Golf Channel Teams Up With NFL For 'Big Break NFL'

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 15, 2013, 2:49 pm

Golf Channel teams up with the National Football League this fall for the network’s popular BIG BREAK reality competition series’ 20th season by featuring several of the NFL’s all-time greats playing alongside aspiring professional golfers.  BIG BREAK NFL will premiere Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 9 p.m. ET and airs weekly on Tuesdays nights.

NFL legends competing on BIG BREAK NFL include Hall-of-Famers Jerry Rice and Chris Doleman, along with Tim Brown, Marc Bulger, Al Del Greco and Mark Rypien.  Filmed at Dorado Beach Resort in Puerto Rico, the series will feature each of the six NFL legends – all boasting single digit handicaps with several having competed in PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour events – joining two BIG BREAK competitors (one male and one female) to form three-person teams.  On the line will be $50,000 to the winning NFL legend’s designated charity, along with 2014 PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour tournament exemptions, cash and other prizes for the BIG BREAK competitors.

“I have been a fan of BIG BREAK for a long time, and I wanted to experience the pressure and excitement of competing on this series first-hand,” said Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice, who will be playing this week at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, airing on NBC.  “The nerves we all faced on this show – knowing that everything potentially was on the line for your team with one golf shot – are experiences I will never forget.”

Golf Channel’s 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 NFL, teams will be subject to skills challenges from tee-to-green, including two of the series’ signature challenges, the popular “Glass Break” and “Flop Wall” challenges.  The series also will feature special guest appearances from World Golf Hall-of-Fame member and Puerto Rico’s own Chi Chi Rodriguez and two-time Super Bowl winner and NBC’s Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison.

NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football sideline reporter and Emmy Award-winner Michele Tafoya also joins Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott to co-host BIG BREAK NFL.  Tafoya, who has covered the NFL for more than 10 years, is entering her third season as a sideline reporter for NBC after seven years with ABC and ESPN as a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football.

“I’m thrilled to host BIG BREAK NFL and to watch these NFL legends bring their competitive team experiences from the football field to the golf course,” said Tafoya.  “I have covered these players for many years, and I’ve seen them deal with a lot of situations.  But the pressure they face on BIG BREAK NFL is unique and much different from anything they have experienced before.”

“BIG BREAK is a popular staple of our original series franchises, and we are honored to partner with the NFL to commemorate the series’ 20th season,” said Tom Knapp, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming.  “With this unique team format and the sheer competitive nature the NFL legends will bring to the series, it will be exciting to see how the teams handle the pressure of playing in front of cameras and for each other.”

“When Golf Channel approached us about this program, we were excited to work with them to bring our fans closer to some of our greatest players in a new and unique way,” said Tracy Perlman, NFL vice president of entertainment marketing and promotions.  “We are pleased to be working with Golf Channel to give some of the greatest to ever play in the NFL the opportunity to compete against one another on a different playing field and for good causes.”

Serving as the backdrop for BIG BREAK NFL will be the luxurious Dorado Beach Resort in Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico.  Produced in partnership with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the series will unfold on the resort’s historic East Course, a par-72 layout that features panoramic sight lines of the Atlantic Ocean on 15 of 18 holes.  Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, the course was recently redesigned by Robert Trent Jones II, bringing the classic seaside course into the 21st century.

'It is an incredible honor to be the host for BIG BREAK NFL and on behalf of all of Dorado Beach, we welcome our viewing audience from around the world,” said David Tyson, general manager and chief operating officer, Dorado Beach Resort.  “Not only will viewers be entertained by the skills of the participants, but also they will enjoy learning more about the Dorado Beach legacy and all the elements that are the cornerstones of this unique tropical lifestyle. It is often said that at Dorado Beach, time is not measured in hours or days, but in sunrises and sunsets.”

“We are very excited about our partnership with Golf Channel‘s BIG BREAK NFL and looking forward to letting viewers know what Puerto Rico offers to those looking for the perfect Caribbean golf vacation,” said Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “We are certain our Island, with its lush mountains, world class golf courses, luxurious resorts, and endless activities, will provide a vibrant and sophisticated backdrop to the competition.”

NFL Legends Competing on BIG BREAK NFL:

Tim Brown (46, Dallas, Texas, 3 handicap) – The first wide receiver in history to win the Heisman Trophy award in 1987, Brown is one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history. He played in the NFL for 17 years, including 16 seasons with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders.  Brown carries a 3 handicap and will compete on behalf of the Tim Brown Foundation, which supports programs and initiatives nationwide for mentoring and education programs for teens, including the Athletes & Entertainers for Kids and 911 for Kids.

“Jerry Rice and I are not only long-time friends and teammates, but also we are fierce competitors on the golf course,” said Brown.  “On BIG BREAK NFL, we renew our rivalry.”

Marc Bulger (36, Sarasota, Fla., 4 handicap) – A 10-year NFL veteran quarterback, Bulger competed with the St. Louis Rams for nine years, highlighted by two Pro Bowl appearances (2004, 2007) and the 2004 Pro Bowl MVP.  Bulger holds a 4 handicap and will be competing on behalf of the Marc Bulger Foundation, which provides funding to a diverse range of programs benefiting men and women in the armed services, as well as police and fire personnel.  Potential winnings will support the Marine Corps Scholarships Foundation, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year honoring Marines by educating children.

“Since I have only been retired from the NFL for two years, BIG BREAK was a great opportunity to feel the competitive ‘rush’ that all of us NFL players miss once our playing days are over,” said Bulger.  “It was an amazing experience getting to compete against true NFL legends in another sport we all have a passion for, while at the same time fulfilling a second passion of mine, helping our men and women in uniform.  BIG BREAK exceeded all of my expectations.”

Al Del Greco (51, Birmingham, Ala., +1 handicap) – A great placekicker in NFL history, Del Greco’s 17-year NFL career included stints with the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, finishing his career 17th on the NFL’s all-time scoring list with 1,584 points.  Del Greco carries a +1 handicap, has competed in two Web.com Tour events and is a past champion of the American Century Championship.  He will compete on behalf of The Bright House Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves Alabama communities by creating, supporting and enhancing the services provided for children and adults with special needs.

“I am a huge fan of BIG BREAK, and I’ve seen almost every season,” said Del Greco.  “The pressure of BIG BREAK was a humbling experience.  A simple golf shot on the series becomes almost unplayable.”

Chris Doleman (51, Atlanta, Ga., 3 handicap) – With a career spanning 15 years which included eight Pro Bowl selections, Doleman was inducted in 2012 into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is recognized as one of the top defensive players in NFL history.  Doleman carries a 3 handicap and will be competing on behalf of the Chris Singleton Foundation, which provides financial support to non-profit organizations that are making impact in three social justice initiatives: helping in the fight against human slavery, providing solutions for “At Risk Youth” and making safe drinking water to those in need.

“The pressure on this series is totally different from competing on the football field,” said Doleman.  “It was one of the harder things I have ever done, and was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Jerry Rice (50, Atherton, Calif., 1 handicap) – Hall-of-Fame wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl XXIII MVP Jerry Rice is widely regarded as the best wide receiver ever to play in the National Football League.  Rice carries a 1 handicap and has competed in four Web.com Tour events.  He will compete on behalf of the Jerry Rice 127 Foundation, which provides financial support to agencies and organizations in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond dedicated to helping children and their families.

“I have been a fan of BIG BREAK for a long time, and I wanted to experience the pressure and excitement of competing on this series first-hand,” said Rice.  “The nerves we all faced on this show – knowing that everything potentially was on the line for your team with one golf shot – are experiences I will never forget.”

Mark Rypien (50, Spokane, Wash., 1 handicap) – The first Canadian-born quarterback to start in the NFL, Rypien’s 12-year NFL career – the majority with the Washington Redskins – included two Super Bowl championships, Super Bowl XXVI MVP and two-time Pro Bowl selection (1989 and 1991).  On the golf course, Rypien carries a 1 handicap and was the first professional athlete from another sport to compete in a PGA TOUR event (1992 Kemper Open). He will compete on behalf of the Mark Rypien Foundation, built after Rypien lost his three-year-old son, Andrew, to cancer in 1998.  The foundation raises and provides funding to support unique programs and projects that help address the needs of children with cancer and foster a healing environment for child cancer patients.

“As a fan and observer of BIG BREAK, you do not get an appreciation or truly get a feel for the challenges the contestants face,” said Rypien.  “As a contestant, it was the most challenging sports endeavor that I have faced. Great fun, great memories and an incredible, yet challenging, bucket list experience.”

Past BIG BREAK champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, including the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.com Tour and Canadian Tour.

Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, BIG BREAK VII: REUNION champion and PGA TOUR professional, captured his first PGA TOUR victory in 2012 at The McGladrey Classic and is playing full-time on the PGA TOUR.  2011 Solheim Cup team member Ryann O’Toole (BIG BREAK SANDALS RESORTS competitor) and 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson (BIG BREAK VI: TRUMP NATIONAL competitor) are currently playing full-time on the LPGA Tour.  Several other past BIG BREAK competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Matt Every (PGA TOUR), James Nitties and Mark Silvers (Web.com Tour) and Kim Welch, Nicole Smith, Gerina Piller, Kelly Jacques (LPGA Tour).

Become a fan of BIG BREAK on Facebook at: facebook.com/GolfChannel.BigBreak
Follow BIG BREAK on Twitter @BigBreak

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Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

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Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.



Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

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What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Travelers purse payout: Bubba, Cink close low, earn big

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

Bubba Watson shot 63 on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship. He took home the trophy, but he wasn't the only player to earn a big payday. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC River Highlands:

1 Bubba Watson -17 $1,260,000
T2 Stewart Cink -14 $462,000
T2 Beau Hossler -14 $462,000
T2 J.B. Holmes -14 $462,000
T2 Paul Casey -14 $462,000
T6 Kevin Tway -13 $234,500
T6 Brian Harman -13 $234,500
T6 Russell Henley -13 $234,500
T9 Chase Seiffert -12 $189,000
T9 Bryson DeChambeau -12 $189,000
T9 Anirban Lahiri -12 $189,000
T12 Rory McIlroy -11 $147,000
T12 Ryan Blaum -11 $147,000
T12 Jason Day -11 $147,000
T15 Charley Hoffman -10 $115,500
T15 Patrick Cantlay -10 $115,500
T15 Danny Lee -10 $115,500
T15 Kyle Stanley -10 $115,500
T19 Brooks Koepka -9 $79,000
T19 Fabian Gomez -9 $79,000
T19 David Lingmerth -9 $79,000
T19 Zach Johnson -9 $79,000
T19 Emiliano Grillo -9 $79,000
T19 Matt Jones -9 $79,000
T19 Jamie Lovemark -9 $79,000
T26 Sam Ryder -8 $49,700
T26 Si Woo Kim -8 $49,700
T26 Richy Werenski -8 $49,700
T26 Blayne Barber -8 $49,700
T26 Steve Marino -8 $49,700
T26 Peter Malnati -8 $49,700
T26 Patrick Rodgers -8 $49,700
T33 Alex Cejka -7 $39,550
T33 Tyler Duncan -7 $39,550
T33 Kevin Streelman -7 $39,550
T36 Seamus Power -6 $35,175
T36 James Hahn -6 $35,175
T38 Scott Stallings -5 $30,800
T38 Russell Knox -5 $30,800
T38 Brandon Harkins -5 $30,800
T38 Lanto Griffin -5 $30,800
T42 Adam Hadwin -4 $24,500
T42 J.J. Henry -4 $24,500
T42 Jordan Spieth -4 $24,500
T42 Mackenzie Hughes -4 $24,500
T42 Brett Stegmaier -4 $24,500
T47 Billy Hurley III -3 $17,578
T47 Vaughn Taylor -3 $17,578
T47 Sam Saunders -3 $17,578
T47 Kelly Kraft -3 $17,578
T47 Keegan Bradley -3 $17,578
T47 J.J. Spaun -3 $17,578
T47 Wesley Bryan -3 $17,578
T47 Denny McCarthy -3 $17,578
T47 Scott Brown -3 $17,578
T56 Ryan Armour -2 $15,680
T56 Keith Mitchell -2 $15,680
T56 Ken Duke -2 $15,680
T56 Justin Thomas -2 $15,680
T56 Hunter Mahan -2 $15,680
T61 John Huh -1 $14,910
T61 Martin Laird -1 $14,910
T61 Steve Wheatcroft -1 $14,910
T61 James Driscoll -1 $14,910
T61 Tom Lovelady -1 $14,910
T61 Nick Hardy -1 $14,910
T67 Daniel Berger E $14,350
T67 Trey Mullinax E $14,350
T69 Cameron Tringale 1 $14,000
T69 Kyle Thompson 1 $14,000
T69 Ethan Tracy 1 $14,000
T72 Dominic Bozzelli 2 $13,650
T72 Martin Flores 2 $13,650
74 Padraig Harrington 4 $13,440