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.

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Watch: Tiger's Saturday birdies at Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 8:07 pm

Tiger Woods looks in complete control of his iron play at PGA National.

Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first Saturday birdie with via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

Woods' hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

One hole later, Woods would added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

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O. Fisher, Pepperell share lead at Qatar Masters

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

David Horsey (65) was the biggest mover of the day with the Englishman improving 31 places for a share of fourth place at 12 under with, among others, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Andrea Pavan.

Fisher, winner of the 2011 Czech Open, made some stunning putts on his way in. After an eight-footer on the par-4 15th, he then drove the green on the short par-4 16th for an easy birdie, before making a 12-footer on the 17th and a 15-footer on the 18th.

Like Pepperell, Fisher also had just one bogey to show on his card, also on the 12th hole.


Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


''I gave myself some chances coming in and thankfully I made them,'' said Fisher, who has dropped to 369th in the world rankings.

''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

Pepperell, ranked 154th in the world after a strong finish to his 2017 season, has been a picture of consistency in the tournament. He was once again rock-solid throughout the day, except one bad hole - the par-4 12th. His approach shot came up short and landed in the rocks, the third ricocheted back off the rocks, and he duffed his fourth shot to stay in the waste area.

But just when a double bogey or worse looked imminent, Pepperell holed his fifth shot for what was a remarkable bogey. And he celebrated that escape with a 40-feet birdie putt on the 13th.

''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

The long-hitting Crocker is playing on invites on the European Tour. He made a third eagle in three days - on the par-4 16th for the second successive round.

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 24, 2018, 4:45 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.


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Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

“It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

“Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

“There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

“It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”