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.   

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DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”