Big Break Disney Golf Offers Opportunity to Make a Dream Come True

By Golf Channel Public RelationsOctober 10, 2009, 12:13 am

Tiger Woods. Davis Love III. Lucas Glover. Vijay Singh. Each a major championship winner who also hoisted a Children’s Miracle Network Classic trophy at the Magnolia Course at Walt Disney World Resort, the same setting where GOLF CHANNEL’s popular Big Break series returns for a 12th season Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.

No PGA TOUR trophy will be on the line in Big Break Disney Golf, rather the opportunity to compete in the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Classic and jumpstart a career that one day could lead to a TOUR victory. Shot mainly at both the Magnolia and Palm Courses at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., the series marks the first time that a Big Break winner will compete in a TOUR event on the same course in which the series was filmed.

GOLF CHANNEL’s 10-week series will showcase a field of 12 men – collectively the most talented cast in series history, but individually at different stages in their careers – battling for the opportunity to fulfill the desire to play professional golf at the highest level. Competitors range from an Olympic gold medalist to several with celebrity bloodlines to those merely chasing a dream

Utilizing unique venues at Walt Disney World Resort, Big Break Disney Golf’s challenges also will take place at Main Street U.S.A., Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and the Walt Disney World Speedway. Intertwined into several episodes will be cameos by PGA TOUR players and memorable moments from the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

The contestants are:

Andrew Giuliani (New York, N.Y.) – Son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Donna Hanover, Andrew is looking to make a name for himself in the game of golf.

Ed Moses (Hollywood, Calif.) – A gold and silver medal winner as a member of the United States swim team at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Moses ' goal is now the PGA TOUR. A member at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla., he once shot 64 on the course that hosts the TOUR’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Andreas Huber (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Actress Susan Lucci’s son, the former Wall Street broker left the color of money to seek his fortune on the green.

Gipper Finau (Lehl, Utah) – Joins Tony as the first brother duo to play in the same Big Break series. Blessed with the long ball, Gipper, who turned professional at 16, once drove a 520-yard par 5.

Tony Finau (Lehl, Utah) – Hits the tee ball longer than his brother – or at least that is what he says in the spirit of sibling rivalry. Finau turned professional when he was 17 and made a cut on the PGA TOUR the same year.

Mike Perez (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – After playing the Nationwide Tour, Perez is looking for the chance to join brother Pat on the PGA TOUR.

Vincent Johnson (Portland, Ore.) – Received the Charlie Sifford exemption to play in the 2009 Northern Trust Open where he flirted with making the cut in his first PGA TOUR start.

J.R. Reyes (Omaha, Neb.) – With tattoos covering each arm, Reyes is not your typical golfer. While not looking the part, he has the talent to fit in on the PGA TOUR.

Kevin Erdman (Arcadia, Calif.) – Husband of Big Break Kaanapali alum Courtney Erdman, is it his time to shine on the Big Break stage?

Kevan Maxwell (Charleston, S.C.) – Aspiring golf professional by day, pizza delivery man by night, “K-Max” will do whatever it takes to play on the PGA TOUR.

Blake Moore (Monrovia, Calif.) – Friend of former Big Break competitor and PGA TOUR rookie James Nitties, Moore is a threat to win Big Break Disney Golf if he can control his inner demons.

Sean Kalin (Delray Beach, Fla.) – A junior standout who gave up golf for 20 years after being kidnapped, he is looking for a second chance in the game.

In addition to the tournament exemption, the winner will earn cash and prizes with a potential value of more than $50,000 that includes entry fees paid to compete in the 2010 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament from SkyCaddie, a $10,000 shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods, free golf for a year courtesy of, and an endorsement contract from Adams Golf including $10,000 cash.

GOLF CHANNEL’s Vince Cellini and Stephanie Sparks will reprise their roles as co-hosts to add insight to the series.

Past Big Break champions won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, such as the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour. Former Big Breakers Tommy Gainey and Nitties currently compete on the PGA TOUR while four previous female contestants currently play on the LPGA Tour, including Kristy McPherson, a member of the 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.

For more information, please contact Mark Mitchell at 407-355-4063, or

Getty Images

Golf's Olympic format, qualifying process remain the same

By Rex HoggardMarch 19, 2018, 6:25 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Potential Olympic golfers for the 2020 Games in Tokyo were informed on Monday that the qualification process for both the men’s and women’s competitions will remain unchanged.

According to a memo sent to PGA Tour players, the qualification process begins on July 1, 2018, and will end on June 22, 2020, for the men, with the top 59 players from the Olympic Golf Rankings, which is drawn from the Official World Golf Ranking, earning a spot in Tokyo (the host country is assured a spot in the 60-player field). The women’s qualification process begins on July 8, 2018, and ends on June 29, 2020.

The format, 72-holes of individual stroke play, for the ’20 Games will also remain unchanged.

The ’20 Olympics will be held July 24 through Aug. 9, and the men’s competition will be played the week before the women’s event at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Getty Images

Webb granted U.S. Women's Open special exemption

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 6:22 pm

Karrie Webb's streak of consecutive appearances at the U.S. Women's Open will continue this summer.

The USGA announced Monday that the 43-year-old Aussie has been granted a special exemption into this year's event, held May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek in Alabama. Webb, a winner in both 2000 and 2001, has qualified for the event on merit every year since 2011 when her 10-year exemption for her second victory ended.

"As a past champion, I'm very grateful and excited to accept the USGA's special exemption into this year's U.S. Women's Open," Webb said in a release. "I have always loved competing in the U.S. Women's Open and being tested on some of the best courses in the country."

Webb has played in the tournament every year since 1996, the longest such active streak, meaning that this summer will mark her 23rd consecutive appearance. She has made the U.S. Women's Open cut each of the last 10 years, never finishing outside the top 50 in that span.

Webb's exemption is the first handed out by the USGA since 2016, when Se Ri Pak received an invite to play at CordeValle. Prior to that the two most recent special exemptions went to Juli Inkster (2013) and Laura Davies (2009). The highest finish by a woman playing on a special exemption came in 1994, when Amy Alcott finished sixth.

Getty Images

Notah: Driver is Tiger's No. 1 pre-Masters concern

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 5:49 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a Sunday charge at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, sending shockwaves through Bay Hill when it looked as though he might finally claim PGA Tour victory No. 80.

But the charge came to an end at the par-5 16th, where Woods had missed wide-right three days in a row before going OB-left on Sunday en route to bogey.

Woods’ API performance featured just a handful of drivers each day, as firm and fast conditions allowed him to make frequent use of a 2-iron off the tee.

That strategy led to a second top-5 finish in as many weeks, but if Woods wants to win again, if he wants claim another major, he is going to sort out his issues with the big stick.

A guest Monday morning on the Dan Patrick Show, Golf Channel’s Notah Begay believes the driver will be a focus for Woods in his pre-Masters preparation.

“Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver. … Any time he has to turn a shot right to left with trouble on the left, he struggles a little bit,” Begay said.

“Off the sixth tee, off the ninth tee, there was some errant shots. And then we saw the really horrible tee shot yesterday at 16. He talked about in the post-round comments. He just didn’t commit to a shot, and the worst thing that a professional athlete can do to themselves to compromise performance is not commit.

“And so he made a terrible swing, and that’s the miss that is really difficult for him to recover from, because the majority of his misses are out to the right. So, when you eliminate one half of the golf course, you can really make your way around … a lot easier. When you have a two-way miss going, which sometimes creeps into his driver, it really makes it difficult to take out some of the trouble that you’re looking at when you’re standing on the tee box.

“So he has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”

Getty Images

McIlroy trails only Woods in Masters betting odds

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 5:47 pm

After rallying for victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy is once again among the betting favorites for the upcoming Masters.

McIlroy was available at 16/1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week, listed behind six other players. But after his three-shot win at Bay Hill, his odds were trimmed to 10/1, leaving him behind only betting favorite Tiger Woods.

Next month will mark McIlroy's fourth opportunity to close out the final leg of the career Grand Slam by slipping into a green jacket. Here's a look at the current betting odds, with the first round only 17 days away:

8/1: Tiger Woods

10/1: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas

14/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose

16/1: Jason Day, Jon Rahm

18/1: Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson

25/1: Paul Casey, Bubba Watson

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Henrik Stenson, Marc Leishman

50/1: Alex Noren

60/1: Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton, Thomas Pieters

80/1: Branden Grace, Brian Harman, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay

100/1: Zach Johnson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, Daniel Berger, Kevin Kisner