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The Good, The Slow, and The Eliminated

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It’s always exciting to get to play some straight up golf on a Big Break, especially when we have some talented players that will put on a show. We were all looking forward to seeing what Brent could do on the 3-hole challenge, and he didn’t disappoint! Three under on three holes of elimination for those of you keeping track at home, and Matthew was no slouch in the Aztec match, which had considerably more pressure given that only one player from the match would stay on the show.

Whenever we deal with slow play, we have to walk a tightrope between showing the slow player playing slow, and letting the action in the show get bogged down. Invariably we’ll receive viewer emails asking why one player was penalized, when their screen time doesn’t seem terribly different from other players. Screen time and real time are very different though. During the Olmec match, Jason started out slow, and by the 7th hole, it had turned into a bit of a chess match. Our rules official put him on the clock, and was getting times north of 5 minutes a shot in real time. So at the end of the 7th hole Jason received a slow play warning, and he picked up the pace on 9.

Why didn’t we play the 8th hole you ask? During our location scouts we spend a lot of time looking at what works well for cameras and our crew, and what parts of the course will be tough for us to move through. The move from the 7th green to the 9th green is easy for our mobile tower, audio metacorder, safe city competitors and crew, and it gives us a good test of golf. The 8th hole, while a good hole from a player’s perspective, was a tougher move for the crew. When it’s difficult for the the crew to reposition, it causes an interruption to the players, and we try to put them in the best position to play great golf with the least amount of production interruption.

Chad had a bit of a fascination with intimidating Brent on the course. We slipped a few choice bites from his interview into this episode. Keep an eye on that blossoming rivalry as the series progresses.

We finally get our first elimination in (and our second, third and fourth) this episode. Lindsey took the hit on Olmec, after fighting back from an early deficit. On the Aztec side McKenzie struggled to recover from an early bobble, and Rob self-destructed. Emily hit some great shots but couldn’t get the flat stick going on the greens. Ironically, the only Aztec player that came out of episode 4 that was interested in another chance to right the ship was Matthew and he won the day. Now he’s all alone on Big Break, we’ll have to see how that affects him.

Before I go, here’s the answer to a viewer question from the Big Break Facebook page about last week’s show. Tim writes to ask “shouldn't there have been a penalty in the speed challenge for Liebelei putting with flag stick in?” Glad you asked, Tim. On Big Break, each challenge is its own stipulated round with its own special set of rules.  Before a challenge begins, each competitor receives a written copy of rules for the challenge which they sign off on. All competitors together receive a rules briefing on the challenge, and are able to ask any questions they might have. Those briefings are given by the producers that write the challenge rules, our rules official, and a third party standards and practices attorney. For Speed Golf, we built in an exception for rule 17-3c, so players did not have to remove the pin when putting from the green. All of the competitors received a briefing to that effect. Some of them chose to putt with the pin in, others chose to pull the pin. But no, in this challenge, Liebelei shouldn’t have received a penalty for putting with the flagstick in. Thanks for writing in!

-Jon Painter, Series Producer