ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 2. 2008) - The old sports adage that there is no "I" in team will be put to the test in Big Break X: Michigan. In its 10th season, the series will test a skill that has never been tested in Big Break competition before: Teamwork. Eight two-person teams, comprised of a male and female, will face some of the most grueling competition in series history in which they could win a lifelong dream at the risk of losing a lifelong friendship.
Premiering Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. ET., Big Break X: Michigan will feature new skills challenges to test every phase of each competitor's golf game. Teams will be comprised of individuals boasting both amateur and professional tour accolades, and whose connections to each other range from married or dating to friends or ex-significant others.
The eight teams competing in Big Break X: Michigan are:
Haymes Snedeker (Fairhope, Ala.) and Bernadette "Bernie" Luse (Naples, Fla.) - Snedeker, whose brother Brandt was the 2007 PGA TOUR rookie of the year, and Luse, a former LPGA player, met at the University of Mississippi when he was an assistant coach and she was a player on the women's team. Snedeker is currently a municipal judge in Alabama and competes in amateur events while Luse looks to Big Break X: Michigan as a return to competitive golf.
James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) and Andrea VanderLende (Longwood, Fla.) - Big Break X: Michigan is going to put relationships to the test and one that could produce fireworks is Hooters Tour member Vargas and Duramed FUTURES Tour player VanderLende. The two former University of Florida golfers dated as teens and have since developed a "brother/sister" relationship that, like siblings, is sometimes volatile but always caring.
Sally Dee (Tampa, Fla.) and David Mobley (Huntersville, N.C.) - It's bombs away with Dee and Mobley on the tee box. The two met on the Long Drive circuit in 2003 when she was just starting out and he was already established. Mobley saw that Dee, a former LPGA Tour player, had an "actual golf swing" and liked that he had that in common with her. A year later, each reached the zenith of their sport by winning their respective divisions in the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship.
Amber Prange (Noblesville, Ind.) and Robby Shaw (Louisville, Ky.) - Prange, a current Duramed FUTURES Tour player, and Shaw look more like models on the cover of a golf fashion magazine than the serious and talented golfers they are. Their smiles, though, hide past hardships that made each question if they wanted to pursue a golf career. Now, with their passion refueled, together Big Break X: Michigan gives them the opportunity to grow both their relationship and careers.
Hugo Leon (Jupiter, Fla.) and Camila Mori (Miami, Fla.) - Leon and Mori have come a long way to find their Big Break. Both were born and raised in Santiago, Chile, where they started playing golf at 10. At 12, they joined the national junior golf team and began competing all over the world. Throughout their amateur careers they became best friends, and planned to attend the same college in America. While the plan didn't work out that way, still they both went to school and graduated - Leon in 2007 from Southwestern Louisiana University and Mori earlier this year from the University of South Carolina - and are starting their journey in professional golf together.
Casey and Rachel Lubahn (Oxford, Ohio) - Big Break X: Michigan is a home game of sorts for Casey and Rachel Lubahn. They each played golf at Michigan State University and, until recently taking the head coaching job at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, he was an assistant golf coach for the Spartans. But their advantage goes deeper than geography. They are the only married couple in the series, which could prove to be an advantage in a competition that relies on teamwork.
Sherri McDonald (Lambertville, N.J.) and Michael Michaelides (East Elmhurst, N.Y.) - McDonald and Michaelides' relationship can best be described as "one part allies, one part rivals, but always great friends." Coaching at competing schools, the two have very strong personalities and feed off of each other's enthusiasm and love for the game. Each played on professional tours until losing their sponsorship due to the economic downturn following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Rachel Melendez (Atlanta, Ga.) and Otis Smith (Stone Mountain, Ga.) - Rachel Melendez is an instructor for the First Tee of East Lake program while Otis Smith is a PGA Professional at the Charlie Yates Golf Course. Both love teaching and call the students "my kids," but are looking to Big Break X: Michigan as a springboard to playing professionally.
The drama of Big Break X: Michigan will unfold when teams compete for the opportunity to put their careers on the fast track. The winning team's female will earn an exemption to play in the 2009 Bell Micro LPGA Classic while the male will compete in the 2009 Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Walt Disney World Resort. Also, entry fees to compete in the LPGA and PGA Tour Q-school will be covered by SkyCaddie.
In addition, each will receive a BMW 328i coupe plus a trip to the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, S.C., a Dick's Sporting Goods gift package that includes $10,000 cash ($5,000 each) and $5,000 in gift cards ($2,500 each), and an Adams Golf endorsement contract plus $5,000 in cash each.
Adding insight to Big Break X: Michigan as co-hosts will be three-time PGA TOUR winner Billy Ray Brown and GOLF CHANNEL's Golf with Style and Big Break Ka'anapali co-host Stina Sternberg.
The Big Break concept showcases highly skilled golfers competing against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness, with the ultimate winner awarded his/her "Big Break," a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in select professional tournaments, and other career-building prizes.
Past Big Break champions have won their chance to compete on some of the world's top professional circuits, such as the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour. Former winner Tommy Gainey is in the midst of his rookie season on the PGA TOUR while previous female Big Breakers currently play on the LPGA Tour.
For its 10th anniversary, Big Break X: Michigan returns to the destination where it all began - northern Michigan. Known as "America's Summer Golf Capital," Michigan boasts some of the nation's most distinguished golf courses, some of which feature dense forests, shifting sand dunes or portions of the longest fresh-water coastline in North America.
Big Break X: Michigan was shot at Boyne Highlands Resort, a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions, located in the community of Harbor Springs. The famed resort lures golfers with 72 holes of championship golf lead by the classic Heather golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and rivaled by the modern classic Arthur Hills, as well as The Moor, and Donald Ross Memorial. Golfers and vacationers delight in the resort's Scottish charm highlighted by castle-like turrets, detailed stonework, sounds of bagpipes and equestrian facilities. Luxury accommodations, savory cuisine, a par-3 course, abundant hiking and biking trails and the popular Young Americans Dinner Theatre make Boyne Highlands Resort a popular destination for golf and family vacations.
For more information, contact Mark Mitchell
GOLF CHANNEL's Public Relations department, 407/355-4063