The Irony is So Ironic

By Big Break ProducerJuly 23, 2013, 2:00 am

Where to begin.  Do we talk about Brent somehow not making it to the finale after dominating most of the season?  Do we talk about Taylor’s two crazy clutch par saves on the 1st two holes of her match which totally turned the momentum around?  Or do we talk about Jay being 6 feet away from the first spot in the finale and letting it slip away?  Nah.  As usual, I’m gonna make like Randy Moss and go deep.  Welcome back to Lead Producer, Brendan Havens’, incoherent thoughts and ramblings about this penultimate episode of Big Break Mexico.

At its core, Big Break is not a show about golf.  Big Break is a show about 12 different stories and personalities who come together and try to coexist while competing for the break of their lives.  While golf is what everything is based around, it’s really just a means to an end.  Where so much of the action of the series takes place inside the ropes, during the course of each challenge, so many of the storylines that come to life during the course of a Big Break series come straight from the very smallest of moments that may or may not happen directly in front of the camera within the boundaries of the playing field.  A lot of times, it’s those moments that happen just behind the lens that can develop into series long threads that weave a character’s story arch and define their run thru a Big Break series.  One of those storylines that’s a perfect combination of both playing field story and behind the lens story is Matt’s rise from the bottom…all the way to the top.

As chronicled in my incoherent thoughts and ramblings after show 4, Matt reached rock bottom when he blew his match against Jay, earning that 3rd strike for Team Aztec.  On the field of play, the storyline was obvious; a wayward drive and a misjudged approach shot ended up being the keys of the collapse.  Though, it’s what happened right after the challenge; just past the lens is what really drove home this storyline.  As Matt walks past the flank of 10 cameras to an empty bench and starts questioning himself, a couple cameras turn very quickly and quietly in Matt’s direction and change this moment from being a perceived behind the lens moment, to being inside the playing field.  Sure, if this moment was never caught on camera, we could infer that Matt was upset after losing his match; but his emotion was that much more real when we could actually see it unfolding immediately after the golf part was all said and done.  It was one of those moments that separate this show from being just about golf and about the emotion that goes along with it all.  Knowing we had it on camera, it immediately became a point of emphasis for the evening interviews for all the contestants.

I interviewed Matt after every day of the competition and before we could start our interview that evening we had to take a short golf cart ride from the Presidential Suite, to the interview rooms.  During this time, there’s no cameras around, there’s nothing going on except for casual conversation. During our cart ride that evening, Matt was clearly a different person than I had chatted with during the 3 previous evenings.  He was frustrated, embarrassed and searching for answers.  At the same time, though, he was almost more at ease, calmer and more open than he had been up to that point.  I got the sense that he knew he was at a defining moment in the competition.  Before we even sat down with a camera, knowing where his mindset was, I knew my line of questioning would have to play off his realization that whatever happened from this point forward would define his storyline for the rest of his run on Big Break Mexico. 

It’s been said that, “there is no ‘I’ in team, but there is a ‘u’ in suck”.  Not sure who said that originally, but damnit, it may as well have been Matt after the last hole of that Strike Challenge.  He knew what happened and he knew that in the immediate, it was his fault.  But, the team got themselves into that situation and it was time for him to fix his mistake and pull himself out from the bottom.  A quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe may sum up Matt’s transformation the best: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” 

It’s no surprise that this moment from show 4’s Strike Challenge was very much in the forefront of Jay and Matt’s minds as their match in this week’s episode began.  For Matt to completely finish his journey from rock bottom, to the top of the rock, it feels like it would have to entail defeating Jay mono e mono.  Not only that, but the eerie similarity of a misjudged approach shot and a wayward drive made it feel like Jay ended up returning the favor that Matt initially gave him in episode 4.  The irony can be so ironic.

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Bend it like Garcia? Sergio scores in player-caddie soccer match

By Grill Room TeamOctober 20, 2018, 2:44 am

Sergio Garcia has always been able to work his golf ball from left to right, but he's also - apparently - proficient at playing a draw with a soccer ball.

This year's Adalucia Valderrama Masters is suffering through some weather issues. But the highlight of the week - and, according to the Felipe Aguilar, "the year" - was always going to be the event's player-caddie soccer match, which you can see here:

The standout highlight? This bending, left-footed(!) strike from defending champion Sergio Garcia:

"Just a little bit of fun with the caddies and some of the players," Garcia nonchalantly says in the video. "Yeah, just a little bit of running and it was good fun."

Garcia, a diehard Real Madrid fan who kicked off El Clasico in his green jacket back in 2016, has previously appeared in professional matches for CF Borriol, a Tercera Division club in Spain. 

"It's good fun and whenever I'm around I get to practice with them a little bit and play a little bit here and there. This season, I've played probably five games, so not a lot, but I enjoy it," Garcia told CNN back in 2013.

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Dunlap, in 'excruciating pain,' shares early Dominion lead

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:29 pm

RICHMOND, Va. – Scott Dunlap and Fran Quinn shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Fighting a left wrist injury that will require surgery, Dunlap matched Quinn with a closing birdie on the par-5 18th on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''Maybe excruciating pain is the key to playing good golf because I'm not getting nervous on a shot, you're just trying to get through it,'' Dunlap said. ''The worst parts are gripping it and getting the club started ... that's when that bone hits that bone.''

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


The 55-year-old Dunlap entered the week 29th in the standings. Playing through the wrist injury, he's coming off ties for ninth and seventh in his last two starts.

''I think I finally taped it the right way,'' Dunlap said. ''Or maybe it's the pain meds kicking in. I don't know, one of the two.''

Quinn is 64th in the standings.

''I finished up strong last year, too, kind of secured my privileges for the following year making eagle on 18,'' Quinn said. ''I played solid all day. I had a lot of opportunities. A couple hiccups.''

Jay Haas was a stroke back with Kent Jones, Stephen Ames, Woody Austin and Tim Petrovic. The 64-year-old Haas won the last of his 18 senior titles in 2016.

Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, were at 69 with Joey Sindelar, Tom Gillis, Billy MayfairLee Janzen, Glen Day and Gene Sauers.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 70. The 61-year-old German star won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the points lead. He has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland had a 71. He's 14th in the standings. No. 3 Jerry Kelly shot 72. No. 4 Scott McCarron, the 2016 tournament winner, had a 74.

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Weather continues to plague Valderrama Masters

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 7:55 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Marc Warren helped his chances of retaining his European Tour card by moving into a tie for second place behind Englishman Ashley Chesters at the rain-hit Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Friday.

Bad weather interrupted play for a second straight day at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain before darkness caused the second round to be suspended until Saturday, with overnight Chesters still ahead at 5-under.

Weather delays on Thursday, including a threat of lightning, had kept 60 golfers from finishing their opening round. They included Scottish player Warren, who went out on Friday and finished his first round with a 2-under 69.

He then made three birdies to go with one bogey on the first nine holes of the second round before play was halted. He joined Frenchman Gregory Bourdy one shot behind Chesters.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


''I'm hitting the ball as well as I have in a long time,'' Warren said. ''Hitting fairways and greens is the most important thing around here, so hopefully I wake up tomorrow with the same swing.''

Chesters and Bourdy were among several golfers unable to play a single hole in the second round on Friday.

Warren, a three-time European Tour winner, has struggled this season and needs a strong performance to keep his playing privileges for next year.

Currently ranked 144th, Warren needs to break into the top 116 to keep his card.

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Watch: Is this the up-and-down of the year?

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 3:30 pm

Play away from the pin? Just because there's a tree in your way? Not Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Watch him channel some Arnie (or, more appropriately, some Seve) with this shot in the Valderrama Masters: