Big Break Atlantis Prizes Announced

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 7, 2012, 5:49 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., (May 7, 2012) – The champion of Golf Channel’s Big Break Atlantis  reality competition will have the opportunity to put her golf career on the fast track with an invitation to compete in the 2012 LPGA Kingsmill Championship (Sept. 6-9) on the LPGA Tour and $50,000 in cash – one of the biggest prizes in the series’ 17-season history. Big Break Atlantis, featuring an all-female cast of 12 professional golfers attempting to take that next step in their golf careers, will premiere May 14 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

In addition to the tournament exemption and cash, the winner also will receive an endorsement contract from Adams Golf, which includes an additional $10,000 in cash; a $10,000 shopping spree from Dick’s Sporting Goods; a $10,000 car rental credit courtesy of Avis Car Rental, full exempt status and all entry fees waived for a full Symetra Tour season and an all-expense paid return trip for two to Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Big Break Atlantis will showcase a cast of 12 women at different stages of their golf careers.  Several are currently playing on the Symetra Tour (LPGA developmental tour), while others either turned professional for the series or are giving professional golf a second try.  The series also will feature special guest appearances from Women’s World No. 1 Yani Tseng and LPGA Tour professional Gerina Piller, a former Big Break competitor from the series’ 11th season taped on Prince Edward Island.  Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott and Stephanie Sparks return as co-hosts for the series.

The competitors on Big Break Atlantis are:
Anya Alvarez, 22, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Shannon Fish, 23, Spring, Texas
Natalia Ghilzon, 21, Windsor, Ontario
Meghan Hardin, 19, Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
Selanee Henderson, 25, Temecula, Calif.
Marcela Leon, 31, Orlando, Fla. / Monterrey, Mexico
Aubrey McCormick, 29, Arlington, Va.
Allison Micheletti, 24, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Zakiya Randall, 20, Atlanta, Ga.
Gloriana Soto, 25, Windermere, Fla. / San Jose, Costa Rica
Christina Stockton, 24, Rocklin, Calif.
Kelly Villarreal, 29, Birmingham, Ala.

Shot in January at the Bahamas resort, the 11-part series will unfold on the Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club Golf Course, a picturesque par-72 championship layout featuring breathtaking signature holes, and seaside greens and tees stretched over 7,100 yards of coastline.

The Big Break show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness.  One contestant will be eliminated each week during Big Break Atlantis, with the last player standing awarded her Big Break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in an LPGA Tour event.

Past Big Break champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, including the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour.  Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, Big Break VII: Reunion champion and PGA TOUR professional, caught the world’s attention in 2011 with three top-five finishes, and Ryann O’Toole, competitor on Big Break Sandals Resorts in 2010 competed on the U.S. Solheim Cup Team as a Captain’s Pick during her rookie year in 2011.

Several other past Big Break competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Matt Every (PGA TOUR), James Nitties (Nationwide Tour), Kim Welch and Sara Brown (Ladies European Tour); and Piller, 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member O’Toole and 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson (LPGA Tour).

About Golf Channel
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla.  The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer and part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies.  Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original programming.  Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by www.GolfChannel.com, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.

About Atlantis, Paradise Island resort, The Bahamas
Atlantis, Paradise Island is the flagship resort of Kerzner International, a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels.  This unique, ocean-themed destination is located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas, and features a variety of accommodations, all built around a 141-acre waterscape comprised of over 20 million gallons of fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools and habitats.  Home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, there are over 50,000 marine animals in lagoons and displays, including The Dig, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis.  Atlantis is home to Aquaventure, a non-stop water experience consisting of thrilling water slides, a mile-long river ride with high intensity rapids and wave surges, and never-before-seen special effects.  Dolphin Cay, the resort’s interaction and education center, was created with the goal of enlightening visitors about the wonders of these remarkable ocean inhabitants.  The Cove Atlantis, a 600-room resort, features oversized rooms with a step down living space, spectacular designs by acclaimed interior architects Jeffrey Beers and David Rockwell, unprecedented services and amenities, private all-adult and family pools, lavish cabanas and breathtaking views of the ocean.  Atlantis is also known as THE culinary destination in The Caribbean with a collection of restaurants from world-renowned chefs including Nobu Matsuhisa, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Bobby Flay.  The resort boasts an impressive collection of luxury boutiques and shops, and the largest casino, conference center, meeting and convention facilities in The Caribbean.

-NBC Sports Group-

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


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''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.