July 29, 2011
Megan Spedden, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Lady Vol alumna Nicole Smith has been tabbed a contestant on "Big Break Ireland" as announced by Golf Channel Wednesday. Smith will be one of 12 professional golfers competing on the show, all vying for the top prize - exemptions for LPGA, European Tour and Ladies European Tour events.
Smith competed at Tennessee from 2005-09, reaching three NCAA Championships with the Big Orange. She says her experience as a Lady Vol prepared her for competition on the Big Break.
"Being a Lady Vol gives you a big following of fans who watch your results. It really holds you accountable," Smith said. "In addition to the fans support, Coach [Judi Pavόn] always made sure we were competing in strong fields and that our schedule of events was challenging to make sure she was bringing out the best in us, and showing our weaknesses to work on. Both aspects really help to make sure that you are developing your game and ready for anything that comes at you."
The Big Break enters its 16th season this fall and has served as a springboard for many previous competitors' careers.
"My friends on past Big Break [seasons] really seem to have done well for themselves and moved up to the LPGA from the Futures Tour," Smith said. "It seems that the pressures of Big Break really helped them to be calmer on the golf course and make sure that every shot counts. Out on tour you have 18 holes to play... on Big Break it all rides on one shot."
Big Break Ireland will air on the Golf Channel and premiers Tuesday, September 20 at 9:00 p.m.