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-