In the American state of South Carolina, in North Myrtle Beach, Kelly Tilghman was born on the 6th of August 1969. She was the little girl to parents were the owners of a golf course for 22 years. This became the starting point of Kelly Tilghman’s career.
Having mastered her skills through early childhood, in her very own backyard, Tilghman won a scholarship from Duke University to play on their women’s golf team. In 1990, she won the Lady Paladin Invitational Tourney, which was awarded to her by Furman University.
Though Kelly Tilghman graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Pol Science in addition to History, from Duke University, she pursued her drive and talent for the famous sport. She ventured on to play professional golf in many mini tours within USA and international tournaments in Australia and in many other countries throughout Europe and Asia, between the years 1992 and 1996. During this time, she also taught golf to rookies and fresher’s.
Tilghman’s had worked many roles such as the co-host for the Golf Central Show; telecasts from the likes of Academy Live and The Grey Goose 19th Hole. These have all helped to contribute to her professionalism and progression in the live reporting of golf. In 2007, Tilghman successfully teamed up with a leading analyst Nick Faldo, to broadcast the network’s PGA Tour telecasts, making her the first female play-by-play commentator in history.
Though her life was constantly plagued by rumours and criticism about her sexuality, her biggest slam occurred during the 2008 PGA Tour. During her telecast, Tilghman drew herself upon some harsh criticism, from golf fans and viewers, and a feared suspension for her joking response, of “Lynch him in the back alley”, to a comment made by her co-anchor analyst Nick Faldo, about the world champion Tiger Woods. Even though Tiger Woods’ agent, at IMG, did not believe that there was any “ill intent” to Tilghman’s comment, civil rights activist Al Sharpton, insisted that Tilghman be fired with immediate effect stating that her response against Tiger Woods was “an insult to all blacks”. Golf Channel released a statement saying that though they believed Tilghman’s comment was unintentional of any harm, her words deemed offensive. They had then suspended her with immediate effect.
This spurred an apology from the on-air personality Kelly Tilghman directly to Tiger Woods saying that her comment was never meant with any racial intent. Tilghman and Woods have known each other for 12 years and this comment luckily did not create any bad blood in their professional relationship. In fact, since her two week suspension from The Golf Channel, Kelly Tilghman has become the play-by-play announcer on the Tiger Woods PGA tour for his 2008 to 2011 video games.