Marcela León, 31, of Monterrey, México, a former San José State University golfer, has become the latest winner on the Golf Channel’s successful Big Break reality golf series.
Big Break Atlantis, the 16th installment in the series, and 4th with an all-female cast, pitted León and 11 other female golfers against each other in a series of golfing skills challenges over 11 episodes, with one contestant being eliminated per episode until a winner emerges.
Contestants on the show can win cash prizes along the way, but the grand prize that they were are all vying for consisted of:
- An exempt entry into the 2012 Kingsmill Championship, an LPGA Tour event
- A full season of exempt entries into Symetra Tour events (the Symetra Tour is the developmental Tour for the LPGA)
- An endorsement contract with Adams Golf which includes $10,000 cash
- A $10,000 dollar shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods
- $10,000 credit with Avis Rent-A-Car
- A vacation package for the Atlantis Paradise Island resort where the show was filmed.
León started playing golf at age 8 in her hometown of Monterrey, México. A star junior golfer in her home country, she represented her home course, Valle Alto Country Club, in national competitions, as well as representing her country in international competitions. Her junior success brought her to the attention of college coaches in the United States, and she received an athletic scholarship to San José State University.
While at SJSU, León was a member of the golf team for four years while majoring in International Business, with a minor in Latin American Studies. She qualified for the U. S. Women’s Open in 2001, and while she didn’t make the cut, the experience helped her decide that the LPGA Tour was where she wanted to be.
After graduating in 2002 she played the Symetra Tour (then known as the LPGA Futures Tour) until 2009, when she took a break from competitive golf to return to Monterrey to teach in the children’s golf program at Valle Alto Country Club. Her experiences working with children revitalized her outlook and re-ignited her love for the game, and she returned to competitive golf in 2010.
León has had good success since her return to competition, making 11 cuts in 16 events in the 2011 Symetra Tour season. She looks forward to the second chance at a career on the LPGA Tour that the success of her appearance on Big Break Atlantis has afforded her.