Stephanie Sparks, former pro golfer and Golf Channel host, dead at 50

Stephanie Sparks, a former professional golfer and co-host of the Golf Channel’s “Big Break,” died earlier this month. She was 50. 

Sparks, who played one year on the LPGA tour and represented the U.S. in the 1994 Curtis Cup, died April 13, according to an obituary shared online. 

Stephanie Sparks smiles

Stephanie Sparks of the Golf Channel smiles after making a birdie on the second hole during the first round of the Ginn Open at Reunion Resort April 17, 2008, in Reunion, Fla.  (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Tom Abbott, Sparks’ co-host on the reality show, confirmed the news in a post on X Saturday.

“I’m shocked and saddened by the death of Stephanie Sparks. Many of you will remember Steph as the host of #BigBreak – we worked together on 7 seasons. Lots of fond memories of those times, Steph was a crucial part of the Big Break success story. My thoughts go out to her family.” 

The cause of death was not immediately revealed. 

Stephanie Sparks broadcasts

Stephanie Sparks of the Golf Channel interviews players near the clubhouse during the third round of the Stonebrae Classic at TPC San Francisco Bay at Stonebrae April 4, 2009, in Hayward, Calif.  (Chris Condon/PGA Tour)


Sparks was an accomplished amateur golfer. She played at Duke, where she was an All-American. After college, she played in the Futures Tour, where she won the 1992 North and South Women’s Amateur and the 1993 Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s Eastern Amateur. 

She played just one season on the LPGA Tour in 2000, and injuries cut her pro career short. 

Stephanie Sparks hits a bunker shot

Stephanie Sparks from the Golf Channel plays a bunker shot on the seventh hole during the second round of the Ginn Open at Reunion Resort April 18, 2008, in Reunion, Fla.  (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

According to Golfweek, Sparks transitioned into broadcasting, hosting several series on the Golf Channel and reporting during tournaments. 

Sparks’ family intends to hold a private service. 

“Stephanie graced our world with her presence and leaves behind cherished memories of laughter, kindness, and warmth,” her obituary says. 

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