The premier episode opens with all 12 contestants cruising down the Intracoastal Waterway on a rather large boat, arriving at the Marina Inn Grande Dunes, the show’s lodgings property.
Players were met with a frozen cocktail, followed by a startle by a television turning on close by. On screen appears the infamous Travelocity Roaming Gnome. He explains to the cast the format and leaves the contestants with 12 golf balls of various colors to choose from, to define the challenge for the next day. Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome also divulges that contestants will be playing as individuals, not teams. As they finish their beverages the take a stroll down the dock only to find their Big Break professional bags.
Early the next morning (way before the first tee time of the morning) everyone is enjoying breakfast. Toph Peterson opens and reads a letter that informs players that anyone who has the same color ball will be their opponent in the first challenge. This was a twist to the common perception that everyone who had the same colored balls would be teammates. Contestants proceeded to the Dye Club’s Driving Range to warm up for the legendary glass break challenge as their first challenge.
Viewers were greeted next by this year’s hosts; Tom Abbott and Paige Mackenzie. They inform the players they are competing for more than $180,000 in cash and prizes and an exemption into the 2015 Valspar Championship (MEN) or the 2015 Portland Classic (WOMEN) for the winner. Abbott reveals the first challenge victor will win Super Immunity, which enables them a one-time out in an elimination challenge. In the opening stage, the two players in each grouping that break their glass the fastest advance and the slowest is eliminated.
Inside the Glass Break Challenge
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Group 1: Carolin(1) Tessa(2) Katy H(Eliminated)
On her first shot, Carolin, an Austrian who has arrived on the show via University of Central Florida, breaks the glass, leaving Tessa and Katy to duke it out. Tessa is the first to break the glass. Tessa and Carolin exchange high fives and Tessa states “The sound of breaking glass the best she has ever heard!”
Group 2: Charlie(1) Jimmy(2) Christian(Eliminated)
Charlie reveals he is quite the confident player and affirms his accusation by being the first to break the glass, followed quickly by Jimmy, eliminating Christian from the 2nd group.
Group 3: Krista(1) Katie D.(2) Emily(Eliminated)
This pairing struggled out of the gates before Krista broke the glass pane. Emily was next seen banging the ball off the frame three times before Katie finally breaks through and edges out Emily.
Group 4: Toph(2) Dave(1) Anthony(Eliminated)
Dave is the first to break the glass, securing his spot into the second stage of the day’s challenges. Toph follows soon after. Confident, even sometimes to the point arrogant, Anthony declares himself a good guy off the course and overconfident on it, hinting that the outcomes of the glass break elimination had no effect on him.
The episode progresses to the second stage of the super immunity challenge. This challenge puts players behind a tree on the 17th hole on our Barefoot Resort’s Fazio Course. The eight remaining contestants get two shots, with the four closest advancing.
Dave, Tessa and Carolin without harm, punch the ball back into the fairway. Jimmy steps up next to the shot and is the first player to attempt a daring shot through a small opening in the trees. Jimmy who confesses before he hits his shot “My dad would kick his butt for attempting the shot” (His dad caddies for him on tour). He pulls the ball a bit but finds a way through the trees landing in the rough just shy of the green. Charlie, Toph, Katie D. and Krista chip out safely, setting themselves up for their second shot. All eight players were in good shape, turning it into a “wedge-off”. Tessa, Charlie, Dave and Carolin hit within 5-feet-5 and advance to the final stage. The “worst” shot was 11 feet 8 inches from the pin.
The third and final stage of the Super Immunity Challenge concluded on the sixth and seventh holes of our Fazio Course. Since Tessa won the last challenge with a mark of 13 inches, she gets to choose her opponent in a one-hole match. That left the other two too face off, with the winners of each match advancing to the seventh hole where the super immunity challenge would be determined.
Tessa chooses Carolin, leaving Charlie and Dave in the other semifinal.
The sixth hole on the Fazio Course is a beautiful, par 3 over water, that plays slightly downhill. Tessa teed off first and left herself a 20-footer for birdie. Carolin proceeded to hit it in the greenside bunker, short of the green. Carolin blasts out of the bunker to 8-10 feet remaining for her par. Tessa, who was slightly long of the pin, rolled her birdie putt short and went on tap in for par. Carolin was left with a testy par putt to extend the match but misses on the low side leaving Tessa advancing to the finals. Next up was Dave and Charlie. Both players hit the green with Charlie having an advantage of hitting his shot to 12 feet. Dave had a putt of roughly 35 feet and left it well short. Charlie did what he had to do and saved his par, but Charlie confidently rolls in his birdie putt stating he once made a putt of similar statute to win a mini tour event, which helped his confidence preparing him to make his putt. Charlie and Tessa were left to compete for the title of having “Super Immunity”.
They arrive to the seventh hole of the Fazio Course. It is a par 5 that is plays 513 yards for Charlie and 452 for Tessa. Charlie bombs his drive, with the benefit of the cart path, more than 300 yards (With a 3-wood nonetheless), while Tessa playes down the right hand side, ending up in the short rough just short of the cart path. Tessa, anticipating Charlie will reach the green in two, shoots for the green but pulls her it into a greenside bunker. Charlie misses the green to the right, just of the green pin high. Tessa blasted out of the sand, leaving herself with a long birdie putt. Charlie chipped up to 3 feet. Tessa’s birdie putt came up short and allowed Charlie roll in his putt for birdie, to win the first challenge of Big Break Myrtle Beach.
Charlie- “Super Immunity” Winner.
Be on the watch for a sneak peak of Episode 2.
Photo Credits: Mark Ashman / Golf Channel
Video Credits: Golf Channel