The finale is here! One player will have their dream become a reality. With over $100,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs and a spot in the field at the 2015 Valspar Championship!
To determine the winner, Jimmy and Toph had to battle it out in an 18-hole match play shootout. It’s an interesting dynamic considering how good of friends they are. It’s pretty cool that on the first day, they planned on making it to the finale together. Coincidence or did they talk their way into being in the finale? It’s amazing what happens when you keep your focus and attention on the ultimate prize!
Out of the gates, Toph made a ho-hum par to go 1 up through 1. He looked very solid with a striped 3-wood down the fairway and a solid approach. Jimmy started off with a plugged ball in the fairway bunker. After that type of start for Jimmy, it’s important to stay calm and stick to the game plan! He proceeded to hit 2 great shots on the second but failed to convert his makeable birdie.
Going into the 6th hole, Jimmy and Toph were all square. Jimmy had another very makeable birdie putt but failed to make it count. His putter looks a little shaky in his hands so far, I’m hoping he settles down a little! On the 9th hole, Toph got into some trouble, leaving Jimmy 2 putts to go into the back 9 with a 1-up lead; but he left his 3rd putt short! You can tell by his stroke that he is babying everything and trying to will the ball into the hole. This is why it’s so important to trust your routine and stick with it. It can make all the difference! When you can rely on that routine being exactly the same every time, you start to loosen up and gain confidence!
On the back 9, Toph started to fall apart. He topped a bunker shot into the water and literally handed Jimmy 2 holes. It’s hard to watch a player fall apart. Especially when you know how important this round is and how much it means to them. Coming into this competition, neither Toph nor Jimmy had much experience under their belt and it’s starting to show. Good news is that will definitely get better as they find themselves in more pressure packed situations.
On the 14th hole, Toph made another bogey and all Jimmy had to do was two putt…again! Thankfully this time he made his 6’ comebacker. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just two putt or just make a par. When you lower expectations, your trained competitive brain doesn’t know how to back off and try to play just average. Again…just stick to your regular game plan…you’ll be better off!
With a two shot lead, Jimmy hit his drive down the right side of the hole and found himself in the water on hole 15! He had all day left…that had to be frustrating! He bounced back and got up and down for a par! What a comeback!! Toph had a chance to get one back here but failed to take advantage. Jimmy’s made putt must have taken all the wind out of Toph’s sail. Going into the 16th hole, Toph was now dormie. For the second time, Jimmy failed to “just” two putt…and this one was for the win! No matter what happens on this show, he really needs to get his nerves under control. Toph just flat out hasn’t played great, but Jimmy’s putting clearly has crumbled under the pressure.
Toph has new life, with that win on 16! However, heading into the 17th hole, Toph is still in a must win situation. They both hit their drives in play and surprisingly Toph hit his approach into the greenside bunker! What is he doing? With shots like that, unfortunately he does not deserve to win this title. Jimmy’s putting was shaky all day, but his ball striking was nearly perfect.
Congratulations JIMMY! Way to hang in there from week 1. You started off as an underdog and slowly worked your way to be one of the strongest players of the season. You were steady, level headed and consistently got better week after week. Enjoy this moment and let this win bring you to a new level of confidence and maturity. After surviving 11 weeks of the most intense pressure, you are now fully prepared to take on any situation. Polish that putting and that pre-shot routine, and you will be golden. I’m looking forward to watching your career and your 2015 Valspar start!!
I can’t believe another season of Big Break has come to a close. We were introduced to a lot of up and coming players, witnessed some great golf and whole lot of passion.
Until next year!!