Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blair O'Neal Interview - She's a Long Ball Hitter !

Bushwood CC is proud to bring you the second installment in our 3 interview series with contestants from this year’s Big Break. Today, we will be talking to a multi-talented native of Macomb, Illinois who fled the wintry Midwest for sunny Arizona at the tender age of two ! Guys, I gotta tell you, she is so pretty it will make your eyes blur - AND she can probably smoke it past you off the first tee - so get ready to be impressed, informed, and maybe a little intimidated !

Before we get started with the interview, I am psyched to tell you that Blair is partnering with Bushwood CC on our FIRST prize giveaway - Here is how it works: Just send an email to bushwoodcountryclub@gmail.com before May 7th, 2009. The winner (to be chosen at random) will receive their choice of one of the autographed items from the "Pro Shop" section of Blair's website. While you are there, feel free to browse around and buy some stuff - it goes to a great cause, supporting Blair's efforts to make it on tour.

And now, please give a HUGE Bushwood Country Club welcome to the lovely Blair O’Neal. (applause is deafening...)

Cash: Hi, Blair, it’s awesome to have you here at Bushwood Country Club’s 19th hole. Thanks for making time for us.

Blair: Thanks for inviting me – I know that this chair is a special place, so I feel privileged to be here with you.

Cash; Sweet, well, I know the word is getting out that BCC is the happenin’ place to be – we had to turn down Spencer (and Heidi) last week, because our standards are pretty damn high. Anyway, enough about us, lets talk about you. You are quite a tall drink of water – you look like a model or something…

Blair: Well, I am 5’10” tall, and actually I AM a model. A little shameless self promotion here, if you do not mind – check me out at www.blairgolf.com

Cash: Nothing wrong with self promotion….we have collected some questions from the members here at Bushwood – do you feel like opening up a bit with us ?

Blair: No problem, but can you get me something to drink. Um, and don’t try the “apple juice trick” like you did on the eTrade baby, ok. I've been to more than one rodeo,cowboy...

Cash: Um, you, uh..., heard about that ??? Ok, No prob – here is a bottle of water. (see what I mean, fellas !) Ok, Blair, lets tee it up…

  • Tell us a little about yourself – age, hometown, where you live now, college, etc. I’m 27 years old and live in Scottsdale, AZ. I played collegiately for 4 years at ASU, and loved every minute of it. I grew up in Tempe, so ASU was something that I always had a strong affinity for. As you mentioned earlier, I was born in Macomb, Illinois. Right now, in addition to working really hard on my golf game, I am also modeling and going on casting calls.
  • Tell us about your time at ASU ? ASU was an incredible experience. When I was growing up, I always wanted to go there and play golf. One of my early goals was to be recruited for the golf team and receive a scholarship to play there. I always dreamed of playing golf at ASU because they had a great program and one of the best coaches in the country, Linda Vollstedt. My favorite memories of ASU are (1) getting recruited to play there, (2) going to NCAA nationals EVERY year, and (3) winning the long drive contest !
  • What are your goals for 2009 ? My goals for 2009 are to play in as many competitive events as possible (Cactus Tour, Duramed Futures Tour, etc) and to go to LPGA Q school at the end of the year. I will be working very hard on my game, and am on the lookout for sponsors to support me in this effort. As you know, the purses are not large on the developmental tours, so every dollar really counts!
  • What part of your game are you working the hardest on ? I am really paying particular attention to my short game and the mental side of golf. I have always hit the ball pretty far, and with good accuracy. To better my tournament scores, I have got to really perfect the scoring part of the game inside 100 yards.
  • How were you introduced to golf ? I started pretty young – I hit my first ball at 11, and was playing tournaments by the time I was 13. My Dad is a golfer, and when I was 11, he put my brother and me in a junior golf clinic. I loved it IMMEDIATELY. When we finished the clinic, Dad could see the gleam in my eyes, so he got me started with lessons and I have been hooked ever since that time.
  • What’s in your bag ? Well, right now I am playing PING – and the folks at Ping (an Az. based company) have been very nice to me over the years. I play the Ping ISI blade irons, a G2 driver (I know it’s old, but I love it), Ping tour wedges, and a Ping Anser putter. I took some time off of competing the last couple of years, so I will be updating some of my equipment this year. I play the Titleist Pro V1 ball.
  • So we have to ask, How do YOU mark your Titleist ? I mark my Pro V1 with two dots above the name on the ball – my colors change. Sometimes, I get balls with the ASU logo – I love Sparky!
  • Tell us about your work with Play Golf Designs – what is involved in that ? Play Golf Designs is a really cool outfit – first class all the way. I’ve worked with Nisha there for a little over two years, and played in 3 events with them. The coolest was a Broadcasters Association Tournament in CT – there were tons of former pro athletes there – I remember playing a Par 3 with Ahmad Rashad and several others – very memorable stuff. I like working with PGD because it fits well with my schedule, and provides a unique opportunity to interact with people who really care about golf.
  • How many holes in one do you have in your career ? I have only had one ace in my career ! I was playing a practice round in college, and hit a 6 iron into a long, uphill par 3 with an elevated green. I’m waiting for my hole in one during a tournament round!
  • OK, now for a personal question – since you won the long drive contests in college, how far do you hit your driver ? I average about 275 - 280 off the tee. I have always hit the ball a long way, and this really helps my game.
  • Who would be in your dream foursome and why ? Hmmmm – Tiger, my Dad, and My Grandfather. I never got to play golf with my grandfather – he played back home in Illinois and was a great golfer. His name was Robert O’Neal, and I’ve heard stories about how he loved to play in tournaments… so I think that would be a good group!
  • Favorite sports other than golf ? Growing up I was very involved in dance (ballet,tap,cheer,etc). I basically gave it up so I could focus on improving my golf game. In high school, I did one year of track… but it was really just for fun. Now, I enjoy yoga, lifting weights, and I LOVE hiking up Camelback Mountain right here in the valley of the sun. I also enjoy going to basketball and hockey games. (Editor’s note – little known fact – Blair was the STAR player for one of the teams in the Lingerie Bowl)
  • Favorite athlete ? Tiger is my favorite athlete – his focus and ability to execute under pressure is an incredible motivator.
  • What frustrates you the most ? Hmmmm, I’d say all that’s incolved in getting sponsors for a player like me is one of the most frustrating things for me – I really really want to place 110% of my focus on improving my game, and not worry about how I am going to get the funding to support my pursuit of making the LPGA tour. Entry fees and travel expenses add up very quickly. (Hint to prospective sponsors – Blair is a sharp, smart, articulate, attractive, and imminently likable person. This is someone to take a long, hard look at !)
  • What makes you smile ? I smile all the time, and love to laugh ! Although nothing makes me smile like hitting a great golf shot.
  • What’s on your IPOD ? A mix, really. I really love music – currently there is a Black Eyed Peas song called “Boom Boom Pow” that I cannot get out of my head. I like up-tempo music.
  • What's your take on the whole "new media / Web 2.0" thing ? I am pretty technologically forward thinking - It is a great way to establish and promote your personal brand, and to connect with people - fans and friends. I am on Facebook and Twitter, and have a pretty cool website as well.

Cash: Blair, thank you so much for taking time to talk to the folks here at Bushwood. We have really enjoyed getting to know you a little better, and look forward to catching up with you as the season progresses.

Blair: You are welcome - it was great spending time with you - this is a REALLY nice place you have here.

Cash: Nothing but the finest here at
Bushwood - since Judge Smails went to that great bunker in the sky and left us his millions, we are rolling in a fat way ! We are super excited to welcome you as a member of Bushwood Country Club, and like all new members, your Bushwood CC t-shirt is on the way to you. Don't forget to send us a pic of you sporting it, ok ?

Blair: I promise to wear it with pride and humor, er, honor, and always uphold the values and virtues of Bushwood...

For more info on Blair O'Neal be sure to check out the upcoming season (premiering April 20th) of TGC's "Big Break PEI" - Blair is sure to be a hit with everyone. You can also find Blair online at www.blairgolf.com, or on Twitter @blairalana.

You can see videos of Blair and Big Break PEI here:
http://tinyurl.com/c9vslx and here http://tinyurl.com/cg5f2j


Mr Business Golf said...

Good to see the ladies doing so well. I look forward to seeing how Blair does if she makes it to the tour.

Da Judge said...

Sure looks like a winner to me ! Go get 'em Blair !

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Heather Kerrigan said...

Blair is awesome! I think she will give the guys a run for their money on BB. Can't wait to watch.

Titleist Pro V1 Balls said...

Blair is sure a winner!

country clubs on long island said...

Our club's lady golfers are doing great as you can see from the last tournament that was held at the club. They really made the spectators proud with their terrific showing during the final moments of the tournament.