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.”

South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

The fourball results:

LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.

 

Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

Made Cut

The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

“I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

“You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

“The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

“I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

“Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


Missed Cut

Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.


Here are some other social media posts that have surfaced:


Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''