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Big Break Mesquite Contestants Revealed

Field of 12 to Compete for PGA Tour Exemption


Big Break Mesquite
Courtesy of The Golf Channel; used with permission
Updated October 01, 2011
"The Big Break: Mesquite" is the name of the eighth installment of the popular Golf Channel "reality" series, "The Big Break." (The network appears to have dropped the Roman numeral numbering of seasons - there are no references to the Mesquite series as "Big Break VIII"). The series will debut on Oct. 2, 2007.

The Golf Channel has announced the identities of the 12 men who are taking part in the series, for which the grand prize will be an exemption into a PGA Tour tournament.

The 12 contestants are:

  • Benoit Beisser (25, Scottsdale, Ariz.), is one of the top players on the Pepsi Tour and the brother of "Big Break VI: Trump National" and "Big Break VII: Reunion" contestant Laura London
  • Matt Every (23, Gainesville, Fla.) is a former Ben Hogan Award winner, which goes to the top collegiate player
  • Mark Farrell (42, Westport, Conn.) worked for CitiCorp and was a ski instructor before focusing on golf
  • Roger Fonnest (27, Mineola, N.Y.) is a golf professional who once slept in his car for four days to be able to hit the first ball at the redesigned Black Course at Bethpage State Park, which later hosted the 2002 U.S. Open
  • Gerry James (47, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) won the senior division in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship the last two years
  • Brian Kontak (35, Phoenix, Ariz.) made national news in 2003 when he expressed interest in attempting to qualify for the United States Women's Open after Annika Sorenstam played in a PGA Tour event
  • Hiroshi Matsuo (38, Jupiter, Fla.) won enough money on the Golden Bear Tour to finance a restaurant business and has been a member of the Nationwide Tour
  • James Nitties (24, Newcastle, Australia) finished fifth earlier this year in the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship on the Nationwide Tour
  • Anthony Rodriguez (34, San Antonio, Texas) played on the PGA Tour 10 years ago and is looking for the opportunity to get a second chance
  • Kevin Taylor (34, Mocksville, N.C.) was down to his last $100 last year before winning an event on the Tarheel Tour to continue his career
  • Matt Vick (29, Franklin, Tenn.) was an All-American kicker at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before taking up golf
  • Joshua Warthen (27, Arroyo Grande, Calif.) is a surfer who didn't start playing golf until after high school but still managed to earn a scholarship to play at San Diego State

This installment of the series was shot in Mesquite, Nev., at the Oasis Golf Club (Palmer Course) and the Palms Golf Club.

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