Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kaisa Ruuttila

kaisa ruuttila pictures

Minea Blomqvist is the most famous Fin in women's golf. But Kaisa Ruuttila is another Fin to keep an eye on. I'd love to read her blog, which looks like it includes some great details of Kaisa's golf, and comes complete with photos. Alas, I don't speak Finnish. If you do, check out Kaisa's Web site. If not, you can check her LET profile.

Kaisa won the 2006 Finnish Match Play Championship, and on the LET has Top 10s in the 2005 Ladies Finnish Masters and the 2007 Finnair Masters.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sandra Gal Launches Web site

sandra gal pictures

The photo above is from Sandra Gal's new Web site, www.sandragal.com. Gal is a native of Germany who is a rookie on the LPGA Tour in 2008. She played collegiately at the University of Florida, where she won four tournaments and was a two-time All-American in her three seasons there. In 2007, she was the No. 1-ranked European amateur. At the beginning of her senior season, she decided to enter the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, and zipped right through it, earning her full Tour card.

So she wound up leaving school a year early, but does plan on finishing her degree in advertising. The 6-footer got off to a solid start in her rookie year, making the cut in her first three LPGA events with a best finish of 25th.

More Sandra Gal pics

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Nikki DiSanto on "CSI"

nikki disanto csi

With another season "The Big Break" under way on the Golf Channel, let's check in with two-time Big Breaker Nikki DiSanto. As we've told you before, Nikki has an eclectic and varied background that includes modeling and television work as a host of travel and lifestyle shows.

Now Nikki's acting career is poised for a big step up. Because she's making her first appearance in a network series when she guests in the Thursday night (April 24) episode of the CBS juggernaut, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Nikki plays the character of Valinda Carlisle. Check it out at 9 p.m. ET, or you can watch the episode online (after it airs) at www.cbs.com/primetime/csi.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Claudine Foong

claudine foong picturesClaudine Foong is a native of Aurora, Ontario, who is in her first full season as a professional. She played collegiately at Gardner Webb University in North Carolina, where she posted one victory and five other Top 10 finishes. She was also a four-time member of the All-American Scholar Team, majoring in public relations. Foong made the All-Conference team in 2006 and was second-team All-American in 2007.

She turned pro last year and got in a few events on the Women's Canadian Tour. In 2008, Claudine has limited status on the Futures Tour. But she has managed to pick up a sponsor - something very important for young female professionals - in clothier Quagmire Golf (which also signed Kristina Tucker).

claudine foong pictures

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Teresa Lu

teresa lu pictures

Hmmm, you might think a golfer wouldn't want to be buried in sand. But I suppose when you're having fun with friends on a beach - as Teresa Lu was the day this photo was taken - it's OK.

Teresa is a native of Taiwan (her first name is actually Hsiao-Ching) who has settled in California after coming to the U.S. to play the American Junior Golf Association Circuit in 2005. She turned pro the next year, and in 2007 was a rookie on the LPGA.

So although she's only 20 now, Teresa is already in her second year on tour. And on Sunday, she finished tied for third in the LPGA Ginn Open, her best finish to date. Lu's game appears to be a notch higher in 2008. She also had a Top 10 earlier in the season, and has made seven of seven cuts so far, after missing 10 cuts in 2007.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blair O'Neal

blair o'neal pictures

We told you a few weeks ago that Blair O'Neal had recently completed a modeling shoot in Los Angeles, at Zuma Beach. Here's another outtake from that shoot.

Have we mentioned lately that Blair is now part of Play Golf Designs?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

5 Questions With ... Britney Choy

Britney Choy is a Hawaii native who plays for the University of New Mexico women's golf team. A sophomore, Britney missed most of her freshman season and half this season following back surgery last year. But she returned in time to play all of the 2008 Spring tournaments. She's also a mean ukelele player. Following are our five questions, and Britney's five answers.

First things first: How's your back? And what kind of exercises or stretches are you doing to keep it healthy now?

My back is completely healed. I don't have any pain like I used to. If anything, my back gets tight so I just do stretches. The surgery was the best path to take and I'm grateful that everything worked out in the end. When I first started rehab last October I had a special workout plan, but ever since December, I'm healthy as can be and working out a lot harder. I am definitely stronger than when I was healthy before the surgery.

You finished Top 25 in your first collegiate tournament back, and posted a third and 11th in your two most recent events. Are you surprised at how quickly you've gotten back into form after missing so much time?

Well, the first tournament in Tucson, I was pretty nervous because prior to that, I hadn't seen any tournament action since last June in Kentucky at the WAPL (U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship). But I had a lot of time during the offseason back home in Hawaii to really work hard on my game. So definitely, finishing in the top 25 for the first time in my first tournament back was a great surprise, but I knew I had worked hard to get my game where it needed to be, so everything paid off in the end. After that tournament, I gained a lot more confidence and knew I could compete with the top players even though I didn't have as much experience, which is why I think I have performed well throughout the season.

I noticed that you once won a junior long drive competition. So I'll guess that length is one of your strong points. What do you consider the strengths and weaknesses of your game right now?

Haha, yeah I won a long drive contest in 2005 at the BIG "I" tournament in Indiana. I think I drove it 292 yards. I've always been a long ball hitter since I first picked up a club. I'd say my strengths are driving distance and wedges inside 100 yards. My putting is pretty close to being right up there, too. My weaknesses ... I don't know, it depends on the day!

Hawaii seems to turn out great junior golfers all out of proportion to its population size. What's the explanation for the influx of golfers from Hawaii onto the national scene? Are they adding Tigerade to the drinking water over there?

I think Hawaii turns out so many outstanding junior golfers because of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association that Mary Bea Porter King has developed. I'm an alumni of the HSJGA and there have been some well-known names that have grown up through it, such as Tadd Fujikawa, Stephanie Kono, Kim Kim, and of course, Michelle Wie. For as small as Hawaii is, there is still just as tough of a competition as there is on the mainland, which is why I think the Hawaii junior golfers are already well-groomed when competing on the mainland. But the time and commitment that the players and their swing coaches put into their game is unbelievable. We really take advantage of the year-round weather and great golf courses Hawaii has to offer.

What event or accomplishment in your golf career to date are you most proud of? Is it being name "Sock Tan World Champion" by WaggleRoom.com?

Hahaha ... that sock tan award was a pretty big accomplishment =) ... hmm, the accomplishment that I'm most proud would have to be my high school state championship in 2004. I won it as a sophomore and it was on a tough golf course with a really tough field (Mari Chun, Amanda Wilson, and a few other names). I'm most proud of it because I feel like that win made me learn a lot about my game and myself as an individual. It made me realize that I can handle the pressure when it is the most crucial and I have the mental toughness to overcome it. Plus, I didn't realize how big winning the state high school championship was until afterwards - so it was pretty rewarding.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tina Miller

tina miller pictures

It's premiere night for "Big Break: Kaanapali" on the Golf Channel. April 15 at 10 p.m. ET, with hosts Stina Sternberg and Andrew Magee. So to celebrate, let's wrap up our series of posts on "BBK" contestants with our gorgeous friend Tina Miller.

It's been a momentous last few months for this former All-American and Futures Tour player. Tina took part in "Big Break: Kaanapali," and then she got engaged (to another professional athlete).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Courtney Erdman

courtney erdman pictures

California girl Courtney Erdman loves her Anaheim Ducks. But if I remember correctly from previous conversations with Courtney, she also loves the baseball team I love, the Cincinnati Reds.

Courtney played at College of the Canyons and turned pro in 2006. Last year on the Futures Tour, she made 10 of 15 cuts and was 45th on the money list. According to her "Big Break" bio, Courtney and her husband/caddie/coach Kevin travel to Futures Tour tournaments in a van that other golfers have dubbed the "Love Shack."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cirbie Sheppard

cirbie sheppard pictures

Now here's something Lorena Ochoa can't do: Pull off that outfit on the golf course. Lorena doesn't play barefoot, either, like Cirbie does.

Cirbie is the "rocker chick" of the "Big Break: Kaanapali" cast. Click her name just below to find our previous posts about Cirbie, one of which is a detailed bio.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sophie Sandolo

sophie sandolo pics

A coup for the Golf Channel was landing Sophie Sandolo as a cast member for "Big Break: Kaanapali" - a golfer who already has a large international profile. That noteriety for Sandolo is mostly due to her modeling career, and more specifically to the racy calendars she's been doing for a couple years.

Her golf gets overshadowed by her "outside activities," but Sandolo can play. She's been a member of the Ladies European Tour since 2000. While she's yet to win on the LET, Sandolo has posted numerous Top 10s and finished in the Top 20 on the money list.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Adrienne Gautreaux

adrienne gautreaux pics

Adrienne Gautreaux is the fiery redhead on "Big Break: Kaanapali" with the thick Texas twang. A Texas native and Dallas resident, Gautreaux began her college career at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and finished it at the University of South Carolina, where she was teammates with past Big Breaker Kristy McPherson.

She turned pro in 2004 and has played primarily on the Futures Tour, with a high Futures Tour-tournament finish to date of fourth.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Paula Creamer's Belt

paula creamer belt buckle

We don't normally run photos of inanimate objects here on Golf Babes, but this one is too good to pass up. Wonder if those gems are real? Wonder how much it cost?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Kim Welch

kim welch

"Big Break: Kaanapali" cast member Kim Welch got 2008 off to a great start: She finished second in the Futures Tour season opener, the Bright House Networks Open. In fact, she tied for first, getting into a 3-way playoff that Sunny Oh wound up winning.

Welch was a star at Washington State University, winning 11 tournaments and posting 29 Top 10 finishes in her time there. She turned pro in 2005, and played on the Futures Tour in 2006 and 2007. She also has competed in some long-drive competitions. Last year on the Futures Tour, Kim had five Top 10 finishes and wound up 21st on the money list.

If the season opener is any indication, 2008 is the year in which Kim Welch makes the move into the Top 5 of the Futures Tour money list, securing an LPGA Tour card.