Everything youve ever wanted to know about Big Break or at least everything I feel like writing about

By Jon PainterAugust 9, 2010, 10:15 pm

For my last blog on Big Break Sandals Resorts, I’ve decided to depart from the strict narrative form and polish the season off with whatever fun facts come to mind.

-During production, the second half of a series like Big Break is all downhill. At the beginning the days run long: those of us producing the show are up before dawn, the contestants get up around 4:30 a.m. to get camera-ready, and the last interviews finish around 11 p.m. By day eight, we’re in the homestretch and things are moving faster. Only four people take each shot, instead of 11. Everybody knows the drill, so we’re moving like a well-oiled machine. This day we finished at the course in the mid-afternoon, and I even had time for a dip in the resort pool before my interview. The Sandals Emerald Bay pool is the largest freshwater swimming pool in the Caribbean.

-When I bump into fans at a golf course, the first thing they want to know is always, “how much of the competition is real?” The answer is, “it’s all real.” We write the rules for the challenges months before we leave for the shoot. Big Break falls under the auspices of the Federal Game Show Laws (that’s USC TITLE 47 CHAPTER 5 SUBCHAPTER V § 509 if you care to look it up, but consult your own lawyer for interpretation), and all production is viewed and certified by a third party Standards and Practices legal team. We may truncate or omit parts of the competition that don’t affect the results in post-production, but the competition is as real as it gets.

-Speaking of rules, how about Rule 18-2 b. During the Flag challenge, Sara Brown addressed the ball before tapping it in. The ball rocked almost imperceptibly and took a slight turn. Sara immediately called Kent, our USGA Rules official over to assess the penalty. To give you an idea of how slight the movement was, the replay in the show is from our Red camera. It’s rolling at 4000 lines of vertical resolution (1080 lines are displayed on a HD television) so we blew the image up 400%, and you can just barely notice the ball move. Point is, Kudos to Sara for playing the game with integrity without hesitation.

-That was a big putt from Lili on the par 3. When there’s money on the line, Lili always comes through, at least to this point. Here’s a fun off-camera story. On the first day on the island, the contestants all play a practice round. They get to see the course and the other players, and we shoot some footage for promotional purposes. Lili was in a greenside bunker on the third hole. She called out to Ryann, who was on the green, “I bet I can get my shot closer to the hole than you can get your putt,” and promptly holed out. I knew at that moment, she was going to be around at the end of the season, because anyone who actively seeks that kind of pressure and forces themselves to back it up was going to handle the Big Break nerves pretty well. And now she’s in the final three.

-As long as were handing out compliments, I have to give Carling credit for suiting up and taking a swing at that ball in the water. You never know when one of those is going to drop in.

-I must admit that I thought Carling made a huge tactical mistake in show seven when she saved Taryn. It seemed like every time Taryn was in elimination with her back to the wall, she played some tough golf and sent the other player home. When Carling found the hazard in this show’s elimination, I thought it was over. I guess eventually Taryn just got used to living on the edge and let her guard down. She left the show with the same class she displayed throughout the competition.

-Here’s the last rules story: the USGA 2010 grooves decision was a fun one. At the time we started pre-production in November 2009 for a February 2010 shoot, we weren’t sure if we would even have a way to inspect and know for sure which grooves were 2010 compliant, and the Duramed FUTURES Tour wasn’t planning to adopt the new mandate until mid-summer 2010. So we wrote both the old and new clubs into our rule book and let each contestant decide which clubs to play. Just in case you were curious.

-That just about does it for me. Many thanks to the hotel and golf staff at Sandals Emerald Bay for taking care of us during our three week stay, especially Brian the Head Pro for taking care of our on-course needs, and Kerry, the proprietor of the Duck, Emerald Bay’s British pub, a crew favorite for the excellent food and hospitality.

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.

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Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

“I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.