Cast revealed for mixed-team 'Big Break Mexico'

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 2, 2013, 12:52 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – The cast for the next season of Golf Channel’s Big Break reality competition was revealed Tuesday, featuring 12 professionals ready to pursue their dreams of playing on either the LPGA or the PGA Tour. “Big Break Mexico” premieres May 13 at 9 p.m. ET.

Filmed at Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf and Spa Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, “Big Break Mexico” will feature a cast of six men and six women competing in a mixed-team format. They will compete in various golf-related skills challenges, with an exemption to compete either on the LPGA at the 2013 Lorena Ochoa Invitational or on the PGA Tour at the 2013 OHL Classic at Mayakoba, cash and other prizes.

Here is a list of the contestants:


Lindsey Bergeon (26, Sarasota, Fla.): A professional since graduating from Florida Southern College in 2008, Bergeon has competed full-time on the Symetra Tour, Cactus Tour and Canadian Women’s Tour the past four years. In 2013, Bergeon will compete on the Canadian Women’s Tour and Women’s State Opens throughout the country.

Taylor Collins (23, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): One of the younger competitors, Collins is in her sophomore season on the Symetra Tour, following an up-and-down rookie season that was highlighted by a fourth-place finish in her third event. Collins is a long-time student under Hall of Fame instructor Bob Toski, who first met Collins when she was in elementary school and gave Collins her first set of lessons.

Matthew Galloway (27, Tampa, Fla.): Former caddie for two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, Galloway has competed on various mini-tours all over the country during the past five years. A three-time Division II All American from the University of West Florida, Galloway is returning to the mini-tour circuit full time in 2013 with the experience, insight and guidance from walking the fairways on the PGA Tour with Janzen.

McKenzie Jackson (24, Scottsdale, Ariz. / Uniontown, Ohio): Playing in her second full season as a professional, Jackson is competing on the Cactus Tour, Canadian Women’s Tour and Women’s State Opens with a fresh outlook on golf after a frustrating 2012 season that included a break from the game at the end of the year. A graduate of Kent State University, Jackson received the phone call that she was cast on “Big Break Mexico” two days after she began refocusing on her game after an extended break.

Stefanie Kenoyer (24, Lighthouse Point, Fla.): The lone contestant on to have competed in a major championship (2009 U.S. Women’s Open) Kenoyer is playing full time on the Symetra Tour. Sara Lynn Sargent – her former college coach and competitor on “Big Break VI: Trump National” – encouraged Kenoyer to apply. Kenoyer will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Sargent, who earned her LPGA card the following season after being on Big Break.

Liebelei Lawrence (29, Nideranven, Luxembourg / Nashville, Tenn.): The first female from Luxembourg to compete on the Ladies European Tour (2011 and 2012), Lawrence credits her renewed passion for golf as a result of being cast on the show. She lost her status on the LET after the 2012 season and battled back injuries the entire season, causing her to consider hanging up her professional career.



Brent Long (26, Dallas / Carthage, Tenn.): Long competed in 11 Web.com Tour events in 2011, including eight via Monday qualifiers. The first alternate on “Big Break Greenbrier” in 2012, Long had almost given up on the idea of competing on Big Break after multiple tries. Long is competing full time on the NGA Tour and select Web.com Tour events in 2013.

Chad Schulze (34, Cockeysville, Md. / Lebanon, Pa.): Schulze is returning to competitive golf in 2013 after a few years on the business side of golf as a PGA of America Apprentice. A member of Pennsylvania’s Millersville University Hall of Fame, where was a Division II All American, Schulze is competing on Big Break because he needs that extra push to make it to golf’s highest stage.

Jason Seymour (36, Los Angeles): Seymour is returning to competitive golf full time for the first time in nine years, following a motorcycle accident that almost claimed his life. He hung up the golf clubs and turned to a successful construction business. Growing up in suburban Los Angeles, golf provided him a way out of “the bad things that surrounded me” and he has dreams of giving back to the game that has meant so much to him. He also is competing with a heavy heart as his father passed away three weeks prior to the filming of the series.

Emily Talley (22, Boulder, Colo. / Napa, Calif.): The youngest competitor, Talley is one of two contestants on the series to have played in an LPGA event. A graduate of the University of Colorado where she was an honorable mention All American, she turned professional after graduation in 2012. She is competing full time on the Symetra Tour in 2013.

Rob West (41, Peoria, Ariz.): The oldest competitor, West is returning to competitive golf after a 10-year hiatus to work in the construction business and raise a family. A multiple winner on the various mini-tour circuits in the 1990s, West is giving professional golf one final push.

Jay Woodson (31, Richmond, Va.): One of seven players in history to win both the Virginia State Amateur (2002, 2003) and the Virginia State Open (2012), Woodson has been competing on the mini tours for the past nine years. He endured an eight-year drought between professional wins in full-field events prior to capturing the Virginia State Open July of last year. Married and expecting his first child in June, Woodson is competing on the NGA Tour in 2013.


Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott and Stephanie Sparks return as co-hosts for the series, which will feature a guest appearance from former LPGA world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, who surprised the cast during the filming of the series and competed alongside the players in one of the challenges.

“I love having Big Break in my home country of Mexico and am proud to offer an exemption to the Lorena Ochoa Invitational,” Ochoa said. “Big Break is very popular, and I want to help the sport of golf in my country as much as I can. This is a win-win situation for all of us.”

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Players winner to get 3-year exemption into PGA

By Rex HoggardFebruary 21, 2018, 8:01 pm

Although The Players isn’t golf’s fifth major, it received a boost in that direction this week.

The PGA of America has adjusted its criteria for eligibility into the PGA Championship, extending an exemption for the winner of The Players to three years.

According to an official with the PGA of America, the association felt the winner of The Players deserved more than a single-year exemption, which had been the case, and the move is consistent with how the PGA Tour’s annual flagship event is treated by the other majors.

Winners of The Players were already exempt for three years into the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

The change will begin with this year’s PGA Championship.

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Thomas: Playing in front of Tiger even more chaotic

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:52 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas may be going from the frying pan to the fire of Tiger Woods’ pairings.

Translation: He’s going from being grouped with Woods last week in the first two rounds at the Genesis Open to being grouped directly in front of Woods this week at the Honda Classic.

“Which might be even worse than playing with him,” Thomas said Wednesday.

Typically, the pairing in front of Woods deals with a lot of gallery movement, with fans racing ahead to get in position to see Woods’ next shot.

Thomas was quoted after two rounds with Tiger at Riviera saying fans “got a little out of hand,” and saying it’s disappointing some golf fans today think it’s “so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we’re trying to hit shots.”

With 200,000 fans expected this week at the Honda Classic, and with the Goslings Bear Trap pavilion setting a party mood at the 16th green and 17th tee, that portion of the course figures to be quite lively at PGA National.


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Thomas was asked about that.

“I touched on this a little bit last week,” Thomas said. “I think it got blown out of proportion, was just taken out of context, and worded differently than how I said it or meant it.

“I love the fans. The fans are what I hope to have a lot of, what all of us hope to have a lot of. We want them cheering us on. But it's those certain fans that are choosing to yell at the wrong times, or just saying stuff that's completely inappropriate.”

Thomas said it’s more than ill-timed shouts. It’s the nature of some things being said.

“It's one thing if it's just you and I talking, but when you're around kids, when you're around women, when you're around families, or just around people in general, some of the stuff they are saying to us is just extremely inappropriate,” he said. “There’s really no place for it anywhere, especially on a golf course.

“I feel like golf is pretty well known as a classy sport, not that other sports aren't, but it has that reputation.”

Thomas said the nature of the 17th hole at PGA National’s Champion Course makes it a more difficult tee shot than the raucous 16th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Typically, players like to hear fans get into the action before or after they hit shots. Ill-timed bluster, however, makes a shot like the one at Honda’s 17th even tougher.

“That hole is hard enough,” Thomas said. “I don't need someone yelling in my ear on my backswing that I'm going to hit it in the water, to make it any harder. I hope it gets better, just for the sake of the game. That's not helping anything. That's not helping grow the game.”

Those who follow golf know an ill-timed shout in a player’s backswing is different than anything a fan says at a football, basketball or baseball game. An ill-timed comment in a backswing has a greater effect on the outcome of a competition.

“Just in terms of how much money we're playing for, how many points we're playing for ... this is our jobs out here, and you hate to somehow see something that a fan does, or something that they yell, influence something that affects [a player’s] job,” Thomas said.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.


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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.