bContestants Named for Next Ladies-Only Big Break Series on The Golf Channelb
The world-renowned surf and tropical beauty of Oahus North Shore will provide the setting for The Big Break V: Hawaii, premiering Feb. 7, where 11 ladies will vie for a chance to revitalize their golfing careers and be awarded the opportunity to play big-time professional golf against the worlds best on the LPGA Tour.
A new twist with The Big Breaks second ladies-only series will be that ' in the first episode ' 11 golfers arriving in Hawaii will find out that they all have to play their way onto the show, as one will be sent home before having a chance to unpack her bags.
The candidates will include:
Jeanne Cho, 23, Orlando, Fla.
Although of South Korean heritage, Cho was born and raised in France and speaks four languages. She emigrated to the United States at age 13 to pursue golf and is a product of the David Leadbetter Golf Academies and the University of Florida golf program, where she graduated, cum laude, with a 4.0 grade point average in Quantitative Sciences. Currently competing on the FUTURES Tour, Cho will be among the 144 hopefuls who will be competing at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament beginning Nov. 30.
Nicolle DiSanto, 27 Los Angeles, Calif.
A qualifier in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship at 295 yards, DiSanto claims to hit her 7-wood ' and even her 3-iron ' longer than most women hit their drivers. A fairly late-bloomer in competitive golf, she played college golf for the last two years and was captain of her golf team at the College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif. Currently, she teaches kids and models part time when not playing golf, herself.
Divina Delasin, 24, San Francisco, Calif.
Having delayed her dreams of playing professional golf to help support family finances and the fledgling career of her sister, Dorothy (who currently plays on the LPGA Tour), Delasin dropped out of high school and, at one time, held three jobs. This self-professed work-aholic eventually returned to school and college golf to chase her dream, but several failed attempts at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament had her back in the work force again. Currently, she is in the PGA program and works as an assistant golf professional and as a coach for the First Tee of San Francisco.
Jo D. Duncan, 39, St. Louis, Mo.
The oldest of The Big Break V contestants, Duncan nurtured her golf talents ' not at the local country club, but at the local 9-hole course where people played in cut-off jeans and tank tops. She earned a four-year scholarship to play golf for Missouri State University (then called Southwest Missouri State University) and has competed on the FUTURES Tour and in several LPGA Tour events. Currently, Duncan is a teaching professional and is a member of the Long Drivers of America, having competed for three years in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships.
Julie Wells, 25, Portland, Ore.
As a high school golfer in Eugene, Ore., Wells earned recognition as both the states Athlete of the Year and Golfer of the Year. She left Oregon to play college golf for the University of Idaho, where ' during her junior season ' her team won the Big West Conference title and she was named Player of the Year. Wells turned pro a month before graduation to prepare for the FUTURES Tour and twice entered the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, without success. Currently, she works at the Oregon Golf Club, where she also practices tirelessly on her game.
Dana Lacey, 23, North Beach, Australia
After attaining success in her native country as an amateur ' having won the Australia Junior Championships, two victories on the Australian Tour, and being named to both the Australian Spirit Cup team and the Queen Sirikit Cup ' Lacey decided to head to the United States, turn professional and further test her skills on the FUTURES Tour. In 2005 ' her second year on tour ' she finished 23rd on the money list and has set a goal to finish in the top-5 in 2006.
Kim Lewellen, 34, Wake Forest, N.C.
Having grown up in Raleigh, N.C., Lewellen is a Carolina girl at heart, but has experienced an entire world of golf. A mother of two and the wife of an Episcopal minister, she played golf for the University of North Carolina (where she was a Division I First Team All-American), competed on the Ladies European Tour and the FUTURES Tour, coached the mens and womens golf teams at The Citadel, and served as a club teaching professional.
Becky Lucidi, 25, Poway, Calif.
Having just completed her first year on the FUTURES Tour, Lucidis golfing credentials include some heavy hardware, including the 2002 U.S. Womens Amateur Championship title and the 2003 NCAA national championship while at the University of Southern California. She also won the Mexican Amateur five months removed from winning the U.S. title.
Ashley Prange, 24, Noblesville, Ind.
In her first year on the FUTURES Tour in 2005, Prange finished 46th on the money list and made 15 of 18 cuts, with two top 10s. Coming from a golfing family ' her father and three of her uncles are teaching professionals ' Prange was a semi-finalist at the 2003 Womens Western Amateur Championship. She played golf for the University of North Carolina, where she was named First Team All-American during her senior year. She will be among the 144 hopefuls who will be competing at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament beginning Nov. 30.
Kristina Tucker, 25, Stockholm, Sweden
Tucker came to the United States in 1999 to attend Duke University and further her career in golf. Having played against the best Swedish amateurs ' winning the Swedish Girls Championship in consecutive years ' and earning a place on the Swedish National Team (2001 European Champions), she was eager to test herself against the best in the U.S. and pursue any opportunities that might lead the way to the LPGA Tour. She won three collegiate tournaments while attending Duke and, after graduation, returned to the Telia Tour in Sweden, where her play over the years included one victory and three, top-5 finishes. 2005 is her second year on the FUTURES Tour, and she has advanced to compete at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament beginning Nov. 30. She now resides in Pageland, S.C.
Katie Ruhe, 24, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
A native of Montpelier, Ohio, Ruhe was an AJGA All-American, as well as an AJGA Compac Scholastic All-American selection in 1999. She was a two-time Conference USA 2nd Team selection while playing golf at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she currently resides and works part time at the TPC of Tampa Bay. She joined the FUTURES Tour in 2004 and improved her scoring average by four strokes in 2005.
The candidates were selected from more than 4,000 hopeful golfers who applied via the networks Web site, www.thegolfchannel.com. Auditions for those that met qualifications were held across the country where the ladies not only had to impress the producers with their character and personality, but had to demonstrate their golf skills, on command, in front of Golf Channel cameras.
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 golfer is eliminated from the series each week, with the last golfer standing awarded his/her Big Break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in select professional tour events with some of the best golfers in the world.
Reprising its partnership role for the ladies version will be Anheuser-Busch Inc. and its Michelob ULTRA brand. Other major partners include Bridgestone Golf, Golfsmith, 7-Eleven and Chrysler Corp.
The first Big Break series featuring ladies only, The Big Break III: Ladies Only, was hugely popular for The Golf Channel and became a major hit. The Big Break III winner, Danielle Amiee, garnered national attention during the two LPGA Tour stops to which she earned exemptions by winning the show.
The two championship golf courses of Turtle Bay Resort will serve as the arena for The Big Break V: Hawaii challenges. The Arnold Palmer Course, designed by golfs living legend and co-founder of The Golf Channel, is the site of the Champions Tours Turtle Bay Championship, while the George Fazio course has hosted the LPGA Tours SBS Open at Turtle Bay. The Fazio course also was the site of the first Senior Skins game, which featured Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Sam Sneed and Gary Player.
For more information, contact The Golf Channel Public Relations Department, 407/345-4653
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.
Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.
The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:
The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.
For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.
But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.
Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":
Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.
Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.
The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.
“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.
In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.
“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”
Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.
“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.
Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.
There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.
Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.
“I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.
In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.
“It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.
“That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”