Big Break Ireland: Winner and Cast Members

Big Break Ireland was a television series that aired on the Golf Channel in 2011. It was the 16th season in the network's The Big Break franchise. Taping took place at K Club in Kildare, Ireland. The first episode aired on Sept. 20, 2011.

Winner of 'Big Break Ireland'

The series champion was Mark Murphy. Murphy defeated Julien Trudeau, 1-up in 19 holes, in the championship match.

The victory earned Murphy exemptions into two European Tour events: the 2012 Trophee Hassan II and the 2012 Irish Open. And Murphy made the cut in both events. He finished at 1-under 287 and tied for 52nd place in the Hassan II; he finished at 1-over 289 and tied for 58th at the Irish Open. Murphy also received another $30,000 of cash/shopping credits, plus a free vacation.

'Big Break Ireland' Cast Members and Format

Twelve golfers, six men and six women, made up the cast of Big Break Ireland. They were split into two teams, Team Liffey and Team Straffen, each of which consisted of three men and three women. The teams stayed in separate houses during taping, then competed one against the other in skills challenges each day. The winning team was immune from elimination. Members of the losing team each day saw one of its golfers eliminated.

The cast members, with their ages and locations at the time the series was taped:

Team Liffey

  • Mallory Blackwelder, age 24, Versailles, Kentucky
  • Annie Brophy, 24, Spokane, Washington
  • Kelly Jacques, 25, Thornton, Colorado
  • Matt Melrose, 27, Mulanje, Malawi
  • Mark Murphy, 34, Waterville, Ireland
  • Andy Walker, 36, Phoenix, Arizona

Team Straffan

  • Joe Campbell, 23, Cheltenham, England
  • Bennett Maki, 26, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Nina Rodriguez, 27, San Jose, California
  • Nicole Smith, 24, Riverside, California
  • Julien Trudeau, 30, Montreal, Canada
  • Whitney Wright, 26, Greenville, South Carolina

Where Are They Today?

Where are the final two competitors — Mark Murphy and Julien Trudeau — today? Both are former PGA Tour caddies, and one of them still is: Trudeau still caddies, most recently (at the time of this writing) for PGA Tour player Adam Long. Trudeau, by the way, is now married to a fellow cast member. Trudeau and Mallory Blackwelder married in 2014 and have one child.

And Murphy? He is the Director of Golf at The Fox Club in Palm City, Fla. One other update: Andy Walker was the 2019 NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in his role as head golf coach for Lynn University.

This is a promo video that aired prior to the championship match:

And this is an interview with Big Break Ireland winner Mark Murphy:

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