Former UA Star's 'Big Break'
June 30, 2009
MILL RIVER, Prince Edward Island--Former Arizona golf star Derek Gillespie earned himself a $100,000 prize this week by winning the Golf Channel's competition in its 'Big Break' series held on the Mill River Provincial Course here near Alberton.
Gillespie, a native of Ontario, starred at UA from 1997 to 2000 and earned All-America honors in 1999 and 2000. He was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection ('98, '00) and twice a second-team pick. His career scoring average of 72.93 is 10th best in UA history and he played in 168 competitive rounds for the Wildcats, among the program's best.
In the final match-play round of the competition Gillespie beat former ASU star Blair O'Neal, one of the six female players in Big Break Prince Edward Island, season 11, which pitted six men and six women over the course of the event.
Gillespie, a World Amateur Team player for Canada in 1999 and 2000, turned pro in 2000 and has won twice on the Canadian tour, but failed to advance to the finals of PGA Tour Qualifying Tournaments. He's trying to get off the mini-tour circuit and work himself back into contention for major competition.
Among those his UA career paralleled are Rory Sabbatini, Gary Matthews (Camilo Villegas' caddy), and Ricky and Andy Barnes.