By Robert Bao
Golfers who watch the Golf Channel have noticed an on-air personality who seems ubiquitous, appearing on the daily Morning Drive, providing tournament and news updates and helping out host Martin Hall perform his weekly Golf School. MSU alumni might have seen Holly (Niederkohr) Sonders, ’09, either as a member of the 2007 Big Ten women’s golf championship team or as a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network in 2009. “I’m having a lot of fun, even if I have to get up at 3 a.m. every day,” says Sonders (her stage name). In June, she interviewed her former MSU teammate Sara Brown after Brown won on the Symetra Tour. “That was really cool,” recalls Holly. “We talked about MSU a lot.” She has also played in a number of pro-ams. “I played with Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler, and right afterwards they went on to win a tournament,” she notes. “So now everyone jokes that they want me as a pro-am partner.” Viewers want more of Holly, which is why she will host her own show this fall—Playing With the Pros, playing lessons from the top professionals. “I really like the instructional part of it,” says Holly, who is enroute to becoming a certified golf instructor. A native of Columbus, OH, Holly was recruited by many southern schools but decided on East Lansing after a four-hour meeting with MSU coach Stacy Slobodnik. “That was it,” says Holly. “Stacy made quite an impression. She’s an incredible lady. She’s turned MSU into a force in college golf.” Holly says she now understands the value of her golf experience. “Golf has meant everything,” she says. “It has taught me so much about life. I now realize everything Stacy did with me was for a reason.” After graduation, Holly worked briefly at WBNS-10 TV in Columbus, reported news for KATV in Little Rock, AR, and served as a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network. But she has found a great home at the Golf Channel.
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