Stephanie Sparks dead at 50: Former golf pro turned reality television star

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Former golf pro and sports host Stephanie Sparks died at age 50.

Sparks played on the LPGA and also represented the USA team in the Curtis Cup.

She was a host on the Golf Channel program Big Break for several years.

Sparks died on April 13, 2024, according to her obituary. Her cause of death is currently unknown.

The ex-golfer was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, and last lived in Orlando, Florida.

Sparks was an All-American college golfer at Duke and won several amateur titles.

She went pro but had to end her career early due to back injuries.

According to her obituary, a private family service will be held at a funeral home in the Elm Grove neighborhood of her hometown.

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

“I’m shocked and saddened by the death of Stephanie Sparks,” he wrote.

“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.”

Kraig Kann, another of her Golf Channel colleagues, said he had a “broken heart today” after finding out.

“One of the kindest, sweetest, hardworking people. Always a smile,” Kann said.

“She earned her perfect professional place on Golf Channel’s Big Break and our great respect, support and friendship inside that building. Prayers to her family.”

Former Big Break champion and current pro David Byrne said there is one moment he had with Sparks that will live on in his mind forever.

“I remember she came up to me on the plane home from Big Break, and said, ‘I was rooting for you, congrats’,” Byrne recalled.

“Those two weeks she was always so kind when she saw me. A golf channel legend. RIP.”

Tributes poured in for Stephanie and her family on her obituary page.

One person wrote, “I attended Wheeling Park with Stephanie. She was an amazing person with a wonderful heart.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.”

Another posted, “To the Sparks family, thoughts and prayers to you all for your loss.

“I am in shock and disbelief at this awful news.

“Steph was a big part of my childhood, and every memory I have of her is a good memory.

“I am very proud to be able to say that I was a friend for many years.

“Steph made her dreams come true, and I was always so very happy for her.

“Truly, a wonderful person. God bless.”

– with Sunni Upal, The Sun