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Ireland native Murphy wins Big Break

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Mark Murphy defeated Julien Trudeau in 19 holes to win 'Big Break Ireland,' Golf Channel’s 16th season of its franchise reality series.

The 19-hole match, played at The K Club, saw Trudeau win the final two holes in regulation to force extra holes.  The sudden-death playoff was contested on the same par-5 18th hole where Murphy had just lost his lead during regulation. In the playoff, however, Murphy reached the green in two and put pressure on Trudeau.  Trudeau’s second shot landed in the water, ultimately sealing his fate. 

“I felt like I have never achieved anything in golf, and now, I have achieved something,” an emotional Murphy said after the match. “This show changes lives. My life has changed, probably forever. I’m Big Break Champion!”

As champion of “Big Break Ireland,” Murphy receives $50,000 cash and invitations to compete in the 2012 Irish Open and the Hassan II Golf Trophy on the European Tour.  In addition, Murphy receives an Adams Golf endorsement contract, which includes $10,000 in cash, a $10,000 shopping spree to Dick’s Sporting Goods; $10,000 airline credit for travel use with United Airlines and a “wonderful West of Ireland” trip for two.

Past Big Break champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, including the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour.  Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, “Big Break VII: Reunion” champion and PGA Tour professional, drew attention earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after leading the first three rounds, before ultimately finishing tied for eighth.  Most recently, Ryann O’Toole, competitor on “Big Break Sandals Resorts,” earned her first top-10 finish at a major championship, finishing T-9 at the U.S. Women’s Open, and was a captain’s pick for the U.S. Solheim Cup team.

Several Other Big Break alums are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Matt Every (PGA Tour), James Nitties (Nationwide Tour), Kim Welch (Ladies European Tour) and Sara BrownGerina Mendoza, Kristy McPherson and O’Toole are all competing on the LPGA.