Youre going to need a bigger boat

By Chris GrahamJuly 2, 2010, 10:53 pm

Working on an episode of Big Break during the taping phase is very similar to any ordinary office job. You show up for work with coffee or other beverage of choice in hand. Talk to your boss who gives you a to-do list for the day. Then you set off to do your best work that will produce some kind of end result. The only differences would be that I get to work outside (which isn’t always a good thing, depending on the weather) and some days the tasks on my to-do list include, “Go set up an Immunity Challenge with Greg Norman.”

The logistics of keeping a special guest a secret in past seasons have been challenging. But when the location is a resort literally on its own island and the special guest is someone as globally recognizable as Mr. Norman, it takes things to a whole new level. I can say with certainty when Mr. Norman walked out onto the driving range the morning of episode 3, all the reactions you saw were very genuine. Not one of the competitors had any clue he was going to be there, and it showed. So many thanks to all the crew and staff at Sandals Resorts for making sure the “package” was not compromised.

It is a personal thrill to be a part of conceptualizing and setting up the challenges for Big Break competitions. And for the first Immunity Challenge of this show, it was exceptionally thrilling to do so with Mr. Norman. We went out to the location of the challenge about 45 minutes before the reveal at the range, and we had some ideas of where we wanted the girls to play from. We quickly learned Mr. Norman was taking this task very seriously and had planned out in advance specific locations for the competitors to play from. After we scouted the different locations, took Mr. Norman to the range to meet the girls and he had the opportunity to watch them hit some shots, he made the decision to toughen up the locations. He saw just how talented these players really are. At the beginning of the challenge when Mr. Norman went out to pick the locations, it was not only a reveal to the players, but to the producers and crew as well.

It is very difficult to express just how good Stacey’s shot from the third location really was, but having stood where she stood and having played some fairly accomplished golf myself, I can say, it was very worthy of a winning shot. Many thanks to Mr. Norman and his entourage for being so accommodating and generous with their time.

Sara absolutely owned the glass break challenge and made it possible for only 2 players to actually break the glass, not quite the way we had it drawn up. But still it was a very impressive display of golf.

We also got to say goodbye to our first alliance. Ryann and Maiya were forced to battle it out, and Ryann showed everyone why she is the player to beat. It’s interesting how the players are aligning themselves, and we’ll see how the alliances will play a factor in the competition. I think we will see Seema become a force to reckon with, but maybe not because of her abilities on the course. Stay tuned!
Getty Images

Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

Getty Images

Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

Getty Images

Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

Getty Images

Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.