Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.
He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.
There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.
In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.
So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.
The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.
Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.
When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.
Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.
Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.
Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.
“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.
This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.
The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.
It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.
“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.
Pay per view does that.
“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.
If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.
Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.
Trail date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena
AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.
District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.
Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.
Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.
Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything
LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:
But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.
Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.
If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.
Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'
In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.
“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.
Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).
And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus:
Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)
Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations.
Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)
The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club.
Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)
In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.