Latest Big Break contestants announced

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 30, 2010, 9:43 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. – Golf Channel’s Big Break series returns for a 13th season in June featuring an all-female cast that will bring golf skills, beauty and brains on the June 21 premiere at 9 p.m. ET. Taking place at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, “Big Break Sandals Resorts” will showcase a field of 11 women competing against each other in an attempt to make their dream come true of playing alongside the world’s top golfers. While many of the competitors are friends and travel companions on the road, when it comes to Big Break, those friendships will be put to the test. In addition to other prizes, the winner will receive an exemption to compete in an LPGA event and a Ladies European Tour event.  

Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott will make his Big Break debut as host, joining co-host Stephanie Sparks to add insight during the 10-episode series.

Here are the contestants:

Lili Alvarez (26, El Paso, Texas)
– One of Mexico’s elite amateur golfers who grew up competing alongside Lorena Ochoa, was a student at Tulane University in New Orleans and endured the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Stacey Bieber (25, Fort Worth, Texas)
– Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Bieber nearly quit golf after college to pursue a professional career in investment banking.

Chris Brady (25, Charlotte, N.C.)
– The lone contestant who has had exempt status on the LPGA (2008), Brady hung up her golf clubs when her game and the economy took a downturn in 2009 to pursue an engineering career.

Sara Brown (24, Tucson, Ariz.) – After a successful collegiate career at Michigan State and a stellar rookie season on the Futures Tour, Brown endured a “sophomore slump” in 2009, to the point where her usual smile turned to frustration, nearly causing her to quit the game.

Carling Coffing (24, Middletown, Ohio) – A tough competitor who has overcome enormous odds to achieve her dream to be a professional golfer. Coffing was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 5, and after years of giving herself dozens of shots every day, she switched to a diabetic insulin pump in 2008.

Taryn Durham (24, Glasgow, Ky.) – While Durham’s resume stacks up with her fellow competitors, she has an edge over her fellow competitors in that she is the only contestant who has competed in a major championship (2007 U.S. Women’s Open).

Ryann O’Toole (23, Los Angeles)
– The youngest competitor on Big Break Sandals Resorts, O’Toole’s mission is to dominate women’s golf.  A recent graduate from UCLA, O’Toole is one of the longest hitters in the field.

Elena Robles (26, Redondo Beach, Calif.)
– A fierce competitor who works numerous odd jobs to make ends meet, Robles has a history of having a fiery temper on the course.

Seema Sadekar (24, Las Vegas) – In addition to competing full-time on the Futures Tour, Sadekar is heavily involved with her older sister’s golf events company, and also is co-founder of a golf marketing and apparel company.

Kelly Sheehan (32, Orlando, Fla.)
– The lone contestant who has not competed full-time on the professional circuit, but Sheehan has 10 years of experience as a certified PGA of America and LPGA teaching professional.

Maiya Tanaka (24, San Diego) – Tanaka currently lives out of her car and competes on four professional golf tours (Golden State, California Players, Cactus and the Duramed FUTURES Tours).
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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.