Golf Channels Big Break Reality Series Returns for 13th Season at Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma Bahamas

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 21, 2010, 5:42 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Golf Channel's popular Big Break series will return for its 13th season in June, featuring an all-female cast competing on the championship course designed by Greg Norman at the Caribbean's newest luxury golf resort -- Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Big Break Sandals Resorts, scheduled to premiere June 21, will feature 11 women competing against each other in an attempt to make their lifelong dream of playing alongside the world’s top golfers a reality.  In addition to other prizes, the winning contestant will earn a sponsor’s exemption to a 2010 LPGA Tour event and a Ladies European Tour event.

The Big Break show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness.  During Big Break Sandals Resorts, one contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded her Big Break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in select professional tour events with some of the best players in the world.

'Big Break is a tremendously popular and successful franchise for the Golf Channel, and we couldn't be more excited about our partnership with Sandals Resort for the series' 13th season,' said Tom Stathakes, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming, production and operations.

The 10-episode series will unfold on one of the most picturesque golf courses in the world, Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club at Sandals Emerald Bay.  A Greg Norman design, Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club is a 7,200 yard, par 72 Oceanside golf course that features six signature holes hugging the perimeter of Emerald Bay’s scenic peninsula overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

'We are thrilled to now included a Greg Norman designed golf course in our Luxury-Included® portfolio and we are priviledged to be working with Mr. Norman to ensure that our guests are absolutely satisfied with the course,' said Mr. Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts.  'Hosting the 13th season of Big Break will alllow us to show off the beauty and complexity of the Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club to one of the most important audiences for this sport.'

Filmed on location in February, Golf Channel cameras rolled not only on the golf course but also from sunrise until well after sunset each evening at the contestants’ Oceanside villa.  The series also will feature new challenges, twists and special surprise guest appearances, including Greg Norman himself.

“These young ladies have incredible talent, and I enjoyed visiting with them during the filming of the series,” said Norman.  “I look forward to watching the series unfold along with everyone else this summer on the Golf Channel.”

Past Big Break champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, such as the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour.  Several previous female contestants have gone on to compete on the LPGA Tour, including Kristy McPherson, a member of the 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.

Sandals Resorts’ newest gem, Sandals Emerald Bay, officially opened its doors Feb. 4.  The 500-acre luxury resort features 183 beachfront rooms and suites all equipped with professionally trained butlers, five a-la-carte gourmet restaurants, a world-class marina, an exclusive 16,000 square foot Red Lane® Spa, an array of land sports including six illuminated Har-tru tennis courts and a host of watersports including scuba diving for certified divers.

About Golf Channel

Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla.  The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer and a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:  CMCSA, CMCSK), is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies.  Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original programming.  Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by www.GolfChannel.com, the number-one golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.

 About Sandals Resorts

Sandals Resorts has earned a worldwide reputation for providing two people in love with the most romantic vacation experience in the Caribbean.  Currently, there are 14 Luxury Included® Sandals Resorts located in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia and The Bahamas.  Each offers stunning beachfront locations; a choice of a-la-carte restaurants, from white-glove dining to barefoot elegance; all premium brand wine and spirits, including an exclusive partnership with California’s legendary Beringer Vineyards; luxurious accommodations in a range of categories; unrivaled watersports including the Caribbean’s largest PADI certification program; Butler Service for truly indulgent pampering; Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart™; and signature Red Lane® Spas, with services and treatments inspired by the region.  In February, 2010, Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas made its debut, offering 183 all-butler service rooms and suites, an 18-hole championship Greg Norman designed golf course and 150 slip marina.

Sandals Resorts has set the industry standard for the Luxury Included® vacation and has been voted the Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand at the World Travel Awards for 16 years in a row, and World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company for 14 years in a row.  For more information, call your local travel agent or 1-800-Sandals (1-800-726-3257) or visit www.sandals.com.

 

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Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.

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Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

The Monday morning headline will be …

REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.



Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.



Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.



What will be the winning score?

HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

“It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

“Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.