An Intriguing Trump Twist

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 31, 2006, 5:00 pm
The Big Break VIEditor's note: Airing each Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. ET through Dec. 12, The Big Break VI concept pits nine men and nine women competing against each other in a variety of challenges that test their skills and mental toughness for the right to compete in two Champions Tour and two LPGA Tour events, respectively. One female and one male will be eliminated from the series each week, with the two standing being crowned Big Break VI: Trump National winners.
 
Charlie Gibson (Fortuna, Calif.) earned a second chance on The Big Break VI: Trump National as Albert Crews (Homer, La.) was eliminated by Jeff Mitchell (Llano, Texas) in a one-shot playoff in the sixth episode Tuesday night.
 
Big Break 6
Albert Crews was unable to make it through the Elimination Challenge.
While eliminated, Crews remains one of the most unique stories in the history of The Big Break series. At first glance he didnt belong. Sporting an awkward looking cross - handed grip - where his right hand is positioned on top of the left when gripping a club ' developed as a child, it appeared he was in need of much more than a Big Break.
 
However, the soft spoken 54-year-old earned not only the admiration but the respect of the other contestants by drilling shots and competing with a desire fueled by regularly taking 24-hour Greyhound bus trips and hitch-hiking to mini-tour events. Those bumpy rides led to earning a spot in the 2005 U.S. Senior Open.
 
To the end, Crews demonstrated a faith he regularly expresses as the associate minister at the First Ebenezer Baptist Church in Homer, La. Fellow competitor Laura London (Scottsdale, Ariz.) teamed with him in several episodes and was moved to tears at the result of the playoff. With a hug and the assuring words that helping her through the series might be the reason he was selected for the show, Crews showed why he is a winner still in search of his Big Break he richly deserves.
 
When I get back home they will probably call me into the network studios and the newspaper, said Crews, who aspires to play the Champions Tour. Hopefully I did enough in the show where someone got a real good look at me and I can find a good sponsor.
 
With Crews thinking about life off the series, Gibson is back on the show. And it all came thanks to Donald Trump.
 
Previously eliminated in the third show, Gibson was granted new life when Trump stepped in and once again changed the direction of the series. In a surprise move, he announced that the four men who had been eliminated from the show would participate in Playback Challenge. The winner would earn the right to compete in an Elimination Challenge with the five males still on the show.
 
The Playback Challenge pitted Gibson, Sid Corliss (Cumming, Ga.), Rocky Rockett (Gastonia N.C.) and Gavin Slabbert (Orange Park, Fla.) in a stroke play match on Nos. 14-16 at Trump National Golf Course, Los Angeles.
 
Playing steady, Gibson made three pars to force a playoff with Slabbert. On the first extra hole, No. 16, both made par before Gibson sank an 8-foot birdie putt for the victory on the second extra hole.
 
Slabbert said he was hoping for a miss while Gibson was sad to eliminate him, but was quick to add he was, happy about finally performing on the show.
 
His work was just beginning because five men with wounded egos fighting for survival was not a welcoming task.
 
In the previous show, the men lost to the females in a five-hole match play competition 4 ' 2. The victory in the battle of the sexes allowed the ladies to watch the action in episode six while the men fought off elimination.
 
The format for the Elimination Challenge was three rounds in which the competitors hit two shots from different tee boxes located 165 yards, 150 yards and 130 yards from the green on the par-3 17th hole. Point circles were on the green and competitors earned points depending on where their ball came to rest.
 
Making the Target Challenge even more difficult was a strong wind blowing off the Pacific Ocean that made club selection guesswork. From the 165-yard location players hit clubs ranging from a 7-iron to a 3-iron.
 
Youre hitting two balls from three different locations in the wind, explained Gary Ostrega (Westfield, N.J.). It was very difficult.
 
Gibson got off to a fast start, tallying five points to tie for the lead on the first location. After being shut out on the second round, he inked one point on his final shot to secure a spot back on the show.
 
Crews, however, wasnt as fortunate. Befuddled by the wind, his two point total through the first two locations was a mere one point better than Mitchell.
 
On his final two shots, Crews managed only one point giving Mitchell a chance at staving off elimination by earning three points on his final two swings.
 
All I was tying to do was get a thought in my brain to allow me to do what I know I can do, said Mitchell, who has one PGA TOUR victory to his credit.
 
The Texan put both shots on the green for two points and extend the Elimination Challenge to a one-shot playoff from 130 yards. Going first, Crews ball found the two-point circle to once again put the pressure on Mitchell. He responded with his best shot of the day to earn three points and a spot on the next show.
 
The remaining contestants are still vying for the coveted tournament exemptions and other prizes. The female champion will receive an exemption into the 2007 SBS Open at Turtle Bay and the 2007 Longs Drugs Challenge, as well as waived entry fees for the 2007 Duramed FUTURES Tour season. The winning male contestant will receive exemptions into the 2007 Turtle Bay Championship and the 2007 Bank of America Championship, as well as waived entry fees in six events on the 2007 Heartland Players Senior Tour.
 
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 9:20 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


    Getty Images

    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

    Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

    What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

    What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

    How old is it?

    It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

    Where is it played?

    There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

    Where will it be played this year?

    At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

    Who has won The Open on that course?

    Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

    Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

    Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

    Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

    This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

    Who has won this event the most?

    Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

    What about the Morrises?

    Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

    Have players from any particular country dominated?

    In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

    Who is this year's defending champion?

    That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

    What is the trophy called?

    The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

    Which Opens have been the most memorable?

    Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

    When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

    Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.