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Golf Channel's Big Break Series Chooses Sunshine State As Backdrop For 21st Season

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Golf Channel’s popular BIG BREAK reality competition series has picked Amelia Island, Fla., as the competition grounds for its 21st season, premiering Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. 

BIG BREAK FLORIDA, produced in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA and taking place at Omni Amelia Island Plantation, will feature a cast of 12 women competing to make their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers come true.  The winner of BIG BREAK FLORIDA will receive an exemption to the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic (June 5-8, 2014), exempt status on the 2015 Symetra Tour with all entry fees waived, cash and other prizes. 

Filmed on location in October, the series will unfold at Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s three award-winning golf courses – Oak Marsh, Ocean Links and Long Point Golf Courses.  Oak Marsh Golf Course, a classic Pete Dye design, is ranked as one of the top 75 resort courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest and as one of “Florida’s 50 Finest Courses” by Travel & Leisure.  Ocean Links Golf Course, a Bobby Weed design, features five oceanfront holes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and winds through six miles of natural sand dunes and seaside terrain that is unique to Amelia Island.  Long Point Golf Course is a Tom Fazio design that features rolling fairways winding through three distinctive settings: marshlands, thick oak and pine forest, and scenic oceanfront dunes. 

“BIG BREAK is a cornerstone of our original series franchises, and it has proven to be a launching pad for many professional golfers hoping to break through to the LPGA Tour, including Solheim Cup veterans Kristy McPherson, Ryann O’Toole and Gerina Piller,” said Golf Channel Senior Vice President of Programming Tom Knapp.  “One of our objectives for BIG BREAK is to place the contestants in tournament golf conditions while showcasing a picturesque destination, and we accomplished both with BIG BREAK FLORIDA.  We are excited to partner with VISIT FLORIDA and Omni Amelia Island Plantation for the series’ 21st season.” 

“Golf Channel's selection of Omni Amelia Island Plantation as home to BIG BREAK FLORIDA validates our exceptional golf offerings and provides us with an incredibly unique opportunity to showcase the resort as a premier golf destination,” said Paul Eckert, general manager of Omni Amelia Island Plantation. “We are very excited and honored to represent the Omni brand, as well as the great state of Florida.”

“Big Break Florida is the start of a relationship between VISIT FLORIDA, NBC Sports and the Golf Channel that will showcase Florida as a preferred destination for leisure travel,” said Paul Phipps, VISIT FLORIDA’s Chief Marketing Officer.  “With nearly 1,500 courses to choose from in the Sunshine State, we look forward to this unique opportunity to reach Big Break’s audience of avid golf enthusiasts.”

Golf Channel’s BIG BREAK show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness.  During BIG BREAK FLORIDA, the competitors – who will be announced in January – will be subject to skills challenges from tee-to-green, including two of the series’ signature challenges, the popular “Glass Break” and “Flop Wall” challenges.  One contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded her BIG BREAK, an opportunity to compete on the LPGA Tour.

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, Web.com Tour and Canadian Tour.

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.  2013 Solheim Cup team member Gerina Piller (BIG BREAK PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND competitor), 2011 Solheim Cup team member Ryann O’Toole (BIG BREAK SANDALS RESORTS competitor) and 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson (BIG BREAK VI: TRUMP NATIONAL competitor) are currently playing full-time on the LPGA Tour.  Several other past BIG BREAK competitors are currently competing on the LPGA Tour, including Kim Welch, Nicole Smith and Kelly Jacques.