Frances Bondad Switching Careers

Professional golfer Frances Bondad is now a former pro golfer. She's moving on to a new career, and on Twitter recently she linked to a video that lets all of us watch her as she makes the leap.

Bondad is an Australian who, several years back, was one of the up-and-comers on the Ladies European Tour. In 2011 she was 23 years old and in her fourth year as an LET member.

In 2009, Frances finished 39th on the LET money list. In 2010 she moved up to 26th, and that year included what was then her best finish to date: a runner-up at the Women's Spanish Open.

In 2011, she broke through for her first LET win: a victory at the Sanya Ladies Open in China.

Along the way she'd also been playing back home on the ALPG, where she carded a slew of Top 5 finishes and wracked up nearly $100,000 in career earnings.

In 2011 Bondad was 36th on the LET money list and in 2012 she slipped to 56th (but recorded another runner-up finish). But 2013 is when things went south. Injuries cropped up and she was only able to play five LET tournaments.

It's a story as old as golf: a promising career derailed, first by nagging injuries, and then, when trying to return from the ailments, when the birdies just aren't falling like they used to.

Still only in her mid-20s, Frances faced a decision. And she made one: It was time to try another career path.

So earlier this year Bondad, back home in Australia, enrolled in journalism classes and signed up for classes on television presenting. And that brings us back to Frances letting us look in on her as she makes the leap into broadcasting: her showreel. A showreel is what broadcasters make to showcase their skills to potential employers. Just as a writer would submit samples of his or her writing to a print publication - called "clips" or a "clip file" - broadcasters put together a showreel.

Alas, Frances' showreel is not embeddable, but you can watch it on YouTube here.

Best of luck to Frances in her new career.

Krista Puisite of Big Break Myrtle Beach

(Photo: Golf Channel)

Krista Puisite is a 23-year-old from Latvia now residing in Austin, Texas. Krista wound up in Austin by way of Texas State University, which is in San Marcos, Texas, just outside of Austin.

And Puisite is arguably the best golfer in TSU history. She holds many school records, including lowest season scoring average (72.4 in 2012-13), best tournament score (209), low individual tournament round (67), most below-par rounds and many more. She won five NCAA tournaments while at Texas State, and in her final year was among the national leaders in birdies made. She also earned All-America honors with three victories in her senior season.

Krista turned pro in 2014 and immediately won twice on the Suncoast mini-tour. On the Symetra Tour in 2014, Puisite has made 10 starts and her best finish so far is a tie for fifth place at the Symetra Classic.

Carolin Pinegger of Big Break Myrtle Beach

Carolin Pinegger is the second member of the Big Break Myrtle Beach cast who played collegiate golf at Central Florida (joining Katie Detlefsen).

Carolin is from Austria and now resides in Florida. She spent five years as a member of the Austrian national golf team (2002-07) as a junior golfer. She moved to the United States at age 16 to attend the IMG Academy. From there, she graduated to UCF. She turned pro in 2013 and reached the final stage of LPGA Q-School last year. That earned her status on the Symetra Tour.

And in 2014, Pinegger is in her rookie year as a tour pro, playing on the Symetra Tour. She's made 14 starts so far with a top finish of 27th at the Volvik Championship in February.

Katie Detlefsen of Big Break Myrtle Beach

The next installment of the Golf Channel's Big Break franchise is called Big Break Myrtle Beach, and it begins airing on Oct. 7, 2014.

One of the six women in the 12-golfer cast is LPGA Class A teaching professional Katie Detlefsen. You can follow Katie on Twitter or like her Facebook page.

Katie is a 25-year-old Minnesota native who teaches at both Somerby Golf Club in Minnesota and Raptor Bay Golf Academy in Florida. She has some status on the Symetra Tour, but has not yet gotten into any tournaments.

Detlefsen won the Minnesota state high school championship four years running (2004-07) before heading south to play NCAA golf at Central Florida University. While there, she won the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded by the LPGA, for combined academic performance, community service and golf scoring average for a Division I golfer. That was in 2010.

After turning pro Katie played some on the Women's Canadian Tour in 2012, then turned to teaching. But she didn't give up competing. In 2012, she had a Top 10 finish at the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional National Championship, and 2013 she won the LPGA T&CP Midwest Championship.

So Yeon Ryu Wins in Canada

(Photo: @1soyeonryu/Instagram)

So Yeon Ryu is the 2014 Canadian Women's Open champion, finishing with a 2-stroke victory over Na Yeon Choi. It was quite a week for Ryu, who at one point looked as if she might challenge or even break Annika Sorenstam's all-time LPGA record for most strokes under par.

Ryu started with a 63 in the first round, then shot 66, 67 and 69. She finished at 23-under-par 265. But when she started the back nine of her final round, Ryu was at 24-under. Sorenstam's LPGA record is 27-under. Alas, Ryu soon bogied and was unable to get any back-nine momentum. But the victory is what mattered most, and she did get that.

It's the third win for Ryu on the LPGA Tour. The biggest of those three was obviously the 2011 U.S. Women's Open. Ryu also has eight career wins on the Korean LPGA.

Michelle Wie Attends 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' Premiere

Look who was on the red carpet in Los Angeles: Michelle Wie, complete with a brace on her right wrist and hand to help heal up. Well, if injury is currently sidelining you from golf, there are worse things to do than attend Hollywood premieres.

Wie was at the premiere of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the new Jessica Alba flick. She attended with her pal Jamie Kuhn, a former Florida State golf who now is a client manager with IMG, Wie's management company:

The above photo was shared by Wie on Instagram. "What a fun experience, loved the movie as well," Wie wrote of the premiere, which took place at LA's famous Chinese Theater.

The following photo was posted to Instagram by Josh Alba, brother of Jessica, and it's a group shot in which you can spot Kuhn, Wie (in the back), plus Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (oh, not to mention Jessica Alba herself):

Yep, it's good to be Wie.

The Women of Big Break Invitational

sara brown

elena robles

Have you heard about Big Break Invitational? It's something new in the Golf Channel's Big Break franchise: a "standard" golf tournament. That is, a 4-day, stroke play tournament.

Big Break Invitational airs live on Golf Channel from Tuesday, Sept. 30 through Friday, Oct. 3, each day from 3-6 p.m. (ET).

And the field? The 40-golfer field is made up of past Big Break contestants, 20 men and 20 women.

emily talley

We've included a few photos in this post of some of the female contestants. (You don't need IDs, do you? You've been reading Golf Babes long enough to know these golfers, right?)

Here is the full list of the women of Big Break Invitational, along with the previous seasons in which each appeared, with the year. (An asterisk means that golfer is a champion from a previous Big Break season.)

Women of Big Break Invitational

  • Anya Alvarez, Big Break Atlantis (2012)
  • Mallory Blackwelder, Big Break Ireland (2011); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013)
  • Sara Brown, Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010); Big Break Dominican Republic (2010)
  • *Taylor Collins, Big Break Mexico (2013)
  • Selanee Henderson, Big Break Atlantis (2012)
  • Stefanie Kenoyer, Big Break Mexico (2013); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013)
  • Tonya McCall, Big Break Florida (2014)
  • Kristy McPherson, Big Break VI: Trump National (2006)
  • Mary Narzisi, Big Break Florida (2014)
  • *Carling (Coffing) Nolan, Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010)
  • *Blair O’Neal, Big Break Prince Edward Island (2009); Big Break Dominican Republic (2010)
  • Ryann O’Toole, Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010)
  • Gerina Piller, Big Break Prince Edward Island (2009)
  • Elena Robles, Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010); Big Break Dominican Republic (2010)
  • Sadena Parks, Big Break Florida (2014)
  • Renee Skidmore, Big Break Florida (2014)
  • *Jackie Stoelting, Big Break Florida (2014)
  • *Emily Talley, Big Break Mexico (2013); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013)
  • Maiya Tanaka, Big Break Sandals Resorts (2010)
  • *Kim Welch, Big Break Ka’anapali (2008)

blair o neal

taylor collins

Marissa Steen

When Marissa Steen won the Symetra Tour's 2014 Eagle Classic on Sunday, she accomplished something only nine other Futures Tour golfers since 1999 have done: She won her third tour event of the season.

Here is the list of 3-time winners on the Futures Tour (now called the Symetra Tour) since that tour started awarding LPGA cards in 1999 (golfers won three times unless a higher win total is listed in parentheses):

  • Marissa Steen – 2014
  • Cindy LaCrosse - 2010
  • Mina Harigae – 2009
  • Vicky Hurst (5) - 2008
  • Mindy Kim – 2008
  • Song Hee Kim (4) – 2006
  • Lorena Ochoa – 2002
  • Angela Buzminski – 2001
  • Heather Zakhar – 2000
  • Grace Park (5) – 1999
As you can see, achieving this distinction is no guarantee of future LPGA success. But it's never a bad thing to be included in any group with Ochoa and Park.

Steen had a terrific week in Virginia, shooting no higher than 68 over three rounds and finishing with a 66. She won by four strokes. Her earlier wins in 2014 were at the Friends of Mission Charity Classic and Guardian Retirement Championship. In addition to the victories, Steen also has seven other Top 10 finishes in 2014. Unsurprisingly, she currently leads the Symetra Tour's Race to the Card money list. Her LPGA card via the Symetra money list is guaranteed for 2015 (although her specific ranking on the priority list is still up for grabs).

And, as a 3-time winner, she now has the option to play in LPGA Tour events through the remainder of 2014 (assuming her Category 13 priority gets her into the field).

Mirim Lee

It seems only appropriate that the winner of the very first Meijer LPGA Classic was ... a first-time winner. Mirim Lee.

But while Lee was a first-time winner on the LPGA Tour, the Meijer wasn't her first professional victory. Lee has three victories on the KLPGA.

Mirim is a rookie on the LPGA in 2014, however. Lee earned her place on the LPGA at 2013 Q-School, where she finished second to Jaye Marie Green. Lee's Q-School performance included a 61 in the third round.

At the inaugural Meijer, Lee tied for low round of the tournament with a second-round 64. A final-round 69 put her into a playoff against Inbee Park, and Lee won the playoff on the second extra hole.

The victory moved Lee up to 29th in the world rankings. Her previous best LPGA finish was a tie for second at the Founders Cup in March.

Meredith Kirk: Golf Pro Competing for Title of 'Mrs. America'

On Aug. 29, 2014, in Tucson, Arizona, beauty pageant winners from around the United States will meet to compete for the title of Mrs. America. Not Miss America, but Mrs. - this is the pageant for contestants who are married.

What does this have to do with golf? One of those competing is a teaching professional in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Meredith Kirk holds the title of Mrs. South Carolina, a crown she won in November 2013. MyrtleBeachOnline.com wrote about the pageant at the time, including this:

Before this year, Kirk hadn’t ventured into pageants, she said, “so I had to learn how to walk on stage with a swimsuit, to do that little model walk.”

Asked if she had seen “Miss Congeniality,” a hit movie from 2000, Kirk said she “totally related” to Sandra Bullock’s character.

“She was a cop, and I’m a golf pro,” said Kirk, a member of the Ladies Professional Golfers Association, “so I have that boyish thing in me. I’m really more of a tomboy at heart.”

On her contestant page on MrsAmerica.com, Kirk says that "the desire to change the face of junior golf in America and internationally through my organization, Junior Golf Exchange (JGE), has driven me to reach for great heights!"

The Junior Golf Exchange is a non-profit founded by Kirk and endorsed by Hall of Famer Larry Nelson. The JGE's mission is to fit junior golfers ages 14 and under with golf clubs at no cost. The JGE website explains:

When a child registers into the exchange, they will receive a complete golf set including a bag, fitted for their gender, height, and skill level. As a child out grows their golf clubs, they can then make an exchange at a participating golf course and upgrade to their next fitted set...at no cost, once a year... up until their 14th Birthday.

Visit JuniorGolfExchange.org for more details and to find participating golf courses in your area.

Kirk, who has been a golf professional for 16 years, explains more about the JGE in this video produced by Golfing World:

Sounds like a great cause. Best of luck to Meredith at the Mrs. America pageant, and especially in growing the Junior Golf Exchange.

Blair O'Neal Re-Launches Website

Here are a couple screengrabs from Blair O'Neal's website, blaironeal.com, which relaunched today with a new look and some new content. And it looks great - a very clean, uncluttered design.

The media section includes both video and photos, and visitors can select among Fashion, Fitness and Golf images. The Pro Shop includes autographed photos, balls and gloves, among other things. Pay Blair a visit.

More Blair O'Neal pics

Seul-Ki Park Wins Ohio Women's Open

The money in women's golf is, unfortunately, much less than is available in men's golf. So women who are chasing the dream of playing on the LPGA Tour are always searching out opportunities. Opportunities to play tournament golf, opportunities to earn a little money to help them get to the next tournament.

Most everyone knows the Symetra Tour is the level just below the LPGA. And below the Symetra is the Cactus Tour and Canadian Women's Tour. And there are other regional tours such as the Suncoast Series. And there are also state opens.

They don't get much attention, but state opens are great places for young golfers to put themselves into a competitive environment, gain experience, and perhaps make a little money.

Seul-Ki Park did all three of those things when she won the Ohio Women's Open this week. Park finished at 138 in the 36-hole tournament, three strokes ahead of runners-up Kaitlyn Rohrback and Allyssa Ferrell.

The 2014 Ohio Women's Open took place at Eagle Rock Golf Club in Defiance, Ohio. It had a purse of $25,000. Park earned $6,000 for the win. One year earlier, Park was runner-up at the OWO.

Park grew up in Illinois and before graduating from the University of Illinois in 2009 enjoyed a lot of success in state amateur championships. That included winning the 2004 Illinois Junior Girls Championship. She won two NCAA tournaments for the Fightin' Illini.

Park joined the Symetra Tour in 2010 and to date her best finish on that tour is a tie for fourth at the 2012 Florida's Natural Charity Classic. Putting is a strength of her game; in 2012 she finished ninth on the Symetra in putts per round.

She also has a good sense of humor that is evident in this Q&A on Symetra Tour.com; for example:

Q. What is the most rewarding charitable thing you've done?
A. I let my boyfriend beat me at golf.

Meet Katharina Boehm, Sergio Garcia's Girlfriend (and Winning Caddie)

Say hello to Katharina Boehm, the golfer who won Sergio Garcia's heart. Not to mention a tournament as his caddie!

Sergio and Katharina are now engaged - at least, that's what the big ring on Kathy's finger says. They've been a couple for a while, and lately - taking into account Sergio's terrific play in 2014 - there have been a spate of news stories pointing out the role of the relationship in helping Garcia's golf game. Find your happy place in life and you'll play better golf, the story goes.

Sergio's happy place is with Katharina. Boehm's hometown is Munich, Germany. She was the Bavarian Junior Girls Champions in 2006, was runner-up at the 2008 German Girls Championship, and was a member of the German national golf team. Boehm played NCAA golf at the College of Charleston, where she majored in communications and business administration.

Katharina was a main player for CofC from the moment she arrived. As a freshman she led her team in scoring average during the fall season and had three Top 10 finishes in 12 starts. In her sophomore season Kathy posted her best career finish to that date, a second-place in the Pinehurst Challenge. And during summer break from NCAA, she won the Bavarian Women's Championship in Germany.

Boehm's senior season at College of Charleston was 2012-13, and she posted her first victory that year at the Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate, tying the tournament scoring record at 216. She was named to the All-Conference team following the season.

Boehm first really gained a lot of public attention when Sergio asked her to caddie for him at the Asian Tour's Thailand Golf Championship in December, 2013. After all, when a beautiful woman shows up as the caddie for one of golf's top stars, people notice. They especially noticed when Garcia won the tournament.

Katharina hasn't caddied for Sergio since - why not retire as a caddie with a perfect 1-for-1 record? - but just about every golf scribe who's written about Garcia has noted how happy he seems these days.

Great to see. Best of luck to those two crazy kids in love, Sergio and Katharina. You can follow Kathy on Twitter at @BoehmKatharina.

Michelle Wie's Golf Digest Photo Shoot

Keep an eye out for Michelle Wie's upcoming feature in Golf Digest. Wie recently took part in a photo shoot, and shared a few photos via her Instagram account (instagram.com/@themichellewie). Looks like something her fans will be very interested to see. Just a couple examples shared by Wie:

More Michelle Wie pics