Golf Channel broadcaster Stephanie Sparks dead at 50

Stephanie Sparks, former U.S. Curtis Cup golfer and Golf Channel co-host of the reality show “Big Break,” died on April 13, according to an online obituary.

She was 50.

No cause of death was given.

“She had been a professional golfer herself,” Tom Abbott told Golfweek, who has been Sparks’ co-host for seven years. “She knew what it was like for the contestants, and she wanted them to succeed. She kind of rode their emotions in a way when we were doing the show.

“She knew how tough it was.”

Spark starred as a young golfer, winning the 1992 North and South Women’s Amateur and the 1993 Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s Eastern Amateur.

Stephanie Sparks was a broadcaster for the Golf Channel. US PGA TOUR
Stephanie Sparks was a pro golfer before working on TV. Getty Images

She went on to golf collegiately for Duke, where she earned first-team All-American honors in her freshman season and second-team as a sophomore.

She was then part of the 1994 Curtis Cup team that tied Great Britain and Ireland at The Honors Course outside Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Her pro career, however, was short-lived due to injuries, especially back pain, which limited her to just one season on the LPGA Tour.

“I’ll forever be grateful for the friendships I made in junior golf,” broadcaster Lisa Cornwell wrote on X about Sparks. “Last week, we lost one of our best @AJGAGolf mates. God bless you, Sparky… and thanks for being you.”

After her career, Sparks played the part of Alexa Stirling in the 2004 movie “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius,” and she eventually went on to host various shows on the Golf Channel, including “Big Break,” where players competed for spots to play in pro tournaments.

Lorena Ochoa of Mexico is interviewed by Stephanie Sparks of The Golf Channel during the third round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on November 13, 2010. Getty Images

Sparks also reported at several golf tournaments and hosted “Golf with Style” and “Playing Lessons with the Pros.”

According to her obituary, a private family service will be held in West Virginia, where she was born.