Huffin and Puffin to Stay Alive

By November 11, 2003, 5:00 pm
The Big BreakEditor's Note: The Golf Channel aired the sixth episode of its original series, The Big Break, Tuesday in which a group of scratch golfers vie in a weekly showdown of golf skills challenges. Each week one contestant will be eliminated until there is just one man left standing on the tee box. That lucky winner will get the Big Break of his golfing career - exemptions into four Canadian Tour events airing on The Golf Channel in 2004.
 
With just six contestants remaining, hearty, early morning laughter on the way to the days challenges soon turned to heavy breathing. But not so much due to the rising pressure, but instead due to the most physically demanding skills challenge to date. Speed golf.
 
Im 6 4 and 250 lbs. Im not exactly svelte. Im looking at Randy and Im like, Dude, Im not doing this, said Mark Farnham about the prospects of the days first challenge.
 
Two three man teams where chosen with the objective to get the ball from the tee box and into the hole in the least amount of time and the fewest strokes as possible. Each team was then broken up into three parts ' one player to tee off, a second player stationed in the fairway and the third player positioned up near the green.
 
Farnham and Sorentino wish each other luckAfter the tee shot, the player in the fairway had to chase down the ball, and without wasting much time, hit an approach shot to the green for the waiting teammate, who then had to hurry and get the ball into the bottom of the cup. And unlike the previous skills challenges, this one came with a huge surprise ' the team that won the challenge would not have to take part in the elimination challenge.
 
When we heard the twist about the team that wins doesnt have to go to the elimination round that was so huge, everybodys jaw just dropped, recalled Justin Peters on the surprise that was thrown at the group. All of a sudden there was something pretty serious on the line.
 
The first team up had Anthony Sorentino at the tee box, Craig Pawling in the fairway and Jeff Brown near the green. Sorentino striped his tee shot down the fairway as Pawling gave chase. After a quick look at his target, Pawling sent his approach shot short of the green, about 30 yards from the pin. Brown then used a 7-iron chip that ran through the green and settled on the fringe about 25 feet from the hole. His putt ran 10 feet past the hole and his comebacker came up short, before tapping in for a six.
 
The second team of Randy Block, Peters and Farnham, hitting in that order, then took their turn in hopes of avoiding going to the elimination challenge. Blocks drive found the middle of the fairway, that left Peters about 185 yards to the pin. His 6-iron to the green missed getting caught up in the trees and rolled past the cup, stopping on the back fringe just 20 feet away. Farnham calmly knocked it to within a foot and tapped in for par and the victory.
 
Tomorrows my birthday and I was not going home. So Happy Birthday to me from Randy and from Justin because this is a big birthday present. Im really happy, said an obviously delighted and relieved Farnham.
 
A quick putting contest between the Sorentino, Pawling and Brown followed to see who would win a mulligan that could be used in the upcoming elimination challenge. Pawling sank both the putts he needed and walked away with the mulligan.
 
For the elimination challenge the three contestants were faced with hitting the long ball but with a premium on accuracy. Each player had three chances to hit a drive as far as he could which would then be measured from the distance from the tee box. A second measurement would then be taken from the middle of the fairway to where the ball came to rest. The second measurement would be subtracted from the first distance leaving the player with an adjusted total distance. The best distance of their three shots would ultimately determine who was packing their bags and heading home.
 
I knew that when I was put up against Anthony and Craig, that these guys Ive watched stripe it all week, they have quality golf swings, noted a concerned Brown.
 
Jeff Brown gets eliminatedBrown led off in the elimination round followed by Sorentino and Pawling. After each player hit, Brown had the shortest adjusted distance coming in at 233 yards. Sorentino, whose almost perfect drive finished up within a yard of the middle of the fairway, was in first at 271 yards.

Brown was suddenly in the hot seat, as he needed to hit one of his next two tee shots further than the second place Pawling to avoid putting away his clubs for good.
 
The problem was I was getting my body too far in front of it and basically was hitting a weak shot to the right, said a frustrated Brown, whose subsequent shots failed to reach the needed distance. Its one of those things, you either have it that day or you dont. I didnt have it, it wasnt there.
 
Jeff was hitting it so good on the range, but Ive never seen him hit it so bad, added Block about the departing Browns disappointing tee shots.
 
Ive had a wonderful, wonderful experience. This has been an opportunity of a lifetime, said Brown. These guys that Ive come to know and created a relationship with, theyre just super. But I cant wait to get home to my wife and kids.
 
Tune in next Tuesday at 9:00PM (ET) as the fab five gets a visit from Mother Nature and the elimination challenge has an ending you wont want to miss.
 

Related Links:
  • Video - Watch Jeff Brown's exit interview
  • The Big Break Home
  • Airtimes for The Big Break
  • Discussion Boards - Talk about the show
     
    The Big Break
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
    Getty Images

    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

    Getty Images

    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

    Getty Images

    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”