Chaos Theory

By TJ Hubbard, Big Break ProducerOctober 19, 2010, 10:58 pm

Many of you don't know who Edward Lorenz is (I know I didn't as of a few hours ago), and based on his life and his impact on yours and mine, it's sad that Professor Lorenz (as he was commonly referred to at MIT) isn't more famous. Lorenz is the 'father of chaos theory' and taught meteorology for many decades at MIT. In 1972 he wrote a paper that will have many of you slapping your heads collectively saying, “I've heard of that.” The title of that paper: 'Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?.'  Light bulb go off yet? Edward Lorenz is the 'father' of Chaos Theory and the 'Butterfly Effect.' What does this mean to you? For one, it's a cocktail hour piece of trivia, and two, it's my interpretation for why the women have been kicking butt for the last few episodes.

The thesis for this blog is that Sara's illness (that began during the Benching Challenge between Lori and David in show two) is my butterfly flapping its wings, setting off a tornado of great golf by the women's team. It explains why the women have been beating up the men lately. That Butterfly Effect is Team Unity, something of which the women have a strong dose.

During the challenge, Lori kept checking in on Sara, concerned for her fallen teammate. Inspired by her illness and complete dislike for David, Lori helped continue the Butterfly Effect of good golf for the women by inevitably benching David. Lori said right after the challenge that she was doing it for Sara. Onto the next show. The ladies do not perform so well in the Team Challenge; however the mistake to call out Lori and Blair by Blake and Andrew led to an 'upset' victory and helped strengthen an already strong tornado (think Wizard of Oz type tornado). Added to the storm was the fact that the advantage was finally overcome and proved to us (and hopefully to you fans) that there are no sure or safe bets in golf and especially in Big Break. Thus, the Butterfly Effect continued onto the next show.

With Sara back, the women continued their dominance! And while we were surprised (the producers) that the women's death-grip on the men was tightening, the Benching Challenge clearly made us think that if these guys don't get their heads out of their @$$*$ then we could very well see this season come to a quick and abrupt end. It was very cool to see someone win and not have someone lose. The last two Benching Challenges have now been won with birdie(s), meaning good golf. That's what we hope for. That's what we aspire this show to be. As Brian says all the time, “may the best golf (or golf shots) win.”

David Mobley is now permanently benched with 2 strikes. Blake and Andrew also have a strike each. David has said that he feels both are better players than he, but his near chip-in in the second challenge would have made things interesting in the men's camp. They elected him captain, the guy who would make the final decision in the end. Had he chipped in, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that team conversation.

Inside scoop on the Elena, A-Rod and Andrew drama:

If you'll notice, no one was saying anything during their quick exchange. That’s because no one wanted to be involved, especially the ladies. Also, sorry about the poor camera coverage! Our one camera ran out of tape during the start of their back & forth, and when the camera was back up, David and Christina were standing in the way. We could have moved them, but then you ruin the moment. I interviewed all three, A-Rod after the challenge and Elena and Andrew that night.  Let's say there is no love flowing in either direction. Plus, you won't have to wait long to see one call out the other. Oh, I'm so excited! Seriously, Elena and one of those guys will match up, and it's not pretty! For whom? You'll have to see!

To close out, the Butterfly Effect is continuing four shows in. But will the storm stay strong or dissipate with quality golf by the men? The answer is yes.


Fun Facts: Our Shoot Date (06/20/2010) and Conditions:

-It rained every afternoon during filming after the Benching Challenge, but the morning/afternoons continued to bring great weather (85 degrees, 50-60% humidity).

-Same temperature in the states by city (same day, all degrees in Fahrenheit):

     --Washington D.C. 101

     --Los Angeles 95

     --Phoenix 111

     --NYC 99

     --Fairfield, CT (my hometown) 98

     --Chicago 93

     --Orlando (Golf Channel home) 94, 98% humidity

(How good is our life?)

-Ocean Temperature off 6th Hole on Teeth of the Dog: 84 degrees

-Number of golf balls in the water? Over 500! No joke, I went snorkeling after production wrapped! There were hundreds everywhere!


Fun Facts: Take A Chance Challenge:

-Football’s ball mark was 6 feet away from the hole in Take a Chance. That means he spun the ball 22.5 feet backwards!

-Lori's distance: 4'11' + A-Rod's distance: 6'1' = 11 feet. Together they could have taken the 12 feet and beaten it! They were great shots by the two best ball strikers on each team!


Fun Facts: Benching Challenge:

-Sara's combined distance for her two approach shots that led to her two birdies was 12'4'

-One of out four people have overcome the advantage in the Benching Challenge.

-The Team Challenge has to mean everything. This is a team competition!

-David Mobley hit his 3-wood 277 yards into the wind and uphill on the second Benching Challenge hole.


Strike Eraser Clarification:

-Question: Some of you may be asking about Strike Eraser strategy. We’ve received some questions like, 'Why didn't David putt it off the green to give himself another chance?' And, 'Why not chip closer to the hole to have a legitimate chance for a strike eraser?'

-Answer: All players had to sign a legal document mandating that any attempt for a Strike Eraser must be a 'legitimate attempt' toward the hole. David chipping out of the long grass to the tee box was allowed, because he had to circumvent our camera tower and a 15-foot high bush in front of him.


That's it for now!  All the best, TJ


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Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

Bernhard Langer did not.

The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

"You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

"I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

"I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

“To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”