Big Break II Raises the Stakes


Big Break II LogoORLANDO, Fla. -- The stakes for a chance to play big-time professional golf just got higher.
The Golf Channels hit reality show ' The Big Break ' is back and heading for the bright lights and hot golf of Las Vegas for a new 11-week season beginning Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. ET.

The Big Break II will pit 10 highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that will test their physical skills and mental toughness. One golfer will be eliminated from the series each week, with the last man standing awarded his Big Break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in four internationally televised Nationwide Tour events on The Golf Channel in 2005.
The winner will also receive a 2005 Ford Five Hundred luxury sedan and $10,000 cash from Nationwide.
The Big Break IIReturning as co-host for the series will be Rick Smith, famed golf instructor for 2004 Masters Champion Phil Mickelson. Joining Smith as new co-host will be Lesley Swanson, who will set the stage for each episode and guide the contestants through the various challenges.
The Big Break II was shot on location in Las Vegas at four different golf courses, with each course offering different playing conditions to challenge the contestants, who also had to contend with the summer heat, which consistently topped 100 degrees. During the series production, the contestants were housed together on the penthouse level of the Treasure Island hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip.
The different locales and the skill level exhibited by the contestants will provide some great drama for sure ' not to mention the heat and everything that happens off the course, said Jay Kossoff lead producer for The Big Break II.
The contestants competing on The Big Break II were chosen from more than 5,000 applicants who were evaluated and auditioned by Golf Channel producers at sites across the United States and Canada.
To be considered, golfers had to verify a handicap of 1 or better and demonstrate their shot-making skills on command.
The contestants include: Shelby Chrest, 28, a bowling alley owner from Olds, Alberta, a small Canadian town near Calgary; Sean Daly, 23, a student and former professional baseball player from San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Don Donatello, 35, a professional golfer and caddy from Lake Mary (Orlando), Fla.; Mike Foster Jr., 36, a marketing representative from Savannah, Ga.; David Gunas Jr., 37, a sales manager and teacher from Hebron, Conn.; Calvin Kip Henley III, 44, a teaching pro from Crossville, Tenn.; Bart Lower, 28, a driving range owner from Ann Arbor, Mich.; John Turk, 52, a retired Air Force fighter pilot from Melbourne, Fla.; and Scott Yancy III, 23, a golf pro from Glen Carbon, Ill. The 10th contestant is Jay McNair, 29, a grade-school teacher from Brandon, Fla., who was voted on The Big Break II by Golf Channel viewers during a Viewers Choice show that aired in June.
Like the first series, The Big Break II will feature challenges that demand precise shot-making designed to simulate shots that players face every week on tour. But the new series will add a third challenge to each episode, with all three challenges playing a role in determining the outcome of the show.
The Skills Challenges are true tests of the players shot control, and the winners of these challenges are awarded a one-show exemption from elimination.
The Mulligan Challenges will bring out the more creative side of golf and will showcase fun Las Vegas themes. If you win the Mulligan, you are awarded an extra shot during the elimination round, which can be used at the players discretion or not at all.
And during the Elimination Challenge, which is another pressure-filled test of golf skill, the poorest performer is sent packing for home.
So mark your calendars for Sept. 28th, as the 10 lucky golfers head out to Las Vegas to begin the quest for their own Big Break - four Nationwide Tour exemptions and international exposure on The Golf Channel.
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