BIG WEEKEND FOR BIG BREAK ALUMNI
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 22, 2011 – It was a big weekend on golf’s biggest tours for several Big Break alumni who starred on Golf Channel’s long-running reality competition series, which will begin its 16th season with Big Break Ireland on Sept. 20.
South Carolina native Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, a contestant on Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe and winner of Big Break VII: Reunion, led or shared the lead at the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship for the first two rounds before ultimately finishing in third place, earning $353,600 and placing him 30th out of 125 players on the FedExCup points list heading into the PGA TOUR Playoffs this week. The Barclays kicks off Thursday on Golf Channel.
Australian James Nitties, who competed on the series’ eighth season, Big Break Mesquite, pulled away from the competition with a final-round score of 65 to win the Nationwide Tour’s Midwest Classic, securing his first Nationwide Tour victory. Nitties, who spent the last two years competing on the PGA TOUR, jumped from No. 53 to No. 12 on the money list. The Top 25 at the end of the season earn playing privileges on the PGA TOUR the following season.
The LPGA Tour’s Safeway Classic presented by Coca-Cola was the final tournament on the LPGA schedule for U.S. born players to earn points to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup team. But Ryann O’Toole, an alumnus from Big Break Sandals Resorts in 2010, was only focused on winning her first LPGA Tour event. Although she came close – tying for fifth place with Vicky Hurst – she had no idea that she would get a surprise call from U.S. team captain Rosie Jones, who would name O’Toole and Hurst as her two captain’s picks for this year’s team that will compete against a team from Europe beginning Sept. 23 on Golf Channel.
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