Big Break Atlantis: Anya Alvarez Talks Golf, Life on Paradise Island

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Big Break Atlantis: Anya Alvarez Talks Golf, Life on Paradise Island
Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Whoever dreamed up the idea for Big Break: Atlantis is kind of a genius.

In fact, it probably resulted from a daydream: a dozen beautiful women that just happen to play golf, stranded on an island in the Bahamas? What a concept.

OK, "stranded" might not be the right term—until you watch them compete. There is definitely a feeling of isolation when one shot determines a contestant's fate at any given moment. But, if the idea for this show doesn't scream ratings, well, I don't know what does.

In the 17th season of the Golf Channel's popular reality show, 12 gorgeous golf gals from around the world gathered at the Ocean Club course on Paradise Island in the Bahamas to battle it out over 11 episodes.

The reward? Exempt status to play in the 2012 LPGA Kingsmill Championship in September, an Adams Golf endorsement contract that includes $10,000 in cash, a $10,000 shopping spree courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods, $10,000 in car rental credit from Avis, a return to Atlantis for a golf vacation, and perhaps most importantly—exempt status and free entry for a full season on the Symetra Tour.

The concept of the show—just in case you've been living on an island of your own—is for the golfers to compete in a wide variety of skills challenges to test their physical and mental toughness. One contestant is eliminated each week until the last player remaining is awarded her "Big Break."

The pressure is intense. Sometimes it doesn't seem fair. And more often than not, staying on the show comes down to one gut-wrenching shot.

I visited with Big Break: Atlantis contestant Anya Alvarez to talk about the show, life on the Symetra Tour and this week's U.S. Women's Open.

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