We Recently Caught Up with the Model and Golf Pro to Get the Latest on Life on and Off the Course
[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]t age 11 Blair O’Neil began playing golf with her father. Loving the game at first play, she spent many long hours on the course honing her skills and polishing her gift. Her dedication and passion paid off when golf coach Linda Vollstedt actively recruited her for Arizona State University. Her tenacity and appetite for the game was unstoppable. As a result, she competed in every golf event held during her four-year college career, won two out of three NCAA Long Drive contests, and held the title of captain of the golf team. When she went pro in 2004, her degree in Communications with a minor in Sociology came in handy.
O’Neil’s golfing talent and natural poise have taken her all over the world. She has played in Japan, Thailand, Korea and China, as well as throughout the United States. Soon, more than her great golf form began to draw attention. Her cover girl good looks and natural affinity for fashion launched a second successful career—fashion model.
Currently, Blair plays on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Futures Tour and also competes in several Ladies European Tour (LET) events each year with sponsors’ exemptions. She also won Golf Channel’s “Big Break: Dominican Republic,” has appeared in magazines such as Maxim and Sports Illustrated, and is signed with the Ford modeling agency.
Blair defies mere labels and the typical one-dimensional athletic description. Is she the sexy, down-to-earth, fashion guru who tricks out her golf attire in ever-unique Blair O’Neil style? Or is she the cool, calm and collected blond goddess golf champion who keeps her eye on the prize and her feet firmly planted on the green? It appears that she is, in fact, all of these, and more. She is just as multi-talented as she is multi-faceted.
This young golfer is coming into her own. With solid sponsorship from Cobra PUMA and her passions focused directly on golf, the coming years promise to be some of Blair’s finest as she sets her sights on big wins and solid golf gains. We know there is nothing this brilliant athlete can’t do once she sets her mind to it. She is one of a rare breed who seems to have been born with good genes and good sense. Whether it’s divine intervention or Arizonian Ditat Deus at work makes no difference, she’s our fashionable female spotlight champion to watch.
We recently caught up with Blair to get the latest on her life and her take on everything from golf idols and tips for young female golfers, to her upcoming golfing goal mind-set and fashion fantasies.
19th Hole: There are many inspirational golfers both male and female in the world of golf. Who are your personal golf idols and why?
My golf idols are Annika Sorenstam and Ben Hogan. There are so many amazing golfers out on the LPGA and PGA. I enjoy watching the PGA players on TV to see what things they do differently than the women. I feel like you can learn a lot by just watching.
19th Hole: There are haute couture fashion models and amazing athlete fashion models, such as yourself. Is there any one individual who has given you your modeling inspiration?
When I was little I loved Michelle McGann. She hit the ball long, always wore unique outfits and colorful hats! When I was young I loved looking at the models in catalogs. What they wore, how their hair and makeup was done, and how they would pose.
19th Hole: You started golfing at the age of 11. Do you have any advice for young aspiring, female golfers?
Practice, PRACTICE, practice! Work with an instructor, and play as many junior golf tournaments as possible. I also suggest keeping a journal in your golf bag. Write down what you worked on with your instructor and how to improve, jot down questions to ask the next time you see your teacher, and most importantly what you are doing great and how it looks and feels! This way you can always look back on things you’ve learned along the way and remember some things that you may have forgotten.
19th Hole: You have a unique and striking fashion sense. Were you born with it, like your golf talent, or was it developed over time? If the latter, what did you do to create this singular fashion persona?
I’ve always had a passion for fashion. I think it’s fun to put together outfits that are unique to your own style. It can’t hurt to look good on the course… so why not? I am signed with PUMA Golf, so looking good and piecing together fun outfits is a natural fit. The Women’s PUMA Golf Line just keeps getting better and better each season. I absolutely love it!
19th Hole: Golf is your first and passionate love. What is your next big goal in the world of women’s golf?
My goal is to get full status on the LPGA. Last year I played my first full season on the LPGA Symetra Developmental Tour and will play a full season this year as well. I learned a lot last season and am looking forward to a new year. Top ten on the money list earns full LPGA status for 2014. I can’t wait to get out there.
19th Hole: We know you are always moving forward and into new ventures in fashion. What is your next move in the world of fashion?
Well I’ve been fortunate to be in the last three Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues. The ultimate would be to make the cover!
19th Hole: How did you come to the attention of Cobra PUMA? What does a sponsorship such as this mean to a young golfer?
Cobra PUMA Golf and I are the perfect fit. It was a no-brainer to sign with them and I’m very grateful to be associated with this company. Cobra PUMA is unlike any other golf company; they think outside the box, they make a great product, and they are fun! They just get it. It’s also great spending time with the other Cobra PUMA staff players. We all get along so well… it’s nice to be part of the Cobra PUMA family.
FIND OUT MORE AT WWW.BLAIRONEIL.COM
BY ROBIN LORÉ FOR THE 19TH HOLE MAGAZINE | IMAGES COURTESY OF BLAIRONEIL.COM