Big Break Ireland Competitor
Hometown: Mulanje, Malawi
Current Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Home Course: Legacy at South Mountain
Profession: Golf Professional
Matt Melrose originally had no desire to apply for Big Break. That all changed in 2010, when he saw a Golf Channel camera crew auditioning potential competitors at a Gateway Tour event.
“I didn’t think Big Break was for me,” explained Melrose. “I actually had no idea what Big Break was. I saw the producers on the driving range filming, and I went up and asked them what was going on. When the producers explained to me a little about the series, they encouraged me to sign up and give it a try.”
“So I thought to myself, why not?”
The producers watched Melrose on the driving range, and sat him down for an audition interview. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I told my buddies after the tournament that I auditioned for this show, and asked them what it is all about,” said Melrose. “When they told me about the show, I still didn’t think it was for me.”
A few weeks later he was notified that he had been chosen. He took a step back and came to the conclusion that if anyone needs a Big Break in golf, it’s him.
Melrose grew up in Zimbabwe. When he was seven, his family moved to the country of Malawi. Growing up in farm country, golf was not exactly prevalent, but he always had a fondness for the game.
“I had massive dreams all the time growing up of playing golf alongside the biggest names I saw on television,” said Melrose. “Those dreams never went away and they have turned more into a goal for me.”
Melrose started taking the game seriously while in college in Australia. When he wasn’t studying, he was practicing or playing golf. A self-taught golfer, Melrose enrolled in the Australian Golf Academy, where he earned his diploma and honed in his game for life as a professional. In just nine months, Melrose went from an 18 handicap to a scratch.
“Those nine months really opened my eyes as to how good I can be if I stick with it.”
In 2008, Melrose had his first brush with the elite. He narrowly missed qualifying for the South African Airways Open, and was the first alternate. He was afforded the opportunity to compete in a practice round and found himself hitting balls on the driving range next to one of his idols, Greg Norman.
“I couldn’t believe that I was standing there, hitting balls next to one of the legends in the game,” said Melrose. “I had to pinch myself. I realized right then and there that I can compete with these guys. That was the point where I thought, after all of the hard work and practicing and everything, this still is my dream and this is what I want to do.”
Fast forward three years, Melrose is living in Scottsdale, Ariz., competing on various mini tours and the Gateway Tour. As he steps foot on the driving range at K Club for Big Break Ireland, he still has yet to watch a single Big Break episode. He prefers it that way.
Watch Matt's Video Bio.