Forest Lake grad taking swing at ‘Big Break’
Christina Stockton can’t imagine burning out on golf – the game she has loved since she could swing a club.
The financial weight of trying to make it as a touring pro is the only thing that holds her back. The Forest Lake Christian School graduate could not pass up the opportunity for her “Big Break.”
Stockton is one of 12 women competing on the Golf Channel’s reality show, beginning May 14. After a tremendous four-year career at the University of San Francisco Stockton made her pro debut in February of 2011. Since then, it’s been a challenge to find the money to pay for transportation to and from pro events.
“When I found out I made it on the show, I was a little bit in shock,” Stockton said. “I wanted it so bad. I needed it. I needed an opportunity to help me out and I was really excited I got it.”
The show, in which the 12 players do battle in various golf contests and competitions, was filmed in Atlantis on the Paradise Island of The Bahamas. The last woman standing receives a number of prizes, including an exemption into an LPGA event later this year.
A golf junkie, Stockton said she’s been a fan of “Big Break” since it firs aired. Her mother Becky Herbert Stockton was one of several people who encouraged her to apply for a spot on the show. She flew to Arizona for a 35-minute interview and to hit seven golf balls for the producers.
Stockton got word she was a semifinalist and a film crew followed her around in her hometown of Rocklin for 10 hours. Shortly thereafter, Stockton was notified that she made the cut for “Big Break Atlantis.”
The news came at just the right time for the 24-year-old Stockton.
“My parents were in the middle of a divorce and my finances changed quickly,” Stockton said. “I had to think of ways to fund myself – I’m still in the process of doing that. I’ve been playing, practicing and preparing, giving everything 100 percent. I can’t just sit around and wait. I have to go out and sell myself and it’s definitely very humbling, but you have to do it.”
Stockton is working part-time at an investment company, saving money to compete in as many pro tournaments as she can. This week she is in Mexico for a Symetra Tour event. Her ultimate destination is LPGA Tour Qualifying School in Florida at the end of the year.
Stockton is not allowed to discuss details of the show, or, obviously, the outcome. The competition will play out in weekly one-hour episodes that will air each Monday through July. Stockton said the serenity of The Bahamas didn’t help with the nerves the contest – and the TV cameras — brought out.
“The interesting part was, I’ve never been so nervous playing golf,” Stockton said. “One other girl there played in the U.S. Open and she said she was more nervous on “The Big Break” challenges. It calls for you to be creative. It’s definitely a good test of golf. I can say that I’m a better player now than I was before the show.”
Up close with Christina Stockton
College: University of San Francisco
High school: Forest Lake Christian
Career highlights: Stockton is featured on “Big Break Atlantis” beginning May 14 on the Golf Channel. A four-time All-West Coast Conference player for USF, Stockton had 14 top-10 finishes in her collegiate career.
On the web: Follow Stockton on Twitter @XtinaStockton and visit her website: christinastocktongolf.com.