Former LPGA World NO.1 Lorena Ochoa To make Big Break Debut Monday On Golf Channel

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 2, 2013, 3:57 pm

The seven remaining competitors on Golf Channel’s Big Break Mexico reality competition series are in store for not one, but two surprises on Monday’s new episode at 9 p.m. ET, when they are joined by the eliminated competitors and a surprise guest appearance from former LPGA World No. 1, Lorena Ochoa.

Ochoa, who is offering an exemption to the Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex and Jalisco should a female win Big Break Mexico, joins the cast for the episode’s second challenge and will compete alongside the players.  Following the challenge, Ochoa also was given the opportunity to participate in Big Break’s signature challenge for the first time – The Glass Break – where she shattered the glass on her first attempt.

“I love having Big Break in my home country of Mexico and am proud to offer an exemption to the Lorena Ochoa Invitational,” said Ochoa.  “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.  It was great to meet all of the players and see how excited they are to be on Big Break.  I’m looking forward to see how I fared in front of all of the cameras.”

The seven Big Break Mexico competitors still alive on the series include:

Taylor Collins (23, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) – One of the younger competitors on Big Break Mexico, Collins is currently 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 and the game’s best players.

Stefanie Kenoyer (24, Lighthouse Point, Fla.) – The lone contestant on Big Break Mexico to have competed in a major championship – 2009 U.S. Women’s Open – Kenoyer is playing full time on the Symetra Tour with a refreshed sense of confidence and passion following a disappointing 2012.  Sara Lynn Sargent – her former college coach and competitor on Big Break VI: Trump National – encouraged Kenoyer to apply for Big Break.  Kenoyer will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Sargent, who earned her LPGA Tour 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 Big Break Mexico.  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.  She enters Big Break Mexico finally healthy and with a refreshed outlook on the game.

Brent Long (26, Dallas, Texas / Carthage, Tenn.) – One of the more accomplished and talented players on Big Break Mexico, 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.  One of the longer hitters on the series, Long is competing full time on the NGA Tour and select Web.com Tour events in 2013.  His source of inspiration on and off the golf course is PGA TOUR Pro Kenny Perry, a family friend. UPDATE: Long currently is caddying on the PGA TOUR for Scott Stallings, who recorded three top-five finishes in his last three PGA TOUR events and finished T53 at the U.S. Open.

Chad Schulze (34, Cockeysville, Md. / Lebanon, Pa.) – A career that has featured a number of false starts on and off the course, 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 – like all of his fellow competitors – needs that extra push to make it to golf’s highest stage.

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 with a renewed sense of passion and confidence.

Big Break Mexico, produced in partnership with the Mexico Tourism Board, features a cast of six men and six women competing in a mixed team format in an attempt to make their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers come true.  This season’s Big Break champion will receive an exemption to compete either on the LPGA Tour at the 2013 Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex and Jalisco or on the PGA TOUR at the 2013 OHL Classic at Mayakoba (both Nov. 14-17).  The season finale of Big Break Mexico will air July 29 at 9 p.m. ET.

The series unfolds at the luxurious, all-inclusive IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso and the accompanying Playa Paraiso Golf Club in Riviera Maya, Mexico.  The P.B. Dye designed 18-hole championship course – IBEROSTAR Playa Paraiso Golf Club – is a par-72 layout featuring breathtaking signature holes and distinctive rock work that are signatures of a typical P.B Dye design.  Carved out of the ancient Mayan jungle, the IBEROSTAR Playa Paraiso Golf Club features narrow fairways, deep bunkers and extreme vertical movement, along with untraditional hazards such as a rock riverbed that make the course distinctively unique to the area.

Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, Big Break VII: Reunion champion and PGA TOUR professional, captured his first PGA TOUR victory in 2012 at The McGladrey Classic and is playing full-time on the PGA TOUR.  Several other past Big Break competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Matt Every (PGA TOUR), James Nitties and Mark Silvers (Web.com Tour) and Kim Welch, Nicole Smith, Gerina Piller, Kelly Jacques, 2011 Solheim Cup team member Ryann O’Toole and 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson (LPGA Tour).

Become a fan of Big Break on Facebook at: facebook.com/GolfChannel.BigBreak
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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.


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“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.