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Showing posts from August, 2014

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 cropp…

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 compe…

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. #480181891 / gettyimages.com

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. #453846702 / gettyimages.com 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. #453849942 / gettyimages.com

The Women of Big Break Invitational

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. 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 InvitationalAnya Alvarez, Big Break Atlantis (2012) Mallory Blackwelder, Big Break Ireland (2011); Big Break NFL Puerto Rico (2013) Sara Brown, Big B…

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 …

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 MrsAmeri…

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 plac…

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 scorin…

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