Kelly Sheehan Player Blog

By Kelly SheehanJune 29, 2010, 1:19 am

Kelly Sheehan here. As I reflect back on my experience, I am very proud of winning the first episode of Big Break Sandals Resorts. As things unfolded on episode two, one bad day turned into the end of an opportunity of a lifetime. My goal on the show was to not only win, but to utilize my 11 years of teaching experience and provide instructional tips throughout the show to the viewing audience. Unfortunately, my time was cut short, and I failed to accomplish this.

From the time I left the Big Break audition, I knew something was different about this time. Yes, I said this time; I had auditioned three times before. Failing is not an option for me, and I would have auditioned 20 more times until I got it. I got the call, and for the first time, I was not surprised. I had already started training physically and mentally. I had roughly a month from the time I found out until the time I stepped foot on the beautiful island of Exuma. I definitely had a disadvantage, as I had not played competitively in quite some time, and I was focused on working full time as a PGA & LPGA Teaching and Club Professional. I worked my full-time job at Reunion Resort and would practice after work until dark. I trained harder in the gym than I had ever trained before. As I would run on the treadmill, I would visualize winning challenges, which would make me train harder each day. The day before I left for the show, I could barely walk because I had trained so hard.

Over the month of preparing for the show, I tried to figure out how I could set my wardrobe apart from anything anyone has ever seen in golf. I dreamt up ideas and designed the shirts on my own. I hand-painted a shirt with an ace of hearts playing card on the back and lucky 7s in crystals. I also spray painted the Asian symbols “Strength,” “Courage” and “Success” on the back of a shirt. I created a shirt with silver angel wings on the back, and my trademark “Sheehan” shirt was inspired by a Rugby shirt. My parents’ birthdays were strategically placed on this shirt for motivation. I was highly disappointed that I did not get to show America my creative golf outfits.

With four suitcases and eight pairs of golf shoes packed, it really hit me what was happening. When (at the airport) I looked up and several crew members were staring at me, it was obvious they knew who I was, but I had no idea who they were, yet.

Upon arriving at Exuma, I found out the cast knew one another from competing against each other. There was a lot of chatter about who I was. I explained that despite my young girlish looks (thanks mom and dad), I am 32 years old and have been working as a PGA & LPGA Teaching and Club Professional for the past 11 years. As I was on the bus ride over to Sandals Resorts I was searching around me for the “old lady” as she has always been cool in previous seasons. I blurted out loud, “Oh my God, I am the old lady!”

The strong and confident person I trained to be faded quickly as I learned the entire cast was currently on tour.  I envisioned a meeting to discuss what was going to go down, but as soon as I got off the plane (sweatpants and no makeup), the cameras were on. As soon as I was escorted to my hotel room by a butler, I unpacked and neatly arranged all 14 outfits. I never anticipated living in a house together, but this was another twist of the show that was revealed to us after we were settled into the hotel. 

Each day, we were up at 5 a.m. and breakfast 5:30 a.m. There were three challenges and several interviews, which would put us to bed about 12 p.m. -1 a.m. I quite often found my hands trembling from nervousness when I was not even close to competition time. The first challenge was surreal, as we were transported to the location and given limited information. We got to the location, and there were at least 50 cameras waiting for us. Cameras on cranes, cameras on golf carts and some cameras so close, I felt like I was going to shatter a lens. I believe I was called out as the person to beat, and fortunately for me, I overcame adversity and won the challenge. I was not the slightest bit surprised by being considered the weakest player, because it was true; I haven’t played a really important tournament in 10 years!

As I watched the first show, I saw the goofy smile on my face after I won the challenge and remember the feeling of elation due to what I had just accomplished. Because I was the weakest player, I wanted to win even more. During the trip, we weren’t allowed to have cell phones, computers or any other type of interaction which could give us the extra bit of encouragement. As each competitor was eliminated, their bed would disappear the next day, a blunt reminder of how fast things were moving. 

I am the person that has watched this show in previous seasons, yelling at the TV screen, “I could have hit that better than this bum,” but to be truly honest, it is so much harder than it looks. As I approached my last shot of the show, I took four balls with me, as I never had a doubt I would miss the green. As usual, I did not take much time over the ball and hit a terrible 8-iron shot which missed the green. The cameras zoomed in on me which made me realize quickly what I just lost. It was the easiest 8-iron of my life, and I didn’t even make the green.

I am better than that. I immediately went into my final interview. I was visibly upset and did not quite represent myself in the positive, upbeat manner which defines who I am. I really treated this experience as a job, and the next day, I couldn’t accept what had transpired the day before. I kept trying to figure out how I could contact the producers to give me another chance. I constantly relived that easy 8-iron in my head for days, even weeks after the challenge. Shortly after being eliminated, we filmed a redemption shot and to add to the fire, I easily hit a 3-pointer on my first try, which would have led me to the next show.   

I will forever remember this wild ride of emotions, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity the Golf Channel Producers gave me. The biggest disappointment of getting cut early was that I did not get a chance to thank my mother (Farrell Sheehan) and father (Tom Sheehan) enough for always believing in me and giving me support throughout my golf career and my life. Not to mention my brother (Mike Sheehan), for helping me to follow in his competitive golf footsteps.

I not only wanted to be a role model, but I wanted to be “Rudy” of Big Break Sandals Resorts, the underdog contestant that perseveres and overcomes all odds to win the show. 

In my near future, I look forward to growing the game of golf for women through instruction and exclusive golf trips. This experience has already given me the opportunity to work with Michael Breed on The Golf Fix which was awesome! I look forward to future opportunities like this. Keep an eye out for me on the lesson tee and maybe even the leaderboard. I am not giving up yet.   

Getty Images

After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

Getty Images

Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

Getty Images

Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

Getty Images

Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry