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Kontak Earns Big Break with Finale Rout

Big Break: MesquiteIn 2003, Brian Kontak wanted the opportunity to qualify for the United States Womens Open after Annika Sorenstam competed in a PGA TOUR event. It never happened. Now, after winning Big Break: Mesquite, he will be the one playing in a TOUR event.
Kontak defeated Josh Warthen in the 18-hole match-play Big Break: Mesquite finale to win the series and earn an exemption to play in the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic on the PGA TOUR. In addition, he gained an Adams Golf endorsement contract - which includes $10,000 cash ' and both $5,000 in cash and a $5,000 shopping spree from Dicks Sporting Goods. Finally, he won a new 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible to drive around.
Actually, what Kontak did was school the inexperienced Warthen. He won the match, 6 and 4, never trailed in the contest, and was 6-up at the turn.
The truth is that Kontak has the talent to play on any tour in golf. Besides his victory in Big Break: Mesquite, he tied for 17th in the 1999 Tucson Open on the PGA TOUR and placed fourth in the 1997 Nationwide Tour Permian Basin Charity Golf Classic. In addition, he won the 1999 Canadian Tour Order of Merit. In 2007 he was one of the top players on the Gateway Tour to continue in the success he has had on various mini-tours.
Not one to shy away from conflict, Kontak has an attitude and a sense of humor that has friends calling him Brian Conflict.
If saying what I think all the time makes me a trouble maker, then yeah I guess Im a troublemaker, said Kontak, who is a fanatic Ohio State football follower. Im not a fan of people who are one way to you and another way behind your back.
That attitude made him a focal point in the argument for gender equity in sports. According to Kontak, what started off as mostly a joke turned into a story that took on a life of its own.
I wasnt trying to impress anyone. My whole deal is equality. If were going to be equal, then lets all be equal, Kontak explains. It just got blown way out of proportion. A lot of people misconstrued it as I wanted to play on the LPGA Tour.
Seemingly, his biggest challenge of the series was making it to the set of Big Break: Mesquite. One month prior to the start of filming, Kontaks wife, Karen, gave birth to the couples second child. He says that being a father and husband ' he keeps a picture of his kids in his golf bag - is the most important thing in his life and considered not playing. In the end, however, he decided the opportunity was too good to pass and competed in the show with his wifes blessing.
Warthen was living by prayer early in the series and hoped to finish it off by fulfilling a dream. The least experienced player in the field survived by escaping elimination in the first episode and became a force as his confidence grew. It was quite a ride for someone who didnt turn professional until 2006.
Growing up in Pismo Beach, Calif., he played golf only a handful of times because the game was too slow for him. Warthens love was for the ocean and during high school he made a documentary on body boarding called Adolescence. In addition, he would spend winters in Hawaii making a living shooting videos of surfers and body boarders.
After the film, at 19, he started playing golf again and instantly fell in love with the game. His enthusiasm led to both a job at a golf course and purchasing a set of clubs.
He figured it out soon enough. After playing at Allen Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, Calif., where he was the 2003 Southern California Community College individual champion, he earned a scholarship to play at San Diego State. After redshirting in 2004, he played on the team the next two years with his best finish a tie for first in the 2005 Club Glove Intercollegiate Tournament.
Warthen has a bright career ahead of him, but after winning Big Break: Mesquite, Kontaks future is to play with the big boys on Tour.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Big Break: Mesquite