Big Break Ireland Cast

01
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Mallory Blackwelder of Big Break Ireland

Mallory Blackwelder Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Mallory Blackwelder. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

This gallery includes the 12 golfers in the cast of , the 16th season of the series that aired on the Golf Channel in 2011. On each photo page, you'll find biographical details about the cast members. Enter the gallery to browse through, or click on a thumbnail below to go directly to that golfer's photo page.

See also:

Mallory Blackwelder was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 24
  • Hometown: Versailles, Ky.
  • Current Residence: Versailles, Ky.
  • Home Course: University Club of Kentucky
  • College: University of Florida (2005-07); University of Kentucky (2007-09)
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Does Mallory Blackwelder have golf in her genes? If that can be true of anyone, it must be true of Blackwelder. Her mother is Myra Blackwelder, a longtime LPGA Tour member; and her father is Worth Blackwelder, who has caddied for LPGA legends such as Juli Inkster, Dottie Pepper and Cristie Kerr.

She began her golf career at the University of Florida, but transferred to Kentucky after her mother became the head golf coach. Among Blackwelder's top amateur accomplishments are winning the Women's Western Amateur and receiving an invitation into the Kraft Nabisco Championship (where she made the cut).

Blackwelder had status on the LET and LPGA tours in 2010, and in 2011 played the LPGA Futures Tour.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

02
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Annie Brophy of Big Break Ireland

Annie Brophy Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Annie Brophy. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Annie Brophy was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 24
  • Hometown: Spokane, Wash.
  • Current Residence: Spokane, Wash.
  • College: University of Notre Dame
  • Home Course: Manito Golf & Country Club
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Annie Brophy's playing credentials are solid - she was the Big East Conference champion at Notre Dame in 2008, and was runner-up in that tournament in 2010. But she's also the Big Break Ireland cast member with some controversy in her past.

In 2010, at the NCAA Regional, Brophy was involved in what some described as a cheating scandal. There was no cheating involved, but she was disqualified from the tournament. What happened was some ill-considered collegiate prankery. Brophy was writing down her actual scores, and turned in her real scorecard. But after each hole of the tournament, when she was asked by a representative of a college golf scoring website for her score, she reported birdies. After a few such holes of mischief, a spectacular round of golf started showing up on that scoreboard website. Other golfers, coaches and media started to take notice. And Brophy was in trouble.

That mischief in the past, Brophy competed on the LPGA Futures Tour in 2011.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Joe Campbell of Big Break Ireland

Joe Campbell Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Joe Campbell. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Joe Campbell was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 23
  • Hometown: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
  • Current Residence: Charlotte, N.C.
  • Home Course: Carolina Golf Club
  • College: Belmont Abbey College
  • Current Profession: Golf Professional

Joe Campbell is one of the long bombers of Big Break Ireland, turning the heads of his fellow cast members on the driving range prior to the competition's start.

An Englishman, Campbell played collegiate golf in the United States and afterward settled in North Carolina. But he is one of the cast members with lots of experience on links courses and in windy and rainy conditions thanks to his English adolescence.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Kelly Jacques of Big Break Ireland

Kelly Jacques Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Kelly Jacques. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Kelly Jacques was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 25
  • Hometown: Longmont, Colo.
  • Current Residence: Thornton, Colo.
  • College: University of Oklahoma
  • Home Course: Omni Interlocken
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Kelly Jacques played college golf at the University of Oklahoma, but after graduation in 2009 she decided to give up competitive golf. She got a job.

And after spending several months on the job, she started missing golf. Not much longer and she was considering restarting her golf career as a professional. And that she did in 2011, playing on the LPGA Futures Tour.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Bennett Maki of Big Break Ireland

Bennett Maki Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Bennett Maki. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Bennett Maki was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 26
  • Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
  • Current Residence: Orlando, Fla.
  • College: LaGrange College / SUNY at the University of Buffalo
  • Home Course: Lake Nona Golf & Country Club
  • Profession: Golf Professional, Model, Actor

Got any male model jokes in your repertoire? You can use them on Bennett Maki, who has experience as a model and a commercial actor. In fact, the Golf Channel says that Maki has appeared in multiple commercials over past several years that ran on the Golf Channel. So Big Break Ireland is not even his network debut.

Maki is a member of Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Fla., - one of the Tavistock Cup clubs - thanks to the generosity of his doctor sister.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Matt Melrose of Big Break Ireland

Matt Melrose Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Matt Melrose. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Matt Melrose was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 27
  • Hometown: Mulanje, Malawi
  • Current Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Home Course: Legacy at South Mountain
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Matt Melrose was born in Africa, went to college in Australia, and was playing golf in North America when he was selected for a television series taped in Europe. He's an intercontinental guy.

Melrose was self-taught as a teen golfer, but then spent time at the Australian Golf Academy. He was playing on the Gateway Tour at the time of his Big Break Ireland audition.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Mark Murphy of Big Break Ireland

Mark Murphy Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Mark Murphy. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Mark Murphy was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 33
  • Hometown: Waterville, Kerry, Ireland
  • Current Residence: New Orleans, La.
  • Home Course: Waterville Golf Links
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Will an Irishman win Big Break Ireland? Mark Murphy, from County Kerry, hopes so. Murphy grew up caddying at Irish courses.

He became a scratch golfer at the age of 19, played for the Irish junior national team, and then turned pro. As a professional, Murphy has played on various tours including the Challenge Tour in Europe and the Gateway Tour in the United States.

Murphy also has PGA Tour experience - as a sometime caddie for Rocco Mediate, whom Murphy calls "a close friend."

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Nina Rodriguez Big Break Ireland

Nina Rodriguez Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Nina Rodriguez. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Nina Rodriguez was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 27
  • Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
  • Current Residence: Tempe, Ariz.
  • Home Course: The Legacy Golf Club
  • College: Mt. San Antonio Junior College; San Jose State University
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Nina Rodriguez didn't even take up golf until she was a junior in high school. Before that, she concentrated on basketball. But once she did take up golf, she took to it very quickly, working her way down to a single handicap in just a couple years. She only committed full-time to golf at age 19, when she played for a junior college. Later, she played on the San Jose State golf team.

Rodriguez played on the LPGA Futures Tour in 2011.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Nicole Smith Big Break Ireland

Nicole Smith Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Nicole Smith. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Nicole Smith was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age:24
  • Hometown: Riverside, Calif.
  • Current Residence: Riverside, Calif.
  • Home Course: PGA West
  • College: University of Tennessee
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Nicole Smith is a natural left-hander who learned to play golf right-handed. She overcame multiple injuries along the way to being a professional golfer, including one requiring wrist surgery prior to college. While in college, Smith struggled with a shoulder injury.

But she played on the LPGA Futures Tour in 2010 and 2011. Smith credits her friend Ryann O'Toole with encouraging her to apply for Big Break Ireland.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Julien Trudeau of Big Break Ireland

Julien Trudeau Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Julien Trudeau. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Julien Trudeau was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 30
  • Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Current Residence: Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Home Course: Tatum Ranch Golf Club
  • College: Wichita State University
  • Profession: Golf Professional

Canadian David Byrne won the previous incarnation of The Big Break, Big Break Indian Wells. Montreal's Julien Trudeau wants to keep the title of Big Break champ in the country.

Trudeau was a multisport athlete as a youth. Naturally, being from Quebec, he played hockey. But after his family moved to Arizona he took up baseball and golf, and had collegiate scholarship offers in both sports. He chose to pursue golf.

Trudeau has since competed "on nearly every" mini-tour in North America, by his count, and reached the PGA Tour Q-School finals in 2009 where he missed out on his tour card by one stroke.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel

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Andy Walker of Big Break Ireland

Andy Walker Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Andy Walker. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Andy Walker was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 36
  • Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Current Residence: Phoenix, Ariz.
  • College: Pepperdine University
  • Home Course: The Legacy Golf Resort, The Raven Golf Club
  • Profession: Golf Professional; Assistant Men’s Golf Coach, South Mountain
  • Community College; Golf Instructor

Andy Walker was recruited to play college golf at Pepperdine University by his friend Jason Gore. Then, watching Gore's performance at the 2005 U.S. Open, Walker was inspired to pursue his own dream of playing professional golf.

He has another famous friend, too: former NFL star Seth Joyner. The two founded the Joyner-Walker Foundation, which stages celebrity golf tournaments as charity fund-raisers.

As for Walker's own career, the Golf Channel says that Walker "has won tournaments all over the world in the past 12 years as a professional. But he has yet to make it to the big stage, the PGA TOUR, as he has had to overcome several obstacles – injuries, false starts and struggles to make ends meet."

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Whitney Wright of Big Break Ireland

Whitney Wright Big Break Ireland
Big Break Ireland cast member Whitney Wright. Mark Ashman / Golf Channel

Whitney Wright was a contestant on , which aired in 2011 on the Golf Channel.

  • Age: 26
  • Hometown: Rockingham, N.C.
  • Current Residence: Greenville, S.C.
  • Home Course: Verdict Ridge Golf Club
  • College: Florida State University
  • Current Profession: Golf Professional

Whitney Wright is another member of the Big Break Ireland cast for whom golf was not her first sport. For Wright, that was gymnastics.

Wright is a distant relative of Sam Snead, according to the Golf Channel. She was her state's high school champion as a senior in high school, and posted five Top 5 finishes in college. Wright played professionally on the SAS Masters Tour in Scandinavia for two seasons and had eligibility on the LPGA Futures Tour in 2011.

Bullet-point facts courtesy of Golf Channel