Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Field of 40 Announced for Golf Channel's Inaugural Big Break Invitational Tournament at Reynolds Plantation

PGA TOUR Winner Tommy Gainey, Solheim Cup Veterans Kristy McPherson, Gerina Piller and Ryann O’Toole and NFL Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice Headline Field

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Golf Channel today announced the field of 40 former Big Break competitors who will go head-to-head in full tournament conditions for the first time this fall at the inaugural Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation, a four-day invitational tournament airing live Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct. 3 from 3-6 p.m. ET.

Taking place at the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation near Greensboro, Ga., the field of 40 (20 men and 20 women) represent 20 seasons of Big Break, including several of the series’ most memorable competitors who are playing on the world’s top professional tours.

The four-round tournament will feature a Modified Stableford format for the first two rounds, followed by match play and concluding with stroke play to determine the Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation champion.  Fifteen Big Break champions are entered in the field for Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation.

The field includes:
Robbie Biershenk
David Byrne
Brian Cooper
Don Donatello
Kent Eger
Tony Finau
Tommy Gainey
Derek Gillespie
Kip Henley
Hugo Leon
Brent Long
Mark Murphy
James Nitties
Justin Peters
Jerry Rice
Anthony Rodriguez    
Isaac Sanchez
Mark Silvers
Julien Trudeau
Jay Woodson

Anya Alvarez
Mallory Blackwelder
Sara Brown
Taylor Collins
Selanee Henderson
Stefanie Kenoyer
Tonya McCall
Kristy McPherson
Mary Narzisi
Carling Nolan
Blair O’Neal
Ryann O’Toole
Gerina Piller
Elena Robles
Sadena Parks
Renee Skidmore
Jackie Stoelting
Emily Talley
Maiya Tanaka
Kim Welch

The field entered into Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation represent several of the most successful players coming out of Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series.

On the men’s side:
Tommy Gainey (Big Break VII: Reunion Champion) was the first Big Break competitor to earn full PGA TOUR status after Big Break, and won the PGA TOUR’s McGladrey Classic in 2012.

Tony Finau (Big Break Disney Golf) will earn his PGA TOUR card for 2015 after capturing his first professional victory this year on the Web.com Tour.

James Nitties (Big Break Mesquite) currently playing full time on the Web.com Tour, is a past Web.com Tour winner and earned PGA TOUR status in 2012.

Jay Woodson (Big Break Mexico) has several top-5 finishes and one win on the 2014 NGA Tour.

Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice, who along with fellow Big Break teammates Isaac Sanchez and Emily Talley won Big Break NFL Puerto Rico in 2013, also is entered in the field.

On the women’s side:
Kristy McPherson (Big Break VI: Trump National), Ryann O’Toole (Big Break Sandals Resorts) and Gerina Piller (Big Break Prince Edward Island) are all currently playing full time on the LPGA Tour and are past U.S. Solheim Cup Team members – 2009, 2011 and 2013, respectively.

Sadena Parks (Big Break Florida) is well on her way to earning full LPGA status in 2015 after winning two Symetra Tour events in three weeks in July in only her second season as a professional.

Mallory Blackwelder (Big Break Ireland; Big Break NFL Puerto Rico) won her first professional tournament on the Symetra Tour this year in April and is currently in the top-10 on the Symetra Tour Money List.

Jackie Stoelting (Big Break Florida champion) has five top-10 finishes on the Symetra Tour this year and is inside the top-10 on the 2014 Symetra Tour Money List.

Tonya McCall (Big Break Florida) won her first professional event on the Cactus Tour in April in her first full-year back as a professional golfer.

Fifteen past Big Break champions are entered in Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation, including Justin Peters and Kip Henley, the series’ first two champions, in 2003 and 2004.  Peters currently is playing full time on the mini tour circuit and PGA TOUR Canada, while Henley is a full-time caddie on the PGA TOUR.

Beginning a new multi-year relationship between Golf Channel and Reynolds Plantation, Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation will take place at the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation, the famed golf resort community in Greensboro, Ga., and will feature a $300,000 overall purse, with $100,000 going to the champion.  The Ritz Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation will serve as host resort and tournament headquarters.

Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation will air live on Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct. 3.  The first two rounds will feature a Modified Stableford format (players earning points for birdie and higher and negative points for bogey and lower), with the 12 men and 12 women earning the most points after the first two rounds making the cut.  Thursday’s third round will feature match play (six men vs. six men / six women vs. six women), with 12 match-play winners advancing to Friday’s final round of 18-holes of stroke play.

For the past 21 seasons, Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series has proven to be the launching pad of many aspiring professional golfers looking to take that next step in their golf careers. The Big Break concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness.  During the series’ 21 seasons, 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.

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