Maiya Tanaka Modeling ... Ben Hogan?

maiya tanaka
(Photo by David Looney Photography)


Maiya Tanaka, professional golfer and contestant on Big Break Sandals Resorts, has done some modeling. No surprise there. But now she's modeling ... Ben Hogan? Say what?

A company called Pixofactor Entertainment is creating a Wii video game title based on Hogan's famous instructional book, Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. And that means they need golfers who can recreate Hogan's swing to "model" for the video game and the creation of game avatars.

That means putting on a spandex suit covered with lights and body-motion sensors and making different kinds of swings, tailored to different situations on the golf course, for video capture.

Sounds pretty cool. Maiya got the gig by responding to a casting call by the game producers last month. Keep an eye on Maiya's blog for possible updates.

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A Few of the New LPGA Q-School Grads

Congratulations to all the 2010 grads from LPGA Q-School, all 20 of them. Plenty of other sites - including, obviously, LPGA.com - are covering the news angles. So no need for Golf Babes to delve into detail. There are some links at the bottom of the post to scores and recaps. So here are just a few of those new grads.

Sara "No H" Brown:


Nicole Hage:


Jeehae Lee:


Belen Mozo:


Aree Song:


2010 LPGA Q-School final scores

As I write this, Mostly Harmless and Hound Dog LPGA don't have anything posted yet - but they will! So check those links.

About.com recap

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Carling Coffing in Dubai

carling coffing pics

Congratulations to Carling Coffing on a terrific showing in the LET Dubai Ladies Masters. That's one of the tournaments Carling got into via exemptions won as champion of Big Break Sandals Resorts. The other was the no-cut Lorena Ochoa Invitational, so Carling cashed in both her show-earned exemptions - the first Big Break winner to do that.

Carling shot rounds of 70, 71, 75 and 74 to finished tied for 22nd with (among others) Alexis Thompson.

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Anna Rawson Retiring from Golf?

anna rawson retiring

Australian golfer/model Anna Rawson might be retiring from golf. At the end of Day 1 of the LPGA Tour Championship, Rawson told Golfweek's Beth Ann Baldry that she plans to take a year off - and, perhaps, to permanently leave the tour life. "I've done this for six years and it's been awesome, I love it," Rawson told Baldry. "But maybe there's other things in life."

There are certainly other things in Rawson's life. There's the modeling - although she told Baldry she might give that up, too. And Rawson is engaged to be married. Her future husband is Ted Cherrin, head of worldwide television at powerhouse entertainment management company International Creative Management (ICM). Ahhhh, perhaps Rawson is thinking in terms of television? Spokesperson? Host? Acting?

Wrote Baldry: "(Rawson) wants to take a year off from full-time golf for her 'general well-being.' 2011 will be an experimental year for Rawson, who plans to dabble in business opportunities, hopefully ones that involve golf. She also will play on the odd sponsor exemption."

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Blair O'Neal Wins Big Break Dominican Republic

blair o neal big break dominican republic
(Photo by Steve Gladysz)


Congratulations to Blair O'Neal for winning Big Break Dominican Republic. (Hey Blair, can I borrow $5? Pay you back on Tuesday, promise!)

The victory earned O'Neal a boatload of cash, plus an exemption into an LPGA Tour event.

I remember when Golf Babes first discovered Blair, and her career interest was more on acting/modeling than on golf. How times have changed. Blair has really stepped up her golf game the past couple years, competing in more tournaments, entering Q-School. Blair has a win on the Cactus Tour this year, and she's advanced into the LPGA Q-School Finals next week.

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Allison Micheletti

allison micheletti golf

Allison Micheletti is the girlfriend of Martin Kaymer. But she's also a golfer in her own right, having played collegiately at Furman University.

This week Allison is in Spain trying to make it through an LET Q-School pre-qualifier. And she's getting some attention because Kaymer showed up to caddie for her.

Before Kaymer arrived, she shot 89 in the first round. With Kaymer on her bag in the second round, Micheletti improved to 76. Nice job, Martin!

So she's not going to make it through the prequalifier. But perhaps the experience will settle her nerves for the next attempt.

allison micheletti golf


Vote for Karen Palacios-Jansen in Golf Channel's Instructor Search

karen palacios jansen pictures

OK, Golf Babes Nation, it's time to do our civic duty and cast votes: Three finalists in the Golf Channel Instructor Search have been announced, and one of those three will be getting his - or, hopefully, her - own series on the Golf Channel.

And one of those three finalists is Karen Palacios-Jansen, a k a KPJ. I recall first seeing KP - the "J" wasn't there yet - many years ago in the infomercials for the Perfect Club. Remember them? But if you've watched Golf Channel at all over the past decade, you probably already are familiar with Karen, who has been featured on network programming many times.

She's a regular on the Top 50 Women Instructors list every year going back to 1998. She's been an LPGA regional teacher of the year, and an LPGA national teacher of the year. Karen's not just a golf instructor; she's also a certified personal trainer and has her own golf events management company. She'll bring a wide variety of experience and expertise to her own Golf Channel show.

And she's also married to speedskating legend Dan Jansen (hence KP became KPJ). C'mon, if she can earn Dan Jansen's vote, doesn't she deserve yours?

Besides, do we really need another beer-sunscreen-and-cigar-scented old dude on the Golf Channel? No, we need the lovely and talented Karen Palacios-Jansen.

You can vote through December 15, but you know what they say: Vote early and vote often. Click that link to go to the voting site.

For more on Karen, visit KPJGolf.com.

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5 Questions with ... Ayaka Kaneko

ayaka kanekoAyaka Kaneko is coming off her first full year playing golf as a tour pro, and heads into LPGA Q-School Finals in December. She was born in Japan (her father played pro baseball for the Chunichi Dragons, but spent her teens years in Hawaii, winning numerous tournaments and awards as part of the powerhouse Hawaii Junior Golf Association. Ayaka finished second at the 2006 Callaway Golf Junior World Golf Championship and was runner-up in the 2007 U.S. Junior Girls Amateur Championship. She was a 2007 Junior All-America.

As an amateur she played in several LPGA tournaments (first in 2006) and in a couple JLPGA events. On the Futures Tour in 2010, Ayaka made 12 of 17 cuts with a best finish of 15th. She turns 21 in January of 2011.

1. Tell us about your background, born in one country and raised in another.
I was born and raised in Japan and I moved to Hawaii when I was 12. I graduated high school in Hawaii. I don't remember much about growing up in Japan just because I was so young. All my memories and friends are in Hawaii. I am still Japanese, but I love America :)

Andia Winslow

andia winslow golf
(© John Glenn / jglennphotography.com; courtesy of Andia Winslow)

Andia Winslow is a model golfer. Make that: She's a model and a golfer. And you can expect to be seeing more of her.

From the same family that includes NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, Andia grew up in Washington state but played her collegiate golf at Yale. Academics are important at Yale, of course, and they were (and are) important to Andia: She graduated with a degree in sociology, and also found time at Yale to direct a documentary film.

A member of the golf team from 2000-2003, one of her teammates for a year was Jeehae Lee.

After college, Andia pursued golf, fitness and modeling. Her interest in fitness resulted in training with USA Track & Field for a time, and she eventually founded her own company. You can find workout tips from Andia - some tailored specifically for golfers - on her YouTube channel.

It's not hard to understand why the fashion industry would be interested in Andia. She's done commercial, print and runway modeling. Her most recent runway show was at Phoenix Fashion Week, which is where the image below was taken.

And golf? Andia played in the 2006 LPGA Ginn Open as sponsor invitee. But she was forced to step away from competitive golf for personal reasons, and only now is getting back into the swing. Andia told me that she plans to start playing tournaments again in 2011: the Futures Tour, Canadian Women's Tour, state opens, and qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open.

Her Web site - andiawinslow.com - recently launched, and you can also check out her blog.

andia winslow modeling
(© Rizdale Sherwood / studioworldphoto.com; courtesy of Andia Winslow)


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In-Kyung Kim

in kyung kim

In-Kyung Kim also goes by "IK" or "Inky." And also "winner of the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational." Inky started the final round one off the lead. She ended it - after shooting 64 - three strokes clear of the field.

It's Kim's first win of 2010 on the LPGA, but her 11th Top 10. It's the third victory of her career on the LPGA.

Kim won $220,000 with the victory - but she donated that entire amount to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation.

More In-Kyung Kim pics

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Carling Coffing's Birdie Dance

carling coffing birdie dance

Did Carling Coffing make a birdie, or did she just win the Heisman? This image is the last in a series of 12 demonstrating Carling's "birdie dance," and posted on Facebook by the LPGA (view the page). Carling's birdie dance got national television exposure during Big Break Sandals Resorts. And for winning that season of Big Break, Coffing is in Mexico this week to play in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

More Carling Coffing pics

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Soo-Jin Yang

Soo Jin Yang pictures

Soo-Jin Yang plays on the Korean LPGA. She was the runnerup in the Daishin Securities Tomato M Korea European Ladies Masters (whew!), a tournament cosponsored by the Ladies European Tour and KLPGA.

I'll be honest: I know nothing about her beyond that. But if you want to delve into Soo-Jin Yang-ness, immerse yourself in Soo-Jin Yangosity, you can probably do so at Mostly Harmless or Seoul Sisters.

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Sharmila Nicollet

Sharmila Nicollet pictures

Sharmila Nicollet is a 19-year-old from Bangalore, India, currently playing on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour. She is in the field at the Taihu Ladies Open in China this week, an even cosponsored by the LET, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and China Golf Association.

An article about her written by the LAGT and appearing on the LET Web site notes that Nicollet "could easily pass off as an actress in the Bollywood industry because of her height and good looks."

Right now, Sharmila wants to build up a stranglehold in India and then Asia. "Later on, I'll try and conquer Europe and America to establish my status as among the best professionals in the world. I have time on my side and once this is achieved it's a dream come true," she said.


Nicollet has three wins in India in 2010, and has made the cut in three of five LAGT starts so far in 2010.

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Hana Bank Formals

A few images posted by the folks hosting the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in Korea this week:







From top to bottom, that's Vicky Hurst and Hee Young Park, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie. The images were posted on the LPGA Hana Bank TwitPic page. There are some other photos there of the players dealing with the cold and wind of Korea this week. Paula Creamer tweeted upon her arrival in Korea that it was 40F and very windy. That will be quite a shock to the system after last week's 110-degree-plus heat indexes in Malaysia.

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Jimin Kang

jimin kang

Jimin Kang, the golfer with the perpetual smile, really has something to smile about now: She won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament. Kang closed with a round of 65 to edge Juli Inkster by a stroke.

It's Kang's second career win on the LPGA, but her first since 2005. And 2005 was her first full season on tour, so Win No. 2 was due. Kang played consistently in the intervening years, just consistently in the middle of the pack.

Entering the Sime Darby, Kang had one Top 10 finish in 17 starts in 2010. Now she was one win in 18 starts. Big improvement.

More Jimin Kang pics

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Japan 2011 World Ladies Golf Calendar

A couple days ago we told you that the 2011 Paula Creamer calendar, available only in Japan, is ready. And so is the other annual calendar published by Golf Digest Japan, the 2011 World Ladies Golf Calendar.

Every year going back at least several decades, GDJ has published a wall calendar that features female golfer from outside Japan (the "world ladies"). For the 2011 edition, the calendar revisits some of the popular golfers from its past.

Unfortunately, I can only ID the top photo: That's Laura Baugh. The other two, I'm not sure which golfers are pictured.

2011 world ladies golf calendar

2011 world ladies golf calendar

2011 world ladies golf calendar

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Paula Creamer 2011 Calendar

The Golf Channel's Randall Mell had a blog post today about Paula Creamer skipping the LPGA's Malaysia tournament to play in Japan. Paula loves Japan. And that reminded me: It's about time for the Paula Creamer 2011 calendar. Paula does a calendar shoot every year for Golf Digest Japan. And sure enough, the Paula Creamer 2011 calendar is ready:

paula creamer 2011 calendar may

paula creamer 2011 calendar november

paula creamer 2011 calendar december

Those are the (from top) May, November and December pages from the calendar. Alas, as always, the calendar is available only in Japan. But if you really want a copy, check eBay from time to time. I've seen editions from previous years show up there, although they are rare.

More Paula Creamer pics

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Beatriz Recari - LPGA Win No. 1

beatriz recari pics

Congratulations to Beatriz Recari. The young Spaniard just earned her first win on the LPGA Tour, shooting 70 in the final round to win the CVS Pharmacy LPGA Challenge by one stroke.

The glamorous rookie was approached by Sports Illustrated about appearing in that magazine's 2010 swimsuit issue. Scheduling conflicts prevented it from happening - but I bet there are many people with the LPGA who are hoping it happens in 2011.

Recari had two Top 10 finishes in 14 starts on the LPGA in 2010 prior to the CVS victory. Before arriving on the LPGA, Recari was a success on the Ladies European Tour - she won the 2009 Finnair Masters and finished in the Top 25 on the money list.

She gained a little notice earlier in 2010 after a social media campaign to win the Mojo 6 vote succeeded.

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Jade Schaeffer

Jade Schaeffer

Jade Schaeffer is your winner of the 2010 Trophee Preven's on the LET Access Series (think of it as the Futures Tour of Europe). Jade won in Paris, before the home-country fans. It was her second victory of the year on the LETAS. She was getting in some playing time during an off period in the Ladies European Tour schedule. On the LET in 2010, Jade - who finished 10th on the LET money list in 2009 - has three Top 10s.

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Carling Coffing Makes the Cut

carling coffing makes the cut

Congratulations to Carling Coffing for making the cut in her first-ever LPGA Tour appearance. For winning Big Break Sandals Resorts, Carling received an exemption into the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. But that's still to come. This week, Carling is playing in the CVS Pharmacy LPGA Challenge. And after rounds of 70 and 73, she's at 1-under and playing on the weekend. Well done!

More pics of Carling Coffing

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Brittany Lincicome

brittany lincicome

Brittany Lincicome opened the 2010 CVS Pharmacy/LPGA Challenge with a sweet little round of 61. How good is that? There have been only five rounds better than it in LPGA history - Annika's 59 plus four rounds of 60.

Brittany also tied the second-best mark in tour history by making 11 birdies in a single round. She tied the second-best mark in tour history in shooting 11-under par in one round. And she tied the second-best mark in tour history for first-round score.

Nice day's work!

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