The cast for Golf Channel’s 22nd season of its popular Big Break reality competition series – Big Break Myrtle Beach – was revealed today, featuring six men and six women hoping to take that next step in their professional golf careers. They will compete for a grand prize of more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, including an exemption to either the 2015 Valspar Championship on the PGA TOUR or the 2015 Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour. Big Break Myrtle Beach premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
Produced in partnership with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and South Carolina Tourism and filmed at Barefoot Resort and Golf in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Big Break Myrtle Beach features a cast of 12 who are at different stages in their professional golf careers. Several are playing full time on the Symetra Tour and various mini tours throughout North America, while others turned professional solely to qualify for Big Break Myrtle Beach. All 12 will compete against each other in hopes of making their lifelong dream of walking the fairways on the PGA TOUR or LPGA Tour a reality.
The contestants are:
Jimmy Brandt (31, Auburn, Ala.) – Competing full time on the mini tour circuit, Brandt accumulated six victories and 16 top-10 finishes on the Hopkins Tour in 2012 and 2013. Brandt earned conditional status on the Web.com Tour in 2011 and 2012 via PGA TOUR Q School, and is looking to return to golf’s biggest stages. His father, who introduced him to the game, also is his full-time caddie.
Katie Detlefsen (25, Eagan, Minn.) – One of the top female junior golfers to come out of Minnesota and a recipient of the prestigious Dinah Shore Award in 2010, Detlefsen has been an LPGA Class A Teaching Professional since graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2011. A college teammate of fellow Big Break Myrtle Beach competitor Carolin Pinegger, Detlefsen is using her teaching skills in pursuing her dream of competing on the LPGA Tour. Detlefsen also was a recipient of the prestigious Dinah Shore Award in 2010, an award given annually to a female collegiate golfer who excels in academics and athletics, while also demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and community service.
Katy Harris (35, Humble, Texas) – A top amateur golfer and All-American at Louisiana State University, Harris hung up her golf clubs following graduation in 2001 due to a hand injury. Nine years later, in 2010, Harris decided to give professional golf another try. Since returning to competitive golf, she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open three consecutive years (2011-13), recorded victories on the Cactus Tour, CN Canadian Women’s Tour and the Symetra Tour and earned conditional status on the LPGA Tour for the 2014 season.
Charlie Harrison (23, Atlanta, Ga.) – A graduate from Wake Forest University in 2013, Harrison is currently competing on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the mini tour circuit. He recorded his first victory as a professional in 2013 on the Open Atlanta Golf Tour.
Christian Heavens (25, Orlando, Fla. / East St. Louis, Ill) – An alumnus of the First Tee of Greater St. Louis, Heavens credits golf for saving his life and as an avenue that helped him escape from the pressures of the streets of East St. Louis. A graduate of Georgetown College in Kentucky where he competed on a First Tee Scholars scholarship, Heavens currently is competing on the mini tour circuit and the Florida Professional Golf Tour.
Dave Markle (29, Shelburne, Ontario, Canada) – One of the top amateur golfers from Canada (12th ranked amateur in the world in the R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings in 2008), Markle is competing on PGA TOUR Canada and the mini tour circuit. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2011, Markle is an ambassador for the Canadian Diabetes Association, helping raise awareness and funds for Diabetes research.
Toph Peterson (28, Gilbert, Ariz. / Logan, Utah) – A graduate from Utah State University, Peterson is giving professional golf another push after stepping away from the game to start up a designer walking bag company. He currently is competing full time on various mini tours.
Carolin Pinegger (23, Orlando, Fla. / Schladming, Austria) – One of the more decorated junior golfers out of Austria, Pinegger moved to the United States at age 16 and played college golf at the University of Central Florida (where she was a teammate of fellow Big Break Myrtle Beach competitor Katie Detlefsen). She turned professional following graduation in 2013 and is competing full time on the Symetra Tour.
Krista Puisite (23, Austin, Texas / Riga, Latvia) – A decorated junior golfer from Latvia where she was a member of the Latvian Junior National Team, Puisite turned professional in early 2014 after graduating from Texas State University. She is competing on the mini tour circuit and the Symetra Tour.
Anthony Quezada (19, Phoenix, Ariz.) – One of the youngest competitors in Big Break series history at age 19, Quezada turned professional in 2013 to achieve his dream of competing on the PGA TOUR. An alumnus of The First Tee of Phoenix, Quezada recorded 33 victories with the Junior Golf Association of Arizona circuit. He, along with fellow Big Break Myrtle Beach competitor David Markle, has Type I Diabetes, and wants to use golf as a platform to spread awareness for Diabetes research.
Tessa Teachman (24, Baton Rouge, La.) – Currently a member of the Ladies European Tour, Teachman is playing competitive golf in good health for the first time since college at Louisiana State University, where she finished third individually at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships as a senior. Following graduation in 2012, she underwent wrist surgery to repair multiple torn tendons in her right wrist – an injury that plagued her throughout college. Following rehabilitation, she earned status on the Ladies European Tour in late 2013 and is playing a full schedule on the LET and the mini tour circuit in the United States in 2014.
Emily Tubert (22, Burbank, Calif.) – A three-time All-American at the University of Arkansas, Tubert is competing on Big Break Myrtle Beach fresh off of graduating from college in May. While she might be one of the younger competitors on the series, on paper she is one of the favorites. Her resume includes: winning the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, member of the 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup Team, three-time All-American at the University of Arkansas, and a participant in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur. Earlier this year, she was the recipient of the prestigious Dinah Shore Award, an award given annually to a female collegiate golfer who excels in academics and athletics, while also demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and community service.
PAIGE MACKENZIE JOINS AS CO-HOST: Serving as co-hosts for Big Break Myrtle Beach will be Tom Abbott and Paige Mackenzie. Mackenzie, a seven-year veteran of the LPGA Tour who also currently serves as a Golf Channel analyst, will make her Big Break co-hosting debut, providing analysis from a player’s perspective and detailing the pressure the competitors will face with each challenge.
GRAND PRIZE: The winner of Big Break Myrtle Beach will receive more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, including:
• An exemption to the 2015 Valspar Championship or the 2015 Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour.
• $75,000 in cash, including $5,000 courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods, $10,000 courtesy of Macanudo and $10,000 courtesy of Adams Golf.
• Full, exempt status to the 2015 NGA Pro Golf Tour or the 2015 Symetra Tour with all entry fees paid.
• An endorsement contract from Adams Golf.
• $10,000 in car rental credit courtesy of Avis Car Rental.
• $10,000 in travel credit courtesy of Travelocity.
• A seven-day, six-night all-expenses paid return trip to Myrtle Beach with accommodations provided by North Beach Plantation and six rounds of golf that can be played at any of Myrtle Beach’s 100 premiere golf courses.
HOST GOLF COURSES: Filmed on location in June, the series will unfold on three of Barefoot Resort’s award-winning golf courses – The Dye, Fazio and Love Courses – as well as Pawleys Plantation on Pawleys Island.
• The Dye Course, a classic Pete Dye layout, has been ranked among the nation’s top 100 public courses by Golf Digest and was recently named 2013 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association.
• The Fazio Course, designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio, has been ranked as one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest.
• The Love Course, designed by Carolina native Davis Love III, has been ranked among America’s Top 100 You Can Play by Golf Magazine for years and as the top-ranked golf course in Myrtle Beach by Golf Digest.
• Pawleys Plantation, the award-winning Jack Nicklaus design just south of Myrtle Beach on Pawleys Island.
The Marina Inn and Resort at Grande Dunes served as official host resort for the competitors and production team during the filming of the series.
SERIES FORMAT: 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 Myrtle Beach, the competitors will be subject to skills challenges from tee-to-green, including the popular “Glass Break” and “Flop Wall.” One contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded his or her Big Break, an opportunity to compete on the PGA TOUR or LPGA Tour in 2015.
For the past 21 seasons, Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series has proven to be the launching pad for many aspiring professional golfers looking to take that next step in their golf careers, including PGA TOUR winners Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey and Matt Every, and U.S. Solheim Cup participants Kristy McPherson, Gerina Piller and Ryann O’Toole, all playing full time on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour, respectively. Several other past Big Break competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Anya Alvarez, Nicole Smith, Jackie Stoelting and Kim Welch on the LPGA Tour and Tony Finau, Hugo Leon, James Nitties and Mark Silvers on the Web.com Tour.