Sympatico: James Lepp's Big Break?

Interesting to see James Lepp got through another round of Big Break.

Anyway, I interviewed Lepp a week ago, and the resulting story appeared on Sympatico. Here’s a taste:

James Lepp is a man who wears many hats – and not just because he’s follicly challenged. He’s a man and a golfer with big ambitions.

Lepp is the founder of Kikkor, a Vancouver golf footwear company that has pioneered a more contemporary look for shoes in the sport. It is a startup that Lepp, 28 who hails from Abbotsford, BC, has been promoting for a couple of years.

He’s also a former NCAA champion golfer, and was once one of Canada’s best amateurs. He won on the Canadian Tour as an amateur and was known for an erratic game off the tee and brilliance around the greens. That led to the tag, “the next Mike Weir,” at least until his pro career didn’t match his amateur success and led him into the business world.

But he’s back in the spotlight largely for his role on the Golf Channel reality program Big Break (which airs on Tuesday). Played at fabled country clubs where golfers must perform drills (like shattering glass with a ball), Big Break is the Canadian Open meets Survivor. But that’s not to say it is all TV hype – some, like Tommy Gainey, have used the program as a stepping stone to PGA Tour stardom. Lepp is the latest Canadian on the show, following the likes of Derek Gillespie, who won a previous season when it was played in Prince Edward Island.

Lepp has made it into the middle of this season, using a short game that belies the fact he’s been pitching shoes and not golf balls for much of the past five years.

Why come back now? Is it a ploy to gain attention for Kikkor?

“I kind of thought it was good for both me as a golfer and for the company,” says Lepp.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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