Golf Channel's Big Break Series Heads to The Greenbrier for 18th Season

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 5, 2012, 2:54 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 5, 2012) –Golf Channel’s popular Big Break reality competition series returns for its 18th season this fall at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia – the historic retreat known as “America’s Resort” – providing the opportunity for the winner to compete alongside the PGA TOUR’s best at The Greenbrier Classic in July 2013.

 

Big Break Greenbrier, produced at The Greenbrier in June and scheduled to premiere Oct. 2, will feature a cast of 12 male professional golfers competing against each other in an attempt to make their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers a reality.  The ultimate winner will receive an exemption to The Greenbrier Classic in July 2013, cash and other prizes.

 

Big Break Greenbrier will unfold on the resort’s four golf courses: The Old White TPC Course – home to The Greenbrier Classic; The Greenbrier Course – a Jack Nicklaus design and home to the 1979 Ryder Cup and the 1994 Solheim Cup; The Meadows Course – a Dick Wilson and Bob Cupp design that is often referred to as the most scenic of The Greenbrier courses; and The Snead Course – the private residents’ course and a Tom Fazio design that showcases a remarkable test of strategic tee shots, precision approaches and undulating fast greens.  During the series, the competitors will reside in two deluxe, 3,000-square-foot timber-framed homes in The Greenbrier Sporting Club luxury residential community, located 3,300 feet atop Greenbrier Mountain.

 

“We are excited about hosting our newest Big Break season at The Greenbrier and offering the winner the opportunity to compete in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic,” said Tom Knapp, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming.  “Big Break is one of the longest-running series on television and one of our most important original series franchises, and we strive to give our competitors tough tests on the golf course while showcasing a picturesque location.  We accomplished both with Big Break Greenbrier.”

 

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 Greenbrier, one contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded his Big Break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete on the PGA TOUR at The Greenbrier Classic in July 2013.

 

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, caught the world’s attention in 2011 with three top-five finishes, and Big Break Ireland champion Mark Murphy made the cut in both of his 2012 events on the European Tour he received as a result of winning the series (Trophee Hassan II and The Irish Open).

 

Several other past Big Break competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Matt Every (PGA TOUR), James Nitties (Web.com Tour), Kim Welch and Sara Brown (Ladies European Tour); and Gerina Piller, 2011 Solheim Cup team member Ryann O’Toole and 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson (LPGA Tour).

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 part of the NBC Sports Group, 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, a leading 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 The Greenbrier
Located in White Sulphur Springs in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, The Greenbrier has been welcoming guests since 1778. Known as 'America's Resort,' it encompasses 6,750 acres of undulating landscape that includes four golf courses (including the exclusive Greenbrier Sporting Club's private course), The Greenbrier Clinic (specializing in executive health), a 40,000-square-foot spa, a mélange of sporting activities, shops, private homes at The Greenbrier Sporting Club, guests-only casino and, at its heart, a vast and imposing grand hotel. Purchased in 2009 by West Virginia entrepreneur James C. Justice II, The Greenbrier has undergone a $250+ million restoration and is now home to The Greenbrier Classic, a PGA TOUR, FedExCup event. For more information, visit: www.greenbrier.com.

 

About The Greenbrier Sporting Club
The Greenbrier Sporting Club, a private residential sporting community, is the pinnacle of luxury real estate, offering exclusive homesites from $300,000 and homes from $1 million within distinctive neighborhoods set across the 6,750-acre estate of The Greenbrier, an award-winning resort in the heart of the scenic Allegheny Mountains. It is one of the few residential developments that can boast fully completed amenities, which include two lodges, outdoor pools, sports complexes, Tom Fazio-designed golf course, equestrian center, private access to three miles of trout stream and its own Eastern-inspired luxury spa, Ananda in the Alleghenies. In addition to the private amenities, Greenbrier Sporting Club members enjoy unbridled access and benefits to all The Greenbrier resort has to offer. For more information about real estate at The Greenbrier, contact The Greenbrier Sporting Club at 888-741-8989 or visit www.thegreenbriersportingclub.com.

 

-NBC Sports Group-

 

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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”

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Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

Hoylake in 2006.

That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

“The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”