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Stefanie Kenoyer

Age: 26

Current Residence: Lighthouse Point, Fla.

Hometown: Lighthouse Point, Fla.

Home Golf Course: Boca Pointe Country Club, Boca Raton, Fla.

College: Furman University

Big Break Seasons: Big Break Mexico and Big Break NFL Puerto Rico.

Since Competing on Big Break: Currently competing full time on the Symetra Tour.  

BIG BREAK NFL PUERTO RICO BIO

Career stats
- Competed in the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur
- Two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year at Furman (2009, 2010)
- Competing full time on the Symetra Tour

Since Big Break Mexico…

One of the more popular competitors on Big Break Mexico, Stefanie Kenoyer was the sixth player eliminated from the series.  When asked if she wanted to return to Big Break for a reunion show, she immediately said yes.

“Not many people in our sport get this kind of opportunity to be on Big Break in the first place, let alone two Big Breaks in one year,” said Stefanie, who is competing full time on the Symetra Tour.  “I’m blessed to have another opportunity and give it another go.”

Participating on two Big Break series this year was unique for Stefanie.  Big Break NFL Puerto Ricowas shot the first two weeks of June while Big Break Mexico was airing on Golf Channel.  Her elimination episode on Big Break Mexico aired two weeks after she returned from Big Break NFL Puerto Rico.

“I have become an expert at keeping secrets, but this has been even tougher because I had to keep secret about not just one Big Break, but two,” joked Stefanie.  “I wouldn’t trade this experience in 2013 for the world.”

BIG BREAK MEXICO BIO

Stefanie Kenoyer might be one of the younger competitors on Big Break Mexico, but she is not fooling anyone when it comes to her experience on the golf course.  She is the lone competitor to have competed in a major championship – the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open – where she played as an amateur during her junior year in college.

“Playing in the U.S. Open was a dream come true for me,” said Stefanie.  “Even though I missed the cut by one shot, I played alongside the best players in the world, including Paula Creamer and Lorena Ochoa.  That tournament confirmed my belief that I will one day be playing alongside the best every week on the LPGA Tour.”

Stefanie is no stranger to setting high expectations when it comes to sports.  Her older sister, Jodi, is a professional tennis player.  While Stefanie knew she wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps and become a professional athlete, she wanted to follow her own career path.  She was introduced to golf by her grandfather and immediately fell in love with the game. 

In high school, she was the first female to compete on the boys’ high school golf team.  That experience, she says, helped prepare her for college golf, both mentally and physically.

She enrolled at Furman University on a full golf scholarship and continued to meet her high expectations on the golf course.  She was a two-time individual champion at the Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship (2008, 2009), four-time All-Southern Conference team selection, and two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year.  She also was selected as an Academic All-American for four consecutive years.

She turned professional immediately following graduation in 2011 and was, “ready to take on the world.”  She found moderate success in her first series of tournaments on the Symetra Tour, earning full status for the 2012 season and ready to cause a stir in her first full season as a professional.

That stir did not happen.  By mid-2012, she had missed nine straight cuts.  For the first time, she had doubts about her game, and her confidence plummeted. 

“I felt like I was putting in so much into the game to try and break out of my slump that I wasn’t enjoying it anymore,” explained Stefanie.  “A big reason for why I play is because I enjoy it and it enriches my life.  At that time, I was feeling the exact opposite.”

She contemplated taking a break for the season.  She was burnt out.  Her life off the golf course was suffering.  When asked if she was contemplating quitting, Stefanie responded with, “Kenoyers aren’t quitters.  There is no quit in our family.”

She also turned to someone she had counted on all of her life when the chips were down – God.

“Faith always has been such an important part of my life, and it only grew during my slump last year,” explained Stefanie.  “Looking back on it, I think my faith grew that much stronger because it was put to the test.”

Convinced to stick out her slump by her former college coach – Sara Lynn Sargent – she made the cut in her next event in Richmond, Va.  To most, it was just a made cut.  To her, it was a breakthrough.  She didn’t miss a cut the remainder of the year (six events) highlighted by her best finish in 2012 in her final tournament.

“I’ve never experienced that type of frustration in my life,” said Stefanie.  “I’ve never really failed in athletics before, and this was the first time that I stared failure right in the face.  When you are trying to make a living through golf, going through a slump like that was even more frustrating.  I’m the type of person who always wants to take care of things by myself.

“Looking back, now I know that God always has the best intentions for me, even if I can’t see the whole picture or it doesn’t match what I had planned.”

Entering 2013, Stefanie’s confidence on and off the golf course is at an all-time high.  Her coach, who encouraged her to stick through her slump, also encouraged her to audition for Big Break.  Her coach knows what she is talking about.  Sarah Lynn Sargent was a competitor on Big Break VI: Trump National, and earned her LPGA Tour card in 2007, the following season after being on Big Break. 

“Now those are footsteps I plan to follow,” said Stefanie.