Big Break Alumna Sara Brown Earns Full-Time Status on LPGA Tour

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 14, 2011, 6:40 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2010)Big Break Sandals Resorts and Big Break Dominican Republic competitor Sara Brown will play full time on theLeaderboards: Pga | Lpga | Champions Tour4 finish Sunday at the final stage of LPGA Tour Q-School.

Brown, 25, finished “on the number” at 2-over-par to earn her LPGA Tour card at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. 

“I was trying to stay in it and take it one shot at a time,” said Brown.  “But, to be honest, on hole 17, I told my caddy I was either going to puke or cry.  Neither one would have been good.  I was nervous to say the least.”

On Monday, she and her boyfriend Derek Radley – who also is her swing coach – are traveling to Spain for the final stage of the Ladies European Tour Q-School this week.  Her goal is to achieve full-time status on both the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour for 2011.

Competing on the LPGA Tour will be a far cry from one year ago, when Brown nearly quit the game that she has been playing competitively since age eight.  She hung up her golf clubs after enduring a “sophomore slump” on the LPGA Futures Tour, and reconsidered golf as a career during the off-season.

“I didn’t touch my clubs, not once,” explained Brown back in January during filming of Big Break Sandals Resorts.  “Those two months allowed me to clear my head and re-address my goals not only professionally, but also personally.”

It wasn’t until after the filming of Big Break Sandals Resorts (she finished third) that her passion and love for the game returned, and erased any doubts she had about golf as a career.  She returned as a contestant on Big Break Dominican Republic in June that recently concluded its on-air run on Golf Channel.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience than what I went through on Big Break in the Bahamas,” said Brown during filming of Big Break Dominican Republic.  “I fell back in love with the game.  It erased any doubts in my mind that this is what I want to do with my life.”

In January, Brown told Golf Channel that she had a goal of being on the LPGA Tour in five years.  On Sunday, she achieved her goal four years ahead of schedule.

Joining Brown on the LPGA Tour in 2011 will be Big Break Prince Edward Island contestant Gerina Mendoza and Big Break Sandals Resorts contestant Ryann O’Toole.  Mendoza had a career year on the 2010 LPGA Futures Tour, making 15 of 17 cuts that included six top-10 finishes and a career-best runner-up finish at the ING New England Golf Classic.  She earned full-time status on the LPGA Tour in 2011 by finishing fifth on the LPGA Futures Tour Money List.  O’Toole earned partial status on the LPGA Tour by finishing seventh on the 2010 LPGA Futures Tour Money List, highlighted by her first two victories as a professional.  The three will join Kristy McPherson (Big Break VI: Trump National) – a member of the victorious 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team – as the four Big Break alums with 2011 LPGA Tour membership.

Carling Coffing (Big Break Sandals Resorts Champion) became the first Big Break winner in the series’ 14-season history on Sunday to earn a paycheck in all tournament sponsor exemptions granted as a result of the victory.  Coffing finished T-22 the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour on Sunday and finished 30th in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex and Corona Light in November (no cut event).  She also earned a sponsor exemption to compette in the CVS.pharmacy LPGA Challenge in October via the tournament after her Big Break victory, finishing T-53 in her first LPGA Tour event.   

Golf Channel’s Big Break show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness.  Past Big Break champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, such as the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour.  Several past Big Break competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Tommy Gainey, James Nitties, Matt Every and McPherson.

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.