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.