Team Rypien Bios
Current Residence: La Quinta, Calif.
Hometown: Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
Home Course: PGA West, Lake Arrowhead Country Club, Arrowhead Country Club
College: California State University San Marcos / Palomar College
Big Break Atlantis Competitor (2012, First Competitor Eliminated)
- Member and Team Captain of the 2011 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) championship team at Palomar College
- Currently playing full-time on the Cactus Tour and Grasshopper Tour
- Turned professional in 2012, prior to the filming of Big Break Atlantis
- Recorded first professional win on the Grasshopper Tour in 2012
Since Big Break Atlantis…
Prior to her appearance on Big Break Atlantis in 2012, Meghan had a difficult decision to make: Either turn professional and compete on the Big Break or continue her collegiate golf career and accept scholarship offer to a Division I school. 19 at the time with two years of college golf under her belt, she decided to compete on Big Break Atlantis.
Meghan was the first competitor eliminated on Big Break Atlantis. Asked whether she has any regrets about her decision, her answer is a defiant, “Absolutely not.”
“Even though things did not turn out as planned for me on Big Break Atlantis, it was an amazing experience and was the right decision to make,” said Meghan. The show opened up so many doors for me, and I’m excited to continue to grow and learn as a professional.”After Big Break, her management company introduced her to John Battaglia at PGA West Golf Academy, who is now her swing coach, as well as multiple major winner Cristie Kerr, who has become a professional mentor for Meghan.
“Cristie has been great to practice with and to learn from,” said Meghan. “She has helped me so much on and off the golf course to prepare me for the LPGA.”
That experience and knowledge he has acquired will definitely come in handy when she returns forBig Break NFL Puerto Rico.
BIG BREAK ATLANTIS BIO
Meghan Hardin is the youngest female competitor in the history of Big Break at age 19, but don’t let her age fool you. As her fellow competitors will attest, Hardin is wise beyond her years, and has a work ethic when it comes to golf that is second to none.
She also is a risk taker.
Hardin, who recently finished her sophomore year of junior college at Palomar College in Southern California, turned professional to compete on Big Break Atlantis, foregoing her collegiate career that included multiple scholarship offers to Division I schools.
“Coming to the decision to compete on Big Break Atlantis wasn’t the quickest or easiest decision, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” said Hardin. “I’ll definitely look to continue school, but with everything I have been through the past two years in college, I’m ready to take that next step in my golf career.”
Golf has been a part of Hardin’s life ever since her mother introduced her to the game at a young age. Golf was not her passion or first choice growing up, however. It was tennis.
“I played a lot of tennis and was a competitive cheerleader in high school, and in both, I gave 110%,” explained Hardin.
Golf was a sport that Hardin played for fun in the summers and during the high school golf season. At her high school in Southern California, she competed with and alongside the boys and played on the men’s high school golf team. When her tennis coach started pressuring her to give up golf and concentrate solely on tennis, she did the exact opposite.
The summer between her junior and senior year, she competed in the Southern California PGA Junior Tour, her first exposure to tournament golf outside of high school. She had been so acclimated to playing against the boys and playing from the back tees, that when she played with the girls and the forward red tees, she immediately found success, recording several runner-up finishes.
“That summer really got me excited about golf,” said Hardin. “It suddenly clicked. For the longest time I was playing for fun. I thought to myself, ‘Meghan, you can make a career out of golf.’
During her senior year, Hardin went down a similar path as fellow contestant Allison Micheletti. She emailed golf coaches throughout the state and on the West Coast. Her persistence won out, and she accepted a golf scholarship to California State University San Marcos.
Hardin was looking forward to furthering her golf career at the college level. Two years and two schools later, she is taking a different path to achieve her dream of playing on the LPGA Tour.
The summer of 2010, just prior to the start of her freshman year, Hardin received word that the golf coach who recruited her two years ago was let go. The incoming coach, in Hardin’s eyes, favored seniority over performance during her freshman year. Coupled with the fact that the University was facing probation the next two years, Hardin felt it best to withdraw from the school and start fresh.
It was a difficult decision for her, giving up her scholarship. She transferred to Palomar College, a junior college near San Diego in 2011, where she excelled on the golf course, helping her team win the California Community College Athletic Association Golf Championship (CCCAA) in November, 2011.
“It was the best feeling in the world,” she said. “Up until that point, I had never experienced anything like this.
“Until I was picked to be on Big Break Atlantis.”
With multiple scholarship offers in the balance, she consulted with her parents about this decision, which could shape the rest of her career. She decided the opportunity to compete on Big Break was too good to pass up.
She turned professional immediately prior to competing on the series. She was not allowed to tell her potential coaches that she was turning down the scholarship offers and that she was on Big Breakuntil after she returned from shooting the series.
Meghan Hardin is a risk taker. Only time will how rewarding her risk will turn out to be.
Big Break NFL Puerto Rico Competitors: