Story by Ian Guerin
Charlie Harrison made sure his return to the Grand Strand golf scene started with a bang.
The former Wake Forest player opened Golf Channel’s Big Break Myrtle Beach by earning what could be an all-important asset moving forward. Harrison won the Super Immunity Challenge, which now gives him the ability to forgo one of the show’s later tests and automatically advance to the ensuing round.
The 11-episode 22nd season of Big Break debuted Tuesday. It did not include any eliminations in the first show, but they will be coming in bunches soon. For Harrison, it was the first step toward the $180,000 in cash and prizes going to the winner. It was also a bit of redemption.
In March 2011, the four-year Demon Deacon letterman played at TPC Myrtle Beach, a short distance from all four of the Myrtle Beach-area golf courses Big Break is using this season, in the General Hackler Invitational. He finished tied for 59th. His performance in the Big Break premier had a different result.
After being randomly selected into four three-player groupings, the first stage was the infamous Glass Challenge, where players are asked to break a pane of glass using an iron of their choosing. Carolin Pinnegar, who ultimately qualified for the final round, made waves by shattering hers on the very first shot. Eight of the 12 players moved on to the second stage, which took the survivors to No. 17 on Fazio.
The two-shot, closest to the hole challenge started from the right tree line. Harrison and Pinnegar were joined by Dave Markle and Tessa Teachman in the final pairings.
From there, it was on to the mini-matches, played at Fazio’s No. 6 and No. 7 holes. Harrison birdied the par-3 No. 6 - one shot ahead of Markle, and Teachman made par to top Pinnegar, and they faced off at the par-5 No. 7.
Teachman’s tee shot was in the rough, and her second shot found a greenside bunker. That was just enough of an advantage for Harrison to win with another birdie.
TUESDAY’S BIG WINNER: Charlie Harrison won the Super Immunity Challenge and immediately moves into a short list of favorites.
OFF THE COURSE: The opening scene in the first season was filmed at the Anchor Cafe at Marina Inn, located at the Grande Dunes resort. The ultra-popular seasonal bar and restaurant provides some of the area’s best Intracoastal Waterway sunset views.