James Lepp joins cast of Big Break
Published on Thursday, May. 09, 2013 12:01PM EDT Last updated on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 08:07AM EDT
Reluctant golf pro James Lepp is making a return to competition, sort of.
The 28-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., will be part of the next edition of the Big Break reality series on Golf Channel, competing with other male professionals for cash, prizes and a berth in a PGA Tour event.
Big Break Greenbrier, set at the historic Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, airs in October.
Lepp is a former U.S. college standout, a four-time all-American who won the 2005 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship while attending the University of Washington.
He made a smooth enough transition to professional golf, winning twice on the Canadian Tour, but tired of the grind and moved into the game’s business side. He launched a company called Kikkor a few years ago, making funky golf shoes that borrow styles from board sports and tennis.
His competitive appearances in the past two years have been limited to a couple of B.C. events on the Canadian Tour.
“Lepp will test himself on Big Break Greenbrier to see if his passion for competitive golf returns,” Golf Channel said Monday in announcing the cast of the 18th edition of its series.
The winner earns a spot in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic, a PGA Tour event that is played at the resort and has a $6-million (U.S.) purse .
Lepp is the only Canadian among the cast of 12 accomplished players, some of whom have reached as high as the Web.com Tour and played in the U.S. Open during their careers.
Two of the competitors have famous relatives in the game. Chan Song is the older brother of LPGA Tour players Naree and Aree Song, while fellow American Rick Cochran is the nephew of Champions Tour regular Russ Cochran.
Canadians have done well before on the Big Break series. Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, Ont., won the Prince Edward Island instalment and David Byrne of Essex, Ont., was the champion at Indian Wells, Calif.