Melissa Reid Returns to the Winner's Circle

A huge "congrats!" goes out today to Melissa Reid, winner of the 2015 Turkish Airlines Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour. And not just from Golf Babes, but from so many of her peers, both on the LET and on women's tours around the world. You only have to check Twitter to find messages of congratulations from so many of her fellow golfers.

Melissa was one of the up-and-comers in European golf when she won on the LET in 2010 and twice in 2011. She played in the Solheim Cup in 2011.

But her last victory - before today - was in 2012. And that win, at the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters in the Czech Republic, was an incredibly emotional one. It came just one month after the death of Reid's mother in an automobile accident during the Ladies German Open.

That crushing loss was, as you can imagine, difficult to deal with. She also suffered an injury in the last tournament of 2012. The time since then wasn't without glimpses of her former form - she had two Top 10s in both 2013 and 2014 - but her play suffered.

But the signs Reid was close to making it all the way back to her former form were there already in 2015. Her finishes before Turkey were 12th, 21st, 14th and second.

And now she's a winner again. Great to see her back where she belongs.

Checking In With Tisha Alyn Abrea

It's the time of year when college seniors everywhere are taking their final college photos and contemplating the future. That's true for college golfers, too, especially those with options both inside and outside of golf.

So when Tisha Alyn Abrea - a college golfer with options - posted the photo above, I decided to check in with her. As we told you when we wrote about Tisha previously, she's a broadcast journalism major at Cal State Fullerton who already has some significant on-the-job training: she's been getting airtime on a regional network in Southern California that programs for the Filipino-American community.

She's also an NCAA winner: Tisha had a terrific Fall season late in 2014, including victory at the Rose City Collegiate. So what are her plans? Will she focus on golf or on broadcasting as she leaves the college life?

"I plan on going professional," Abrea told Golf Babes. "I plan on going to Q-School this summer if I feel like I'm ready. I'll do the broadcasting thing after my golf career unless a golf broadcasting opportunity comes my way."

Unfortunately, Tisha's Spring season didn't build on the success of her Fall season after she suffered an injury.

"I ended really rough due to an injury at my conference championship. So it's been rough even thinking about going professional. But because of my success in the fall I don't want to give up trying. I haven't touched a club since conference, but I intend to hit it hard and get back into it in a week."

Best of luck to Tisha - and all the other graduating college golfers - as she chases the pro dream starting this summer.

If you want to keep up with Tisha's journey, follow her on Twitter: @Tisha_All_in

Minjee Lee Grabs First LPGA Win

Minjee Lee was the cover girl on the April 2015 Issue of Golf Digest Australia - almost perfect timing. Of course, as talented as Minjee is, it was only a matter of time until she grabbed her first win on the LPGA Tour.

Today, the almost-19-year-old Lee did just that, closing out the victory in a Monday finish at the Kingsmill Championship. Lee held a 4-shot lead when darkness forced an end to play on Sunday. She and the other contenders returned Monday morning to finish, Lee having three holes left. She stumbled just a bit on the 16th hole, but ended with two pars and a 2-shot win over So Yeon Ryu.

Minjee is about nine days shy of turning 19. This wins makes her one of the handful of golfers in LPGA history to win before turning 19.

LET Experimenting with Wednesday Finish in Turkey

L-R: Kelsey MacDonald, Stephanie Na, Amy Boulden, Henni Zuel, Melissa Eaton

The Ladies European Tour is conducting a couple experiments this week in Turkey at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open that could, down the road, have a big impact on how the LET (and perhaps other tours) schedules its events.

One thing to know about the LET is that it's a tour with a large supply of young, attractive, hip golfers - players who are social media savvy (some of the best tweeters and Instagrammers are LET golfers) and brimming with personality. A few of them are pictured on this page. If you don't yet know the LET but love women's golf, you should definitely get to know it.

But that's the problem: there is so much golf on TV that even with channels dedicated to nothing but golf there are tournaments and tours that get squeezed out. The LPGA runs into this issue, too: When every tournament across all the pro tours around the world are played on the same days, and end on Sunday, it's often women's golf that gets overlooked by the networks.

I assume the LET's broadcast situation in Europe and other places the tour plays is much better than it is here in the USA, where LET broadcasts are difficult to find. But it's still a situation that suffers from what the LET calls "Sunday clutter."

How can the LET improve its slots on the TV schedule, raise its ratings, boost its profile with fans? Start by thinking outside the box. Outside the Thursday-through-Sunday box, for starters.

And that's what the LET is doing this week in Turkey. The Turkish Airlines Ladies Open begins on Sunday (May 17) and concludes on Wednesday. The Turkish Airlines Ladies Open thus becomes the first tournament on any major pro tour to finish on a Wednesday. The LET explains:

The pioneering move is one of a tranche of innovations aimed at boosting the profile of the sport both on television and at the event and has been met with enthusiasm from broadcasters and commercial partners.

The growing tournament will be broadcast on live television in 60 countries and 243 million homes, and there is record prize money of 500,000 euros, an increase of 100 per cent on 2014.

An example of the improved TV times made possible by this move: On the US Golf Channel, the LET is getting live, 3-hour blocks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings this week.

The scheduling isn't the only innnovation that was tried this week in Turkey. Four LET members played a night golf exhibition under floodlights at The Carya Golf Club, which is the only lighted golf course in Europe. The tour says such exhibitions "may prepare the ground for a potential floodlit tournament in the future." Wouldn't that be something.

So take this opportunity to get to know the Ladies European Tour. You can bet the LPGA and other pro tours will be paying close attention to the LET's experiment, too.

L-R: Maria Balikoeva, Carly Booth, Sharmila Nicollet, Maha Haddioui)

Jennifer Brumbaugh Nets First Pro Win

There's a new first-time winner in professional golf, Jennifer Brumbaugh. Brumbaugh is in her second full season as a pro after graduating from San Jose State University in 2013. She won one NCAA event while at SJSU.

But now she is a winner of a pro tournament, the most recent event on the SunCoast Pro Golf Tour mini-tour in Florida (formerly known as the Suncoast Series). Brumbaugh shot rounds of 73, 69 and 68 to win by one stroke.

Jennifer played 13 times on the Symetra Tour in 2014, and also played on the Canadian Women's Tour in 2014 with a best showing of 18th.

And she's getting into her first Symetra Tour event of 2015 this week - she's in the field at the Mission Health Wellness Classic. Pretty sweet to be coming in off her first pro victory.

She can also portray Lara Croft for Halloween:

And Jennifer is a winner in another way. We hereby declare her the winner of the Best Golfer's Tan Award for this photo:

You can Like Jennifer on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Paula Creamer Given 'Dove Real Beauty Women of the Military Award'

Congratulations to Paula Creamer, the 2015 recipient of the Dove Real Beauty Women of the Military Award. She received the award at a luncheon this week prior to the start of the Kingsmill tournament:

This is the second year of the award, which was also presented by Dove to an LPGA Tour golfer - Stacy Lewis - in 2014. The LPGA explained the award's purpose in last year's announcement about Lewis:

The Dove Unilever Luncheon helps spread the message of enhancing self-esteem and true beauty inside and out for women that are associated with the military- either a spouse or active duty service member. There were 200 military women in attendance for the inaugural luncheon, and attendees were selected by helping spread Dove’s Real Beauty campaign’s initiative.

Paula has long been a supporter of military families and has made numerous visits with troups at military facilities over the years. But her relationship with the miliary became much closer when she married an Air Force pilot, Derek Heath: "Paula’s father and Derek’s father flew together in the Navy and both became commercial airline pilots. They remain close friends. Paula and Derek met at the Kia Classic in March. Derek, an Air Force Academy graduate, flies C-17s, large military transports, for the Air Force. He recently moved into active reserve status." (via Golf Channel)

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