Although the Lecuyer name has long been one of Canada’s biggest names in golf, and her two younger brothers have both had successful amateur and professional careers, Christina Lecuyer had no interest in playing the sport herself until the age of 18, when she was working at a country club and playing rounds with co-workers seemed like the only way to fit in. She picked up the intricacies of the game quickly, and when she entered her first tournament – the 2002 Edmonton Ladies Amateur Championship – a year later, she emerged victorious. Several other top finishes in Edmonton and Alberta tournaments attracted the attention of numerous college recruiters, and in 2003, Christina enrolled at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas.
Christina’s outstanding collegiate career included five tournament wins, 24 top ten finishes, First Team All-Conference honors from 2003 through 2006 and twice being recognized as the Southland Conference Golfer of the Week. She was a two-time All-American honorable mention and, after graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2007, ESPN selected Christina as a Second Team Academic All-American.
Turning her attention to the professional circuit, Christina competed on the Duramed Futures Tour, the CN Canadian Women’s Tour, the Cactus Tour and various state opens across the United States. She has twice been featured on the Golf Channel’s The Big Break series, coming out victorious on the second go-around, and in 2012, she and 1991 British Open Winner Ian Baker-Finch co-hosted TOURAcademy Home Edition, a revolutionary teaching DVD.
Christina currently co-hosts Swing Clinic with Jimmy Hanlin on Fox Regional Networks, which is televised in more than 70 million homes across the United States.
What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today?
I grew up on a golf course in a small town outside of Edmonton where my dad was the head golf professional. My parents worked there together until I was 11 years old. Growing up on the golf course with my two brothers was wonderful. I was a little entrepreneur since I was little. I hunted golf balls and sold them back to my dad, I washed clubs for the members, and helped my mom in the golf shop. I grew up in the business so at a young age I knew how to handle myself around adults and the ins and outs of the golf industry. I could drive a golf cart by the age of five. I compare it to growing up on a farm except this was a golf course! Ha!
How much of an adjustment was it moving from Edmonton to Conway, Arkansas?
Edmonton was a city of close to a million people, Conway was close to 30,000; the adjustment was extremely hard to say the least. I consider the south a country in itself considering the cultural aspects are so very different. I saw more churches in the town of Conway than I had ever seen in the country of Canada! The food, the words, the language, the clothing… the list could go on and on.
Honestly, I hated it for the first semester, but after I finally started making friends and being a little more open about the culture, I started to really enjoy it. I now get asked if I will ever move and the answer is NO! I love it here and would never live anywhere else.
I will always be a Canadian at heart, but I am now a dual citizen and a proud American as well. I think everyone should have to live in the south at least a little while to experience southern hospitality. My family loves it so much too, which is wonderful because they spend a lot of time here. The best part is the hot weather! I will never complain about the heat because I have experienced enough freezing temps the first 21 years of life!
What are your fondest memories of your time at the University of Central Arkansas?
University was the best time ever! Except for my first semester here, I loved every second of it. To this day, I am still best friends with all six ladies on my team which includes my assistant coach, who was basically the only coach. We set a record my junior sophomore year by winning seven events and five of us won as individuals. We had a theme song which we blared out of the van every time we showed up at an event and, to this day, when “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston comes on, we all send each other a video text and reminisce. We had a great routine and we all loved each other so much.
How did the opportunity to star on The Big Break come about?
I had never heard of The Big Break, but my college coach told me about it when she saw that they were auditioning in Phoenix and I was there and told me to go try out. I think that having no idea what it was was a good thing in that I had no expectations trying out. I was just myself and they loved my competitive nature and chose me. I think it was a bad thing as well since once I got on the show and had never met any of the ladies (every one of them knew each other somehow except for me), I had a target on me from the beginning since I was unknown plus cast as the “dumb blonde,” not as the competitive person I was. Getting into an altercation with Lori on my first show was the reason I was cast on the second reunion show so it all worked out! All press is good press!
What are some of the best or most memorable courses you’ve had the opportunity to play? Are there any courses out there that you’re most looking forward to eventually playing?
My favorite course I’ve ever played is Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, CA. It hosts the Dinah Shore and LPGA Q School. I shot 66 one year and head the lead for round one. I would eventually like to play Pebble Beach, Augusta National, and Pine Valley. I know I will.
Off the golf course, do you consider yourself to be particularly competitive?
I don’t think there is anything I’m not competitive at…
Are you superstitious?
Kind of… I do things the same way most of the time. I like routine, so I’m not sure if it’s that or superstition.
Which professional golfers do you most enjoy watching?
I think most people should watch ladies LPGA golf. It’s the closest golf to the average male. The PGA is a different sport than what most typical golfers play. They are so beyond what 99% of the worlds golfers can do. I see the marvel in a PGA player. I think Tiger is great for golf, but I also love watching the new greats like Rory and Jason Day. I know a few guys on tour personally so I like watching them too, even though they aren’t making most television coverage.
What’s the best meal you’ve had recently?
I’m not a big food person, but I would kill dessert if I didn’t have to work it off in the gym! Ha! My ulitmate dinner would be a salad, brussel sprouts, sweet potato, and mushrooms with a BIG piece of peanut butter pie… and of course Pinot Grigio!!!
If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring golfers, what would it be?
Work hard, enjoy the process, never give up and play to win!