Wow, Big Break Ireland was such an unbelievable experience. The physical, mental and emotional strain is like nothing I expected. With such long hours and extreme pressure it was a fantastic test of one’s mental ability. I had a truly fantastic time and will take the experience and friendships throughout my life.
So finally I had my chance to be captain, and I was super excited. $5,000 is a lot of money to me, and I felt it was going to be a great day. I would have preferred to be captain earlier in the show, when there were more players on each team to choose from, but the tee just wouldn’t point my way. Fate had it that I was the last captain. The morning of, I felt great, energetic and ready to go. I had full confidence in my team as we had won the last three challenges and we had bonded well.
It is always hard playing on a team as sometimes you can’t influence the result which affects you so greatly, but this is what makes it so exciting. You need some luck to go far in this format. The challenges were fair and exciting and I wanted to go last as I thought I was going to be the one to win it for team Straffen; this though, didn’t go quite to plan. My team played great, with Jules hitting a great chip and Nicole answering Andy’s great shot. During this time, I was a little nervous but enjoying the intensity of the situation. On this occasion Nina just hit a bad shot at the wrong time, there was no blame what so ever, as she had stepped up big for team Straffen in previous challenges.
I knew I needed an Eagle and was praying I picked hole 18 out of the bag. Unfortunately I drew 17, a hard par 4, and I needed to make an eagle just to tie. I stood on the tee and hit it as hard as I could, trying to get as close to the green as possible. Soon as I struck it I knew it was left in the water. I wasn’t disheartened as I stuck to my guns and didn’t hold anything back; I just hadn’t hit a shot for about three hours and was out of sync. This is what is so hard about Big Break, you have hours between shots thus one can’t get any rhythm, one bad shot can cost you everything, so this makes the pressure more intense.
People will wonder why I chose Jules, my good friend and teammate, to go against in the elimination. It’s like Ricky Bobby would say, “If you’re not first your last”. To me there is no difference between going out first, and losing in the final, you still lost. I thought Jules was the strongest player, and I love a gamble. If I had beaten him I would be considered the strongest. I wasn’t there just to hang about, I wanted to take the bull by the horns and take out a strong player.
The playoff was pressure packed and super exciting. I felt great and knew I was in for a good challenge. The first three shots were really hard, with the Liffey staring you in the face on every shot, and the wind whistling away. I was one up going into the final challenge, a hole of golf. This was the first hole I had played in weeks. It was a Par Five so I thought it favored me and I wanted to get there in two. Again, a bad swing at the wrong time and it cost me heavily. I’m glad I went down fighting as this is the way I play, and I couldn’t have lost to a nicer bloke.
I’m currently working hard to save up money to play, and I hope you will see me on Tour soon. I am blessed to have such a great family and an amazing girlfriend, Samantha. They work so hard for me, and support me fully; to me this is far more important than anything. I’m thankful to have had such a great opportunity but more so, to have some new friends for life.
Cheers everyone for your support.
Joe Campbell (AKA: CAMBO X)