Season Six Starts Off with a Bang

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2006, 4:00 pm
The Big Break VIAs Donald Trump issued his welcome to the 18 Big Break VI: Trump National contestants, his boardroom demeanor clearly suggested it was time to get down to the business of survival. Sixteen of the competitors acted on the message while Sid Corliss, 58, a seasoned competitor from Cumming, Ga., and Karyn Stordahl-Utecht, 25, a former Miss Minnesota married to an Indianapolis Colt, were eliminated from the 12-week competition in a short game challenge.
 
Big Break 6
Donald Trump rolls into action on the first episode of the Big Break IV: Trump National.
Corliss and Stordahl-Utecht cant say they werent warned. Trump electrified the atmosphere in a video greeting to the contestants en route to Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles with the warning, Enjoy your view along Trump National drive, because the competition begins right now.
 
And the sixth season of The Golf Channels popular series began with intrigue. Not knowing what was at stake, each contestant climbed steps 40 feet to an elevated tee to hit nothing more than a wedge towards the hole 65 yards away. Ashley Gomes (Pleasanton, Ca.) was the top female with an effort resting 71 from the hole while Jeff Mitchell (Frisco, Tex.) earned male honors at 14 3. Their reward for being the closest to the pin was immunity from elimination in episode one.
 
I was shocked and extremely happy said Gomes. The one thing no one wants to do is to be the first to leave.
 
The 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.
 
Living up to the shows billing, Trump had something to say about who was staying and who was going home. After Sara Lynn Johnston (Williamston, S.C.), Kristy McPherson (Conway, S.C.), Albert Crews (Homer, La.) and Denny Hepler (Warsaw, Ind.) gained immunity over the next two challenges, The Donald sent tremors though the competitors and shook things up in earthquake country.
 
The twist was the six competitors who had gained immunity picked a partner from the remaining contestants and would team with them in episode two. Those players picked would be immune from elimination for the remainder of the first episode while the remaining six would be forced to play in an elimination challenge.
 
One by one the immune contestants walked the driving range looking for the intangible that would make a relative stranger a teammate. Like a puppy liberated from the pound, those picked hugged their rescuer while the others felt the sting of playground rejection.
 
Im like the kid not being picked in dodge ball, explained a dejected Bri Vega (North Andover, Mass.), one of those not picked and forced to play in the elimination challenge. No one wanted me as a partner.
 
Making the rejection worse, The Donald also added incentives to stave off elimination by revealing the ultimate winner of The Big Break VI would receive what he called a really big check that would be personally presented during the champions trip to Trump Plaza in New York. They would also win a 2007 Chrysler Aspen.
 
Those prizes, however, were in the distant future as the six players not chosen headed to the elimination challenge.
 
The final showdown dissected each players short game. From three locations ' a 20 yard pitch, a shot from deep greenside rough and a blast from a greenside bunker ' the contestants had up to four shots to hit their ball in a circle on the green. Players were awarded points for how many shots it took to hit the target. The player with the highest total was eliminated.
 
Corlisss hopes were dashed early as he took three shots on each of the first two locations to be eliminated while Kelly Murray (Reston, Va.) and Gavin Slabbert (Orange Park, Fla.) advanced.
 
In the ladies showdown, Stordahl-Utecht started fast by tallying one point with a deft pitch shot but took the maximum of five points while trying to get out of the rough., Needing only three points to advance after Vega and Annie Mallory (Las Vegas, Nev.) each suffered five point efforts in the bunker, Stordahl-Utecht couldnt get out of the hazard and was once again tagged with five points and sent packing.
 
Big Break 6
Karyn Stordahl-Utecht became one of the first contestants to leave the show.
You get a little more comfortable with things and then you see that youre eliminated, Corliss said. Its hard.
 
If it was easy, then Trump probably wouldnt be involved.
 
The 16 remaining contestant 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.
 
In addition, winners receive the finest tools to make the most of their appearances at some of golfs most highly anticipated tournaments. Adams Golf will present the winners with an Adams Golf endorsement contract to keep them on top of their games. Also, NetJets, the worldwide leader in private aviation, will provide five hours of flight time to each winner so they may travel with the ultimate in safety, service and reliability.
 
To keep the champions fueled and energized when they are on the road, the McDonalds LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola will provide the winners with a $1,000 Arch Card to be used at McDonalds restaurants.
 
And finally, as a surprise to the contestants, the male and female champions will be joined by the eliminated contestants to compete for a chance to get into Trumps wallet! The ultimate winner of the match also will become the owner of an all new 2007 Chrysler Aspen - Chryslers first full-sized SUV.
 
Looking to Next Week
The competitors try to bring out the best in their partners as the newly formed teams go head to head in a battle for survival. Challenges include the shape a shot wall and the weak link challenge.
 
Related Link:
  • The Big Break VI Home
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Hahn slam-dunks ace on 11th hole

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:20 pm

    There are aces, and there are slam-dunk aces. No question which one this one by James Hahn on the 154-yard 11th hole was.

    It was Hahn's first ace on the PGA Tour.

    Getty Images

    Els' nephew Rebula wins Amateur Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:05 pm

    Ernie Els is one proud uncle.

    His nephew, Jovan Rebula, won the Amateur Championship on Saturday at Royal Aberdeen to become the first South African to capture the title since Bobby Cole in 1966.

    Rebula, a junior at Auburn, will join his famous uncle in Carnoustie next month for The Open. He also will get invites to the 2019 Masters and the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

    Rebula defeated Ireland's Robin Dawson, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final.

    "It’s unreal," Rebula said. "It’s really something that is hard to describe. I feel like many have been in this position before but it’s an unreal feeling. It hasn’t sunk in quite yet but hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up and I will feel a little different."

    Rebula received plenty of texts from Els throughout the week, and the encouragement paid off. Rebula opened a 1-up lead after 18 holes, and he extended his advantage by winning the 26th and 27th holes. He was 5 up with six to play before finally closing out Dawson on the 16th hole with an up-and-down from the bunker.

    "It’s been a long week and especially today," Rebula said. "I should have finished maybe a couple of holes earlier, but it’s been awesome. A very tiring week. I’m standing here right now and there’s so much adrenaline pumping through me."

    Getty Images

    Squirrel gets Rory's round off to a rocky start

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy’s third round at the Travelers Championship got off to a peculiar start before he even hit a shot.

    McIlroy had just been introduced on the first tee at TPC River Highlands and was ready to unload on his opening drive of the day when a squirrel ran across the tee box a few feet in front of him.

    McIlroy stopped his swing and laughed it off, but the squirrel continued to linger for several seconds, criss-crossing from one side of the packed tee box to the other. And while this was no black cat, the pump-fake to start his round didn’t exactly help the Ulsterman.

    McIlroy ultimately blocked his drive into the right rough after enduring his brief rodent delay en route to an opening bogey, and amid soft conditions at TPC River Highlands he played his first five holes in 2 over. McIlroy started the day at 7 under, three shots behind leader Brian Harman.

    Getty Images

    Kaymer in six-way tie for BMW International lead

    By Associated PressJune 23, 2018, 5:29 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - Danish golfer Lucas Bjerregaard shot a 5-under 67 to equal the week's lowest round for a six-way share of the lead after the third round of the BMW International Open on Saturday.

    Bjerregaard had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey to finish on 5-under 211 - jumping 23 places and joining local favorites Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer, England's Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai, and Australia's Scott Hend at the top of the leaderboard.

    Bjerregaard was fortunate to play before the wind picked up again later in the afternoon.


    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open


    Kaymer, the 2008 champion, delighted the home supporters with two birdies in his last three holes for a 71.

    Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Chile's Nico Geyger were one shot off the lead after rounds of 69 and 73, respectively.

    Defending champion Andres Romero equaled the week's best round (67) to be among a large group two shots off the lead going into Sunday, including three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.