From the Archives
Throwback Thursday - Canadians who have been on Golf Channel's Big Break
Golf Canada takes a look back at archived photos of Canadians who have competed on the Big Break.
Golf Canada/ Matt Cudzinowski
Published on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 05:22PM EST Last updated on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 07:31PM EST
A native of Oshawa, Ont., Derek Gillespie was the winner of Big Break XI: Prince Edward Island. Coming off severe injuries sustained in an automobile accident in 2011, Gillespie mounted a remarkable comeback in 2012, qualifying for weekend play in all 8 PGA TOUR Canada events in which he competed on the season. A product of the University of Arizona where he played alongside Rory Sabbatini, Gillespie is a two-time winner on both the PGA TOUR Canada and Great Lakes Tour circuits, and a former Ontario Junior (1993 and 1995) and Ontario Juvenile champion (1994).
A native of Edmonton, Christina Lecuyer was a contestant on both Big Break: Ka’anapali and Big Break: Dominican Republic. A product of the University of Central Arkansas, Lecuyer won the first golf tournament she had ever entered, the 2002 Edmonton Ladies’ Amateur Championship. She enjoyed a standout collegiate career, winning five collegiate tournaments and posting 24 top-10 individual finishes. Lecuyer has played various mini-tours since 2007, including the Symetra Tour, CN Canadian Women's Tour, the Cactus Tour and various state opens across the USA.
A native of Toronto, Seema Sadekar was a contestant on Big Break: Sandals Resort. She played collegiate golf at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV), and was the 2005 UNLV Freshman of the Year. Sadekar, who has competed primarily on the Symetra Tour, was the leading money winner on the 2008 CN Canadian Women’s Tour.
A native of Newmarket, Ont., Jan Dowling was a contestant on Big Break III: Ladies Only. Dowling captured the 2000 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship while competing collegiately for Kent State University. That same season, Dowling was recognized as the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Player of the Year after capturing her second consecutive individual MAC Championship. She played professionally from 2003 to 2005 prior to beginning a coaching career at Kent State (Assistant Coach), Duke (Assistant Coach) and the University of Florida where she led the Women’s Squad from 2009 to 2012.
A native of Abbotsford, B.C., James Lepp was a finalist on Big Break: Greenbrier. A two-time winner of the Canadian Junior Boys Championship and four-time B.C. Amateur Championship titleholder, Lepp captured the 2005 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship as a member of the University of Washington Huskies. He won the PGA TOUR Canada’s Greater Vancouver Classic in 2003 as an amateur, and went on to win the Tour’s Greater Vancouver Charity Classic in 2007 after turning professional a year prior. Lepp, a member of Team Canada’s National Squad in 2005, is the founder of Kikkor Golf.
A native of Windsor, Ont., Nathalia Ghilzon was a contestant on Big Break Atlantis. After her freshman season at Oakland University, Ghilzon was forced to withdraw in 2009 to rehabilitate her surgically repaired left wrist. In 2011, Ghilzon resumed competitive golf for the first time in nearly two years. She played a limited schedule, continuing to practice and undergoing physical therapy. Ghilzon was a four-time winner of the Windsor and Essex County Secondary Schools Athletic Association championship (WECSSA).
A native of Winnipeg, Stacey Bieber was a contestant on Big Break: Sandals Resort. She captured the 2003 Manitoba Junior Championship and the 2005 Manitoba Amateur Championship. Bieber enjoyed a successful collegiate career while at Texas Christian University posting three top-10 individual finishes, earning runner-up honours at the 2005 Conference USA Championship and earning a selection to the 2005 Conference USA All-Tournament Team. She is a veteran of the CN Canadian Women’s Tour, in addition to competing on the Symetra Tour.
A native of Regina, Kent Eger was a finalist on Big Break: Indian Wells, losing out to fellow Canadian David Byrne. He enjoyed a successful junior golf career, capturing the 1999 Saskatchewan Junior Boys Championship before moving to British Columbia where he represented the province on two Willingdon Cup teams, and competed in four Canadian Men’s Amateur Championships. Eger boasts seven professional wins between the PGA TOUR Canada circuit and the Gateway Tour.
A native of Olds, Alta., Shelby Chrest was a competitor on Big Break II: Las Vegas. At 16, he made the Alberta provincial team and garnered national recognition by winning the juvenile division comprising players 16 and under. Chrest was a two-time recipient of the Alberta Junior Achiever, an award given to the person that best displays playability, dedication and respect for the game of golf.
(No Picture Available)
A native of Essex, Ont., David Byrne was the winner of Big Break: Indian Wells. Byrne, a product of the University of Detroit-Mercy, competed in 8 PGA TOUR Canada events in 2012, making the cut on 6 occasions. A former Horizon League Player of the Year, Byrne is a three-time Ontario Match Play Champion, and was the top-ranked amateur in Ontario in 2007.
A native of Montreal, Julien Trudeau was a finalist on Big Break: Ireland. A product of Wichita State University, Trudeau missed earning a PGA TOUR card by one shot at the final stage of PGA TOUR Q School in 2009. He competed on the Web.com Tour in 2010. Now residing in Phoenix, AZ, Trudeau caddied for PGA TOUR player and Weyburn, Sask. native Graham DeLaet during the 2012 season.
A native of Fredericton, N.B., Annie Mallory was a contestant on Big Break VI: Trump National. Even though she picked up her first golf club at age 13, Mallory earned a scholarship to the University of Texas-El Paso, where she was twice named to the second-team of the All Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and was a WAC All-Academic on three occasions. She played on mini-tours as a professional, but was drawn to coaching. She is currently a teaching professional at the Core Golf Academy.