Blair O’Neal Talks Fertility Issues, Plans To Return To LPGA Tournament Of Champions Celebrity Division After Birth Of Second Child

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There’s been a lot of talk about moms on the LPGA lately, and during the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, which extends into the celebrity division, where Blair O’Neal plans to compete as a mom for the first time. two children. .

O’Neal, who will have her second son on December 3, plans to compete at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando January 19-22. The event brings together LPGA winners and 50 celebrities, with former pro athletes including Major League Baseball stars John Smoltz, Roger Clemens and Justin Verlander, NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen and country music stars Toby Keith and Lee Brice.

Danielle Kang won the 2022 edition by three strokes over Brooke Henderson.

For a time, O’Neal was the only woman to compete in the TOC’s celebrity division until Annika Sorenstam, another mother of two, began playing in the LPGA Hall of Famer. Sorenstam lost to former MLB pitcher Derek Lowe in a playoff last January.

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O’Neal, 41, played collegiate golf in the state of Arizona and began a modeling career after college. In 2010, she won the Golf Channel’s Big Break Dominican Republic and then played several seasons on the then Symetra Tour before competing in the “School of Golf” show in 2015.

In 2020, O’Neal entered the TOC while six months pregnant with son Chrome, finishing sixth, playing from the same set of tees as the men.

Blair O’Neal reports that son Chrome is obsessed with golf. (thanks to photo)

Growing their family has been a challenge for O’Neal and husband Jeff Keizer. It took several years for O’Neal to get pregnant with Chrome and undergo six IUI (intrauterine insemination) procedures before it was successful.

This time, after a series of three IUI procedures, the couple decided to undergo IVF last spring. After the first embryo transfer failed to implant, O’Neal fell ill with West Nile virus last fall.

“I thought I was going to die,” she said, “it was terrible.”

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After O’Neal recovered, the couple had their last frozen embryo.

“We had to accept that if it didn’t work, it was okay,” O’Neal said. “That was exactly the path we had to take. I feel like once we got to that point and didn’t expect everything to just work out perfectly, it calmed us down a little bit, made us a little happier in the process, that it would be okay. ”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 5 women in the United States with no previous births struggle with infertility, although it’s an infrequently discussed topic.

O’Neal said they didn’t tell anyone in their family about fertility treatments that first time.

“I understand if people don’t talk about it,” O’Neal said, “because it’s so sensitive and you don’t want to explain yourself all the time if it doesn’t work. It’s like delivering bad news while you’re already doing it.”

When she did get pregnant, O’Neal shared the good news on social media. However, the ugly comments and body shaming that followed were the worst she had ever experienced on social platforms. O’Neal said she shared less this time, “just because, who wants that?”

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She reports that son Chrome is obsessed with golf. His simple mantra “see ball, see hole” would come in handy.

This week, O’Neal is ready to host Viva for trucks! Las Vegas celebrity pro-am September 19-20 at Bali Hai Golf Club. O’Neal, who has already taped her “School of Golf” shows for the rest of the year, always saw herself as a working mom.

At the TOC in Orlando, organizers have announced a three-night private concert series that will include En Vogue, Grammy-winning country pop star Maren Morris, pop star Ellie Goulding and Paris Hilton.

“I’m going to do everything I can to be there,” said O’Neal of the LPGA’s largest party.

It’s family tradition.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek