Big Break Atlantis 1: Where 75 yards feels like 250

It’s been almost a year since my last Big Break Indian Wells interview with champion David Byrne and the always entertaining Shank and Carl. 

I sadly had to miss BB Ireland due to other commitments, but that only makes this new Big Break Atlantis that much more exciting for me.

As usual the stakes are high with the champion receiving an exception to the 2012 LPGA Kingsmill Championship, an Adams Golf endorsement contract (including $10K cash!), Dicks Sporting Goods $10K shopping spree, Atlantis Vacation for Two, and an Avis car rental credit for $10K.  She can drive it all over the USA with her fully exempt status and all entry fees covered for a full season on the Symetra Tour.

Meghan Hardin

Sadly someone always has to be first to leave and it was especially heartbreaking to see the youngest of the 12 take the walk of shame after giving up college golf to play on the Big Break.  Remember, all contestants have to be professionals to play. 

As Aubrey said during Happy Hour, those 75 yards felt like 250. I am sure Meghan Hardin was feeling every onen of them when she found herself in elimination.

I knew none of this season’s contestants, but if the preview show and first episode are any indication of what’s coming, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of drama on and off the course.

I knew immediately that I wanted to interview Natalia, given she’s a fellow Canuck and friends with David Byrne. And when I heard about Anya’s story and saw her on the preview show, I just had to talk to her.

Natalia Ghilzon joins us this week from Windsor, Ontario.

This golfgal had a pretty relaxing time on Day 1 with just a piece of glass standing between her and immunity.  It didn’t take her long to break through that obstacle and take the rest of the day off.

Sitting on the bench is usually a bad thing in sports, but not on this show.  Let’s hear what she thought of that experience…

Thanks Natalia!
Golf has been a part of Anya Alvarez her entire life.  Her father is a longtime PGA of America teaching professional, and introduced her to the game at age 3.
6 years later, Anya’s life was turned upside down.  She was sexually abused by a family friend who worked for her father at their home golf course. It took a long time for Anya to dissociate from golf what she went through but through determination and family/friend support Anya is now able to use golf as an outlet instead of seeing it as a source of pain.  Quite a young lady, eh?
Let’s hear from her about her first day on the Big Break…
Here’s more on Anya’s story and her work with the KidSafe Foundation. I really encourage you to check it out and do what you can to help this very worthy cause.
Thanks ladies for your insights this week. I look forward to chatting with you next week about the team event where Yani Tseng becomes a ringer for one side. Can’t wait to see that!
Pamper yourself on Maui! Book your little piece of heaven in golfers’ paradise. Book now at and tell them Golfgal sent you!

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  1. Gayle,

    You were entitled to a year off. The Irish crew might not have wanted to chat with you anyway. I’d rationalize it that way.

    Seriously, it was great to check this site today and find a new entry. After 12 months I’m sure you stockpiled fantastic new lines of questioning.

    Normally on the all-female versions I recognize many names as mid level players on the Futures (now Symetra) Tour. Not this time. Lots of unique paths.

    My pick was Shannon Fish, based on her impressive scores on the Cactus Tour. But today Meghan Hardin said during Live Chat on Golf that she was closest with Shannon among the other contestants. That leads me to believe Shannon did not win, since the first eliminated contestant would logically spend very little time with the eventual champion.

    Always trying to figure something out. 🙂

  2. You are so sneaky! That’s one the things I like about you 😉

    Shannon really impressed me on this week’s show. She seems to have a lot of guts and confidence which is so important in a champion. But your logic is hard to argue with.

    So great to hear fromy you again Awsi!!!

    Let’s see what next week unveils :). Love your insights.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Breath of fresh air listening to your interviews Gayle, welcome back. Missed ya, looking forward to more such interviews

  5. Hey Carlsbad! Thanks so much for such a nice comment. I am very happy to be back doing BB interviews. I think this is going to be a great series.

    Let me know your thoughts along the way on who you think might win.


  6. I find Anya Alvarez story very touching and at the same time inspiring. I totally agree with Carlsbad. Your interviews are very refreshing. I am going to bookmark and follow your blog I won’t want to miss the next one. By the way, we’re giving away a Free iPad on our Facebook Page. Tell your golfing friends. Click here for details:

  7. Hey thanks Styles! Much appreciated.

    Your facebook iPad contest is here for all to see 🙂


  8. I also have a lot to write about this season of “Big Break”-I always enjoy the all-female and unisex editions.

    Because, as usual, my comments are way too wordy, I will send them to you when I can so you can edit them to your needs.

    P.S. My pick to win is Natalia.

  9. Hey Bluefalcon! So great to hear from you again. Feel free to send your comments my way and I’ll add them to the post.

    Natalia is certainly a strong contender. Always fun not knowing who wins though until the end 🙂


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