Winner David Byrne Says Thanks!


It is 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and things are settling down.  Ha, ha, NO they aren’t! Last night, there was a party in Essex, Ontario for the finale – the whole town might have shown up - - seriously!

I held my emotions together very, very well, until I got the chills when everyone began to scream and shout when I made the last putt. It is something I will never forget. I tried to get it on camera, but I got mobbed like a guy who got the game-winner in OT to win the Stanley Cup. The support I had from back home was incredible – there were also viewing parties being held all over Canada and the U.S. It is so remarkable that this guy from Essex, Ontario (population: SMALL!)  had people rooting for him to win.  I did keep up with blogs and Big Break on facebook and loved reading the comments about how I would be gone the next show…for about six weeks straight - ha!  Also, how people hoped I would hang in there.  Later, we had people back to my house and the party began all over again: all the jokes about playing in my first Tour event, who could we get a practice round with….(G Mac, Poults, Donald.. you available?) The party went late into the night.  I finally got to bed at about 5:30 a.m. and woke up around 6 a.m.  

I must say that I cannot thank Golf Channel enough for selecting me.  I can’t believe I was on the Big Break.  Pretty cool for a fan of the show!  Now that I won, I really don’t believe it. I am anxiously awaiting next season, and see whose dreams come true, all because of the amazing, incredible people at Golf Channel.  

People ask why I liked the show so much – this show gives people hope.  As Andy Dufrane once said ‘Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies.’ I have been called a role model by many and signed autographs – of course, I am laughing during this! I actually asked someone last night if they were sure they wanted my signature.  I mean, really, come on.

It has been well-documented the journey both my mom and I have been on and I can’t thank her enough for what she has done.  I truly feel the reason why I won the show, however, was because of 11 people. First, being my coach Luke LaFave – my game has improved because of him and this has been the reason for my success in golf the past few years.  Also, the ten guys on the show - I never met so many amazing friends. I truly think of these guys as my best friends. Shank, Carl, Will, John, Russell, Oren, Piri, Justin, Robert and especially Kent!! I know people didn’t know how to read him. I lived with him and there really aren’t too many stand up guys like him; (I hope he feels the same way about me!)

I can’t wait to meet Gary, Erik and Holly soon and embark upon this amazing journey I have been so lucky to have. Thanks to all for the support. It means the most winning and being respected by all the guys on the show with me (or at least I think so) and people saying you are a role model.  I was told this was the biggest thing Essex has had in 20 years or longer.  What a humbling, remarkable experience. See you all at The Zurich!

PS – Jody (mom) is watching the final show again…fourth time…so far…