Golf Channel's Big Break Series Heads to Mexico For 19th Season

By Golf Channel Public RelationsFebruary 19, 2013, 5:04 pm

Golf Channel’s popular Big Break reality competition series has chosen Mexico as the next competition grounds for its 19th season, premiering Monday, May 13.  The luxurious, all-inclusive IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso and the accompanying Playa Paraiso Golf Club in Riviera Maya will serve as the backdrop for Big Break Mexico, providing the opportunity for the ultimate winner to compete alongside the game’s best on the LPGA Tour or the PGA TOUR.

Big Break is a cornerstone of our original series franchises, and it has proven to be a launching pad for many professional golfers looking to break through to the world’s top tours, including the likes of PGA TOUR pros Tommy Gainey and Matt Every and Solheim Cup veterans Ryann O’Toole and Kristy McPherson,” said Golf Channel Executive Producer Molly Solomon.  “Our ultimate goal with Big Break Mexico is to place our competitors in pressure situations on a world-class golf course, and we achieved this from the picturesque IBEROSTAR Playa Paraiso Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico.”

Big Break Mexico, produced in partnership with the Mexico Tourism Board, will feature a cast of six men and six women competing in a mixed team format in an attempt to make their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers come true.  This season’s Big Break champion will receive an exemption to compete either on the LPGA Tour at the 2013 Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex and Jalisco or on the PGA TOUR at the 2013 OHL Classic at Mayakoba (both Nov. 14-17).

“Mexico Tourism is excited to bring Golf Channel’s Big Break series to Mexico for the first time and showcasing everything Mexico has to offer as an ideal vacation destination,” said Gerardo Llanes, Chief Marketing Officer for Mexico Tourism Board.  “We look forward to working with Golf Channel in featuring Mexico’s beautiful tourism experiences and vacation resorts, magnificent golf courses and also touting our signature professional golf tournaments on the LPGA and PGA TOUR.”

Big Break Mexico also will feature a guest appearance from former LPGA World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, who surprised the cast during the filming of the series and competed alongside the players in one of the challenges.  Following the challenge, Ochoa also was given the opportunity to participate in Big Break’s signature challenge for the first time – The Glass Break – where she shattered the glass on her first attempt.

“I love having Big Break in my home country of Mexico and am proud to offer an exemption to the Lorena Ochoa Invitational,” said Ochoa.  “Big Break is very popular, and I want to help the sport of golf in my country as much as I can.  This is a win-win situation for all of us.  It was great to meet all of the players and see how excited they are to be on Big Break.  I’m looking forward to watching the series this summer and see how I fared in front of all of the cameras.”

The series will unfold on the resort’s P.B. Dye designed 18-hole championship course – IBEROSTAR Playa Paraiso Golf Club – a par-72 layout featuring breathtaking signature holes and distinctive rock work that are signatures of a typical P.B Dye design.  Carved out of the ancient Mayan jungle, the IBEROSTAR Playa Paraiso Golf Club features narrow fairways, deep bunkers and extreme vertical movement, along with untraditional hazards such as a rock riverbed that make the course distinctively unique to the area.

“We are thrilled to be the host partner for Big Break Mexico.  Golf is an important growing segment for IBEROSTAR and Golf Channel’s audience aligns well with our target guest; therefore, it was a natural fit to partner with Big Break,” said Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for IBEROSTAR, John Long.  “It is our hope that Big Break Mexico will inspire travellers and golf enthusiasts to visit IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso and experience the luxurious amenities and services we have to offer guests.”

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.  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.  Mark Silvers, Big Break Greenbrier champion, will compete in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR as a result of his victory in 2012.

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.  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, 2011 Solheim Cup team member Ryann O’Toole and 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson (LPGA Tour).

Become a fan of Big Break on Facebook at: facebook.com/GolfChannel.BigBreak
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Garcia leads as Valderrama Masters extends to Monday

By Will GrayOctober 21, 2021, 3:52 pm

Weather continues to be the enemy at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where Sergio Garcia remains in front as the tournament heads for a Monday finish.

European Tour officials had already ceded the fact that 72 holes would not be completed this week in Spain, but players were not even able to finish 54 holes before another set of thunderstorms rolled in Sunday afternoon to once again halt play. Garcia remains in front at 10 under, having played seven holes of the third round in even par, while Lee Westwood is alone in second at 7 under.

Officials had previously stated an intention to play at least 54 holes, even if that meant extending the tournament to Monday, given that this is the final chance for many players to earn Race to Dubai points in an effort to secure European Tour cards for 2019. Next week's WGC-HSBC Champions will be the final event of the regular season, followed by a three-event final series.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


Garcia, who won the tournament last year, started the third round with a four-shot lead over Ashley Chesters. He balanced one birdie with one bogey and remains in position for his first worldwide victory since the Asian Tour's Singapore Open in January.

Westwood, who has his son Sam on the bag this week, made the biggest charge up the leaderboard with four birdies over his first eight holes. He'll have 10 holes to go when play resumes at 9:10 a.m. local time Monday as he looks to win for the first time since the 2015 Indonesian Masters.

Shane Lowry and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are tied for third at 6 under, four shots behind Garcia with 10 holes to play, while Chesters made two double bogeys over his first four holes to drop into a tie for sixth.

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Spieth drops out of top 10 for first time since 2014

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 2:08 pm

As Brooks Koepka ascended to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking, a former No. 1 continued a notable decline.

Jordan Spieth didn't play last week's CJ Cup, where Koepka won by four shots. But Jason Day did, and his T-5 finish in South Korea moved him up two spots from No. 12 to No. 10 in the latest rankings. Spieth dropped from 10th to 11th, marking the first time that he has been outside the top 10 in the world rankings since November 2014.

Since that time, he has won 12 times around the world, including three majors, while spending 26 weeks as world No. 1. But he hasn't won a tournament since The Open last July, and this year he missed the Tour Championship for the first time in his career. Spieth is expected to make his season debut next week in Las Vegas at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Koepka and Day were the only movers among the top 10 on a week that saw many top players remain in place. Sergio Garcia's rain-delayed win at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters moved him up four spots to No. 27, while Gary Woodland went from 38th to 30th after finishing second behind Koepka on Jeju Island.

Koepka will tee off as world No. 1 for the first time this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions, where new No. 2 Dustin Johnson will look to regain the top spot. Justin Rose is now third in the world, with Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Day rounding out the top 10.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods remained 13th in the world for the fifth straight week.

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Pavin's season nearly ends after slow-play penalty

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 1:50 pm

Corey Pavin's season on the PGA Tour Champions nearly came to an end because of a slow-play penalty.

Penalties for pace are often discussed or threatened, but rarely doled out on either the PGA Tour or the over-50 circuit. But that changed Sunday during the final round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, where Pavin was told by a rules official after completing his round that he would receive a 1-stroke penalty for slow play.

The penalty was on the surface rather harmless, turning an even-par 72 into a 1-over 73 and dropping Pavin into a tie for 15th. But this was the first event of a three-tournament postseason for PGA Tour Champions players, and only the top 54 in points advanced to this week's Invesco QQQ Championship.


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


Pavin, who has two top-10 finishes in 20 starts this season, barely held on at 53rd place after the penalty was enforced.

Slow-play discussions came up earlier this season surrounding Bernhard Langer at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, but Golf Channel analyst Lanny Wadkins expressed his surprise on the telecast that it was Pavin who got a shot added to his score.

"Of all the things to happen with all the times I have played - I can't even count the number of rounds - I never thought Corey Pavin was a slow player," Wadkins said. "All the guys we know are slow players have never been penalized out here. Where has this been for the last 15 years?"

The subject of the penalty also raised an eyebrow from Stephen Ames, who finished alongside Pavin in 15th place while Langer finished second behind Woody Austin:

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Azinger 'lobbied' to captain Ryder Cup team a second time

By Rex HoggardOctober 22, 2018, 1:47 pm

In 2008, Paul Azinger became the first U.S. Ryder Cup captain in nearly a decade to lead a team to victory, doing so at Valhalla with his innovative “pod” system and a player-driven approach to leadership.

In the wake of that victory there were many, including the vast majority of his players, who said Azinger deserved a second chance to captain, but at the time the 12-time PGA Tour winner appeared to be undecided and the PGA of America named Corey Pavin the 2010 captain.

On Monday, Azinger was named NBC Sports/Golf Channel’s lead analyst starting next year and among many revelations during an extended interview on “Morning Drive” he explained how much he wanted a second chance to captain.

“I wanted to do it again, I lobbied to do it again after we won in ’08, but I think I waited a little too long and they had already made a decision,” Azinger said. “The excuse I got was that there are more captains than there are Ryder Cups and I thought that was fair, but then they asked [Tom] Watson to do it again shortly afterward and I was like, ‘What, huh?’”

Watson was named captain of the 2014 U.S. team, which lost by five points and led to the creation of the Ryder Cup task force, which adopted many of Azinger’s ideas including his use of four-player pods.

It’s even more curious that Azinger was never given a second chance considering that Davis Love III was also named a captain twice, first in 2012 and again in ’16.

“I didn’t do it again, I didn’t carry the flag to Europe in 2010, which is fine, and now I’m never going to get to do it again,” he said.

As for who may be named the next U.S. captain after another loss to the Europeans last month in France Azinger could only speculate. “Looks like Wisconsin [site of the 2020 matches at Whistling Straits] and Steve Stricker are going to be a perfect match,” he said.