Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 11:29
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 11:10
Reluctant golf pro James Lepp is making a return to competition, in a manner of speaking.
The 28-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., will be part of the next edition of the Big Break reality series on Golf Channel, competing with other male professionals for cash, prizes and a berth in a PGA Tour event.
Big Break Greenbrier, set at the historic Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, airs in October.
Lepp is a former U.S. college standout, a four-time all-American who won the 2005 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship while attending the University of Washington.
He made a smooth enough transition to professional golf, winning twice on the Canadian Tour, but tired of the grind and moved into the game’s business side.
He launched a company called Kikkor a few years ago, making funky golf shoes that borrow styles from board sports and tennis.
His competitive appearances in the past two years have been limited to a couple of B.C. events on the Canadian Tour.
“Lepp will test himself on Big Break Greenbrier to see if his passion for competitive golf returns,” Golf Channel said Monday in announcing the cast of the 18th edition of its series.
The winner earns a spot in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic, a PGA Tour event that is played at the resort and has a $6-million (U.S.) purse .
Lepp is the only Canadian among the cast of 12 accomplished players, some of whom have reached as high as the Web.com Tour and played in the U.S. Open during their careers.
Lepp On Why He Applied For Big Break Greenbrier After Leaving Competitive Golf:
“I wanted to be a professional golfer since I was four years old, ever since I picked up a golf club. I love golf, and live for golf. It’s all I really know. I always was competing at the highest level, through junior golf, amateur golf and college golf. A couple of years into playing professionally I hit a pretty solid wall. I failed to improve. I felt like I was getting worse.
Happily, I turned away from the game. I needed it. I was starting to “hate” golf, and I never thought I would get to that point. After a few years of barely playing and working on the business side of golf, I’m really starting to enjoy the game again. I’m curious to find out what ‘real’ competition feels like after being away. Will I love it? Will I hate it? Will I excel like I know I can, or not? Big Break will be my test.”
James Lepp Profile
Current Residence: Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Hometown: Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Home Golf Course: Ledgeview Golf & Country Club
College: University of Washington
Turned professional in 2006.
Two-time winner on the Canadian Tour (first victory was as an amateur).
Won 2005 NCAA Individual Championship while at University of Washington. First Canadian male to win national championship.
Seven-time winner in college.
Four-time All American.
Medalist at the 2005 U.S. Amateur.
Returning to competitive golf in 2012 after burning out on the game in 2010.
Personal: Founder of golf shoe company Kikkor Golf.
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