ORLANDO, Fla. – Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series returns May 14 with an all-female cast looking to take the next step in their golf careers. “Big Break Atlantis,” the series’ 17th season, will premier May 14 at 9 p.m. ET.
Shot on location at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, the show will showcase afield of 12 women at different stages of their golf careers – several are playing on the Symetra Tour, while others turned professional for the series. In addition to other prizes, the winner will receive an exemption into an LPGA event this year.
The contestants are:
Anya Alvarez (22, Pittsburgh): A fiery competitor on the course, Alvarez has overcome enormous odds off the course. A rookie on the Symetra Tour in 2012, Alvarez qualified and made the cut in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open in her first attempt.
Shannon Fish (23, Spring, Texas): Fish turned professional in 2011 following graduation from the University of Texas, posting four top-4 finishes on the Cactus Tour in her rookie year. She was introduced to the game as a child by her mother and one of the game’s all time greats – Jackie Burke.
Natalia Ghilzon (21, Windsor, Ontario): Ghilzon will look to follow in the same footsteps as fellow Windsor native David Byrne, who won the series’ 15th season. After overcoming wrist injuries, Ghilzon enters 2012 healthy and with a new found confidence.
Meghan Hardin (19, Lake Arrowhead, Calif.): The youngest female competitor in the history of “Big Break” at age 19, Hardin turned professional just prior to filming the series, foregoing her final two years of college golf. A part-time model, Hardin will begin her pro golf career in 2012, competing in Cactus Tour and mini-tour events.
Selanee Henderson (25, Temecula, Calif.): Henderson is looking to capitalize on her success on the 2011 Cactus Tour (one win and one runner-up finish). A natural athlete, she is the younger sister of former Olympic wrestler and current MMA fighter Dan Henderson.
Marcela Leon (31, Orlando, Fla. / Monterrey, Mexico): Leon has competed on the Symetra Tour for the past nine years, with five career top-10 finishes and one runner-upfinish. She is competing a full-schedule on the 2012 Symetra Tour.
Aubrey McCormick (29, Arlington, Va.): McCormick hung up the golf clubs in 2011 after struggling on the Symetra Tour and other mini-tour circuits. After working in an office environment, McCormick rediscovered her passion for the game and is beginning 2012 with a fresh outlook.
Allison Micheletti (24, Scottsdale, Ariz.): Daughter of former professional hockey player and current New York Rangers television analyst Joe Micheletti, Allison is a late bloomer to golf, switching to the game at age 17 following a kneeinjury that sidelined her basketball career. Currently dating Martin Kaymer, Micheletti will compete on the Cactus Tour and select Symetra Tour events in 2012.
Zakiya Randall (20, Atlanta): Golfer, model and music producer, Randall turned professional just prior to filming, and is determined to make a name for herself. Nicknamed “Z,” Randall will look to make a statement on the series with her game and her fashion.
Gloriana Soto (25, Windermere, Fla. / San Jose, Costa Rica): The first female pro golfer from Costa Rica to compete in the United States, Soto turned pro immediately following graduation from Texas Tech in 2010, and is scheduled to play a full schedule on the Symetra Tour in 2012.
Christina Stockton (24, Rocklin, Calif.): Daughter of LPGA teaching professional Becky Herbert Stockton, golf was introduced to Christina at a young age. A four-time all conference player at the University of San Francisco and a part-time model, she turned professional in 2011.
Kelly Villarreal (29, Birmingham, Ala.): Villarreal is anticipating “Big Break Atlantis” to be her comeback story. She is giving professional golf another go after giving up on her dreams to compete on the LPGA for a medical sales career five years ago.
Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott and Stephanie Sparks return as co-hosts for the series. Produced in January at the Bahamas resort, the 11-part series will unfold on the Tom Weiskopf designed 18-hole Ocean Club Golf Course’s Championship Course.