Golf might be a step down in national and global popularity when it comes to sports in the United States, but like the rest, it does have its share of athletes and personalities with national and international recognition. While the bulk of them are men, who are active players of the sport such as Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy, some are women, like Blair O’Neal, who have equally gotten popular via the sport. Unlike her male counterparts, whose popularity is solely down to their success as golfers, Blair O’Neal’s popularity also stems from her career as a media personality, model, and TV actor.
With a growing fanbase, it is worth taking a look at Blair O’Neal’s journey to stardom, as well as other details about her. Check it out below.
Blair O’Neal’s Fact Card
Blair O’Neal’s Early Life and Background
Before she became the star of several sports ads and earned a large following on Instagram, Blair O’Neal was a young girl born to Robert O’Neal and Londa Cunningham. Born on the 14th of May 1981 in Macomb, Illinois, she is one of four children born to her parents.
She did not, however, spend plenty of time in Macomb, as her family relocated to Tempe, Arizona after she was born. There, she was raised in a lovely neighbourhood, where she attended Corona del Sol High School. A great academic performance in high school saw the golfer/model earn a scholarship to Arizona State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications, with a minor in Sociology.
Blair O’Neal’s stint as a golfer started shortly after her family’s relocation to Tempe. Convinced by her persuasive father, Blair and her brother joined a junior golf school in Mesa, a city not too far from the family’s base in Tempe. At the golf school, her reluctant interest in the sport quickly blossomed into a passion. Daily practices at the Dobson Ranch Golf Club not only made O’Neal fall in love with golf but also master it.
After joining the American Golf Association when she was 13, Blair began to show positive traits that made her one of the most talented young golfers in the country. Aside from winning several local and national competitions, she went on to represent the country in the Junior Ryder Cup in Valderrama, Spain, setting herself up for life as a professional golfer.
Her Career as a Professional Golfer
Blair O’Neal’s developmental phase as a junior golfer ran simultaneously with her education. Thus, after completing high school, she got her professional license and began a career as a professional golfer. She competed in several golf competitions in several countries around the globe, particularly in Asia. Unfortunately, her promising career as a pro-golfer came to an end shortly after she earned a place in the LPGA Futures Tour.
She suffered a major injury – a broken foot, that kept her out of the golf course for five years. Blair O’Neal returned to the course after five years, as a participant in a reality TV series, Big Break: Prince Edward Island. Despite only one month of training after her recovery, she managed to finish second, proving once again that she’s got the natural talent for the sport.
She improved on her second-place finish in the following year, winning the coveted cash prize of $50,000. Her journey back to the world of professional golf took another step when she earned a place in the LPGA Symetra Tour. Blair O’Neal continued to play and compete professionally until 2015 when she retired and turned her focus to a career in modeling and Television.
Blair O’Neal’s Career as a Model and TV Personality
Blair O’Neal has always been making major strides simultaneously since she was a teenager. She began her life as a junior golfer while completing her education, and while she was a pro-golfer, she began a career as a model and TV personality. Her career modeling/TV career began in earnest after she was forced to take a break from full-time golfing, due to her foot injury.
She began to build a significant portfolio as a model, with appearances at fashion shows, commercials, and magazine covers. During her five-year hiatus, she signed a deal with the sports brand, Puma, and was a swimsuit model for three years. She was named as one of the world’s most beautiful golfers and sportswomen, by the Golf Channel and Sports Illustrated.
Aside from her thriving modeling career, she also began to appear on TV programs as a guest and host. She has appeared in Breaking Par and has hosted a couple of shows on the Golf Channel, such as Morning Drive, Golf’s Sexiest Shots, What’s In the Bag and Donald J. Trump’s Fabulous World of Golf. Blair O’Neal currently hosts the School of Golf on the Golf Channel. She has been hosting the show since 2017.