Since I’m somewhat of a regular at Santa Anita Golf Course, I’d heard the name Blake Moore. He’s somewhat of a legend around there.
In 2003, or maybe it was 2004, he won the club championship with a final-round score of 62. For some of us, that’s more like a bad front nine. For Moore, it was 18 holes that included seven birdies, two eagles and two bogeys.
The eagles came on holes No. 9 and 13. He birdied 16 and 17 and had a short downhill birdie putt on 18. He played it safe and just laid it up close to the hole for a tap-in par and a 12-stroke victory. The 62 is still the official club record.
The other day I got an e-mail about Blake that drew my interest. It came from M ichael Eichstedt, who used to work at Santa Anita as a teaching pro. Eichstedt’s girlfriend, Marti Moore, is Blake’s mother. Blake, 25, lives with Michael and his mom in Monrovia.
Eichstedt wanted me to know that Blake would be one of 12 male golfers competing on the next edition of the Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series. This one is called “Big Break Disney Golf,” and it debuts Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 10 p.m. Eastern Time and 7 p.m. Pacific Time. (Click to play 2 1/2-minute video below — Larry’s blog continues below the video.)
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I was quite familiar with the “Big Break” series since I had written about it in the column I used to write for the Los Angeles Times Sports section. It’s a competitive reality show which provides the winner with an exemption into a PGA Tour or LPGA Tour tournament, plus cash and other prizes.
I immediately called Michael and arranged to meet him and Blake at Matt Denny’s Ale House on Huntingto n Drive the next day. We had a nice chat over lunch which, by the way, Blake paid for. Then we drove over to Santa Anita Golf Course to meet colleague Scott Hettrick so he could film a video to go with this blog here at ArcadiasBest.com.
To get further information on “Big Break Disney Golf,” I then called my friend Dan Higgins at the Golf Channel in Orlando, Fla. Higgins, who heads the national cable network’s publicity department, turned me over to publicist Mark Mitchell, who e-mailed all kinds of material.
As I scanned the names of the other competitors, I first spotted Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He made news in May for trying to sue Duke University for kicking him off the golf team. Yeah, nice guy! Then I noticed another Southern Californian, Ed Moses of Holly wood, an Olympic swimmer who once shot a 64 at Bay Hill in Orlando. There was also Andreas Huber, the son of legendary soap star Susan Lucci.
The list included names, hometowns and brief snippets about each of the 12 contestants. On down the list was something else that caught my eye. It was this: “Kevin Erdman (Arcadia, Calif.) –Husband of Big Break Kaanapali alum Courtney Erdman.” Wait a minute, I thought. A national search for 12 top-quality golfers to compete on a reality show, and it turns out that two are from the Arcadia area. Talk about a mind blower.
I googled Kevin’s name and discovered he and Courtney work at the Altadena Golf Course. I called there, and Courtney answered phone. I explained what I was doing and she handed the phone over to Kevin. I told Kevin about my lunch with Blake and that I didn’t realize that there was someone else from this area also competing on the show.
“What, Blake didn’t even mention my name?” Kevin said, feigning anger. “Well, he did,” I said. “But I didn’t know you were from Arcadia.” “Lived there all my life,” Kevin said, adding that both he and Blake went to La Salle High.
Kevin, at 30, is five years older than Blake. The 10-week series they appear on was shot over two weeks in July, mostly at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando. “It was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done,” Moore told me.
There’ll be more about Blake and his unusual support team, which includes his dad, his mom and Michael, his mom’s boyfriend, in a future blog. And I’m planning to meet with Kevin and do a separate blog on him and Courtney, plus provide weekly updates on Blake and Kevin during the 10 weeks the show is on the air. (All contestants are sworn to secrecy, so we don’t know how they did.)
I really think this whole saga is worthy of a series of blogs that, hopefully, ArcadiasBest.com readers will enjoy. Think about it – two Arcadia area golfers who went to the same high school, both trying to make it to the big time, and both finally getting their big break, literally, at the same time at the same venue. Hey, that would make a good reality show. Oh, I guess it already is.