ORLANDO, Fla. -- Forty former Big Break competitors will go head-to-head in full tournament conditions for the first time this fall when the inaugural Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation, a four-day invitational tournament, airs live on Golf Channel, Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct. 3.
Beginning a new multi-year relationship between Golf Channel and Reynolds Plantation, Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation will build on the success of the network’s popular Big Break franchise and will feature a select field that encompasses past Big Break champions, including competitors who are currently playing on the world’s top professional tours, as well as the series’ most memorable competitors from the past 21 seasons. The tournament will take place at Reynolds Plantation, the famed golf resort community in Greensboro, Ga., and will feature a $300,000 overall purse, with $100,000 going to the champion. The Ritz Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation will serve as host resort and tournament headquarters.
“Big Break has been a cornerstone of our original productions franchises, and has developed a tremendous fan following over the past 21 seasons,” said Tom Knapp, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming. “We are excited to partner with Reynolds Plantation to expand the Big Break brand as a live tournament, featuring a compelling format not often seen on television. The most talented and dynamic personalities in Big Break history will lay it all on the line on the golf course, something our fans have long been asking for.”
“We are honored and excited that Reynolds Plantation has been selected to host the inaugural Big Break Invitational,” said John Gunderson, senior executive of the famed resort community. “Reynolds has a proud legacy of hosting championship tournament golf throughout our six signature courses. Our residents and members are proud to welcome Golf Channel and the incredible players from Big Break to compete at their highest level here at Reynolds Plantation.”
Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation will air live on Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Friday, Oct. 3. The first two rounds will feature a Modified Stableford format (players earning points for birdie and higher and negative points for bogey and lower), with the 10 men and 10 women earning the most points after round two making the cut. Thursday’s third round will feature match play (five men vs. five men / five women vs. five women), with 10 match-play winners advancing to Friday’s final round of 18 holes of stroke play.
For the past 21 seasons, Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series has proven to be the launching pad of many aspiring professional golfers looking to take that next step in their golf careers, including PGA TOUR winner Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, 2013 Solheim Cup participant Gerina Piller and, most recently, Big Break Florida winner Jackie Stoelting, who was crowned champion of the series on Monday and will compete in the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in June.
Gainey, Piller and Stoelting joined Golf Channel today to officially announce Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation live on Morning Drive. They will be joined by 37 former competitors (20 male and 20 female in total) to determine who is the best of the best. The full tournament field for the Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation will be announced in late August.
“Being on Big Break and representing the series as a past champion has meant a lot to me and has helped my career tremendously both on and off the course,” said Gainey, winner of Big Break VII: Reunion who captured his first PGA TOUR victory in 2012 at the McGladrey Classic. “I’m looking forward to grinding it out on the course against my fellow Big Break alums.”
“I’m anxious to see who we will be playing against and putting it all on the line at the Big Break Invitational,” said Piller, competitor on Big Break Prince Edward Island in 2009 and currently playing full time on the LPGA Tour. She also was a member of the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. “Big Break has helped so many of us in propelling our careers, and it will be exciting for all of us to come together and compete in true tournament conditions.”
Golf Channel’s Big Break competition show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness. During the series’ past 21 seasons, past Big Break champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, including the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.com Tour and Canadian Tour.
ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, led by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that connect the world to golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra. Golf Channel programming also is available via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio.
ABOUT REYNOLDS PLANTATION
Reynolds Plantation, located between Atlanta and Augusta, Ga., is situated along more than 374 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline and features six championship golf courses, dining, swimming pools, pedestrian trails, marinas, a tennis center and a wellness campus. Reynolds Plantation is also home to The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, a 251-room lakefront resort and spa, which was named a 2013 AAA Five Diamond Lodging and 2012 Forbes Four-Star resort. The community is located about an hour and a half from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. For more information, visit www.reynoldsplantation.com.
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