Meet the all-female cast of Big Break Florida

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 28, 2014, 1:34 pm

Golf Channel’s Big Breakreality competition series returns Monday, Feb. 24 featuring an all-female cast competing for more than $175,000 in cash and prizes – the largest collection of prizes in series history – and an opportunity to play on the LPGA.

The contestants are:

Lindsay Aho (26, Scottsdale, Ariz. / Brush Prairie, Wash.) – Entering her second year on the Cactus Tour, Aho turned professional in 2013 after an outstanding career at Concordia, where she was a two-time All-American with 13 collegiate victories. She won her first professional event in 2013, the Pepsi Northwest Women’s Open.

Courtney Coleman (28, Rochester, Wash.) – An underdog when it comes to professional golf experience, Coleman turned pro in 2012 and recently has returned to competitive golf after overcoming a thyroid condition. She will play the mini-tour circuit in 2014.

Kylee Duede (22, Glendale, Ariz.) – Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a baby, Duede is on a diminishing timetable for her golf career, knowing she will need to get a full knee replacement in the next few years. Duede competed on the Cactus Tour as an amateur in 2013 and turned professional to compete on Big Break Florida.


Big Break Florida: Photos, videos and show information


Fiamma Felitch (24, Oklahoma City, Okla.) –A decorated junior golfer from Oklahoma – the 2007 high school state champion and Player of the Year – Felitch will compete on the Cactus and Symetra tours in 2014 with a renewed sense of energy and passion to achieve her dream of competing on the LPGA.

Tonya McCall (28, Las Vegas, Nev.) – A proud mother of two, McCall is giving professional golf another go. A graduate of UNLV who had status on the Ladies European Tour in 2010 prior to putting her golf aspirations on hold, McCall will compete on the Cactus and Symetra tours in 2014.

Mary Narzisi (24, Omaha, Neb.) – One of the more outspoken competitors on the show, Narzisi has been competing full-time on the Symetra Tour the past two years after initially burning out on competitive golf after graduating from the University of Minnesota. She will compete on the Symetra Tour in 2014.

Kristi O’Brien (23, Fishers, Ind.) – O’Brien’s life changed forever when she was involved in a severe car accident in 2009. Miraculously, she walked away from the accident, and saw it as a sign that her golf clubs in the trunk also were unscratched. Given a second chance in life, golf helped O’Brien recover from the emotional and physical injuries. She went on to become the 2011 Indiana Player of the Year and turned professional upon college graduation. She is competing on the Symetra and Cactus tours in 2014.

Dallas Odom (19, Anderson, S.C.) – The youngest competitor in Big Break history at age 18 when the series was filmed in 2013, Odom turned professional to compete on the show. She has a homemade golf swing and is from a small town in South Carolina, both traits that are similar to past Big Break champion Tommy Gainey. She is a multiple winner in South Carolina Junior Golf Association championships, and is the nine-time defending champion at the Anderson County Championship.

Sadena Parks (23, Scottsdale, Ariz. / Spanaway, Wash.) – The first African-American golfer to compete at the University of Washington, Parks turned professional in 2013 and is competing in her second season on the Symetra Tour. She is one of the longest hitters on the series.

Renee Skidmore (27, Jupiter, Fla. / Everett, Wash.) – One of the veteran golfers on Big Break Florida, Skidmore turned professional in 2009 and has competed on the Suncoast, Cactus and Symetra tours the past four years. She will be competing full-time on the Symetra Tour in 2014.

Jackie Stoelting (27, Vero Beach, Fla.) – Stoelting made the cut in the final stage of LPGA Q-School this past December, earning conditional status on the LPGA for 2014 as a rookie.  That makes her the first Big Break contestant in series history to earn status on any major professional golf tour in between competing on the series and prior to that series airing. Stoelting also is the lone contestant on the series to have competed in a major championship – she qualified and made the cut in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open.

Lauren Sullivan (25, Fort Worth, Texas) – Sullivan’s journey is unique among the cast. After a successful junior golf career in Texas, she did not play golf in college. Following graduation in 2011 from TCU, her passion for the game returned and she is putting her medical career on hold to pursue her dream of playing on the LPGA.

Tom Abbott and Melanie Collins co-host Big Break Florida. Collins will make her Golf Channel debut. She currently serves as a television host for Yahoo! Sports.

The contestants have the opportunity to win more than $175,000 in cash and prizes during the course of the series, the largest collection of prizes in series history. The winner of will receive more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, including:

• An exemption to the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic (June 5-8, 2014).

• A cash award of $65,000, including $5,000 courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods and $10,000 courtesy of Macanudo.

• Full, exempt status to the 2015 Symetra Tour season with all entry fees paid.

• An endorsement contract from Adams Golf, including $10,000 in cash.

• $10,000 in car rental credit courtesy of Avis Car Rental.

• $10,000 in travel credit courtesy of Travelocity.

• A four-day, three-night stay at any Omni golf resort in the United States.

The show was filmed on location in October, 2013 at Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s three award-winning golf courses – Oak Marsh, Ocean Links and Long Point Golf Courses.

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.