In the end, Courtney Coleman couldn’t catch a break.
The aspiring professional golfer from Rochester was the first person eliminated in Golf Channel’s “Big Break Florida” in the series’ second episode, which aired last week and was filmed last fall.
The show features 12 female golfers competing for a grand prize that includes an opportunity to play on the LPGA Tour and take home more than $175,000 in cash and prizes. In last week’s episode, Coleman, a graduate of W.F. West High School in Chehalis, found herself jockeying to avoid elimination with Mary Narsizi and fellow Washington native Lindsay Aho.
The three faced off in an elimination challenge on the Oak Marsh course at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida, which entailed using three locations on the 18th hole. Narsizi finished with the best score, leaving Aho and Coleman to fight to stay on the show. The competition came down to the final round, with Aho and Coleman level after two of Coleman’s putts in the second round missed their target.
In the final round, Coleman’s approach shot hooked left and her subsequent putt rolled downhill several feet from the pin. Aho two-putted to eliminate Coleman, bringing the Rochester golfer’s golden opportunity to an end.
“If I made those two putts, it would have put the pressure on Lindsay,” Coleman said in a phone interview. “It just really came down to those.”
She said the pressure was “intense,” especially with multiple crew members and cameras tracking the contestants’ every move, but hindsight has provided an opportunity for Coleman to think about how she would have approached the competition if given another opportunity.
“I would have been a little more confident in myself,” Coleman said. “I found out that I do have the game, but I think I just put myself out mentally.”
Coleman’s time on the show is over, but she wasn’t sent home directly after elimination. In fact, she hinted at some videos that will soon be posted to GolfChannel.com in which she will still be featured.
“Big Break Florida” features moments of drama by several of the contestants, but Coleman said she stayed focused on the competition. The show featured several scenes that let viewers see her exuberant personality.
“I think overall, what you see is what you get with me,” Coleman said. “Obviously people can see I wasn’t there to talk bad.”
Coleman, who works as a stride instructor at Thorbeckes in Centralia, gained fans on social media through the show, particularly on her Twitter account (@cclovesgolf). She has linked a video of her replicating the majority of the “Rocky” montage that features him running and training, as a sign to her fans that she’ll be back.
“Just to have made it on the show is a huge thing,” Coleman said. “I didn’t think I’d have as many fans as I do now. It’s a huge encouragement.”
Coleman said she hopes to join the CN Canadian Women’s Tour and will try to enter the LPGA qualifying school.
“I’m thankful to everyone for always supporting me and always sending me words of encouragement. That’s definitely huge for me,” Coleman said. “I’m not going to give up.”