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Story Behind the Story The Dude

Big Break: MesquiteBefore each season of 'Big Break,' the producers hold auditions across the country. This year I was at our Los Angeles audition when I got to meet and interview Josh Warthen. Of the hundreds of people who I saw personally at various auditions, Josh was the only one to call me dude on numerous occasions. He is the only one who picked up the game from one of his homeys. And he is the only one whose previous career had been surf videographer.
I liked Josh from the beginning but wasnt sure about the level of his golf ability. We dont have a lot to go by and he didnt have a long history. (After all, that homey didnt take him out to the course until he was 18.) When we reviewed his application and the other producers got to watch his interview, we all had the same reaction: great personality ' but what about his game? Perhaps it was his good fortune to make it through the first stage of U.S. Open qualifying the week we were narrowing down the field. That allayed some of our concerns. We also decided that Josh would be great on the show.
The first day of competition on did not go well for Josh and he went to the elimination round. The second day started off terribly when he hit a shot so far off the course that it struck the roof of a house. I remember thinking that he would probably be eliminated by the end of the day. But a funny thing happened after the house incident. Josh relaxed. He made it through the elimination by nailing a perfect shot to knock out the much more experienced Matt Every. From that point on Josh kept getting better and better. Nowhere was that more evident than in the King of the Hill points challenge.
One by one Josh took out a series of players who all expected to beat him. James said it best when he pointed out that a lot of people ' including himself ' had underestimated Josh. Add me to the list. As he made his run through the group I thought back to that initial interview and wondered how the surfer boy would handle the competition. Then when it came time for the final match, he took Hiroshi to Hiroshis best spot. He wanted to take a shot at the top guy and go strength on strength.
He lost but I was impressed. So impressed that only one word came to mind: Dude.
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