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Dream Becomes Reality

Editor's Note: The Golf Channel aired the final episode of its original series, The Big Break, Tuesday in which a group of scratch golfers vied in a weekly showdown of golf skills challenges. Each week one contestant was eliminated.

One by one theyve been eliminated. Each week a dream being dashed, until just two men were left standing. And although there was still one more dream to go unfulfilled, this was finally the moment that one players dream would be realized, earning the Big Break of his golfing career.

So after nine weeks, 10 golfers and countless skills and elimination challenges, things became quite simple between the shows final contestants Anthony Sorentino and Justin Peters. Two players squaring off in an 18-hole match play situation. No more offbeat challenges, just pure golf, mano-a-mano.

It is the same type of feeling as if you are tied for the lead going into the final round of a tournament. You have a chance to win. The ball is in your court. You gotta go out and perform, said Peters about the final show.

It has been a while since I have had that feeling. I love that feeling because it is the position you want to be in. You want to have a chance to win on the last day. Whether it is a four-day tournament or a ten series skills challenge like this. always want to be at the end having the chance to come down the stretch and close the deal and be the one on top.

Anthony tees offAs the players stepped up to the tee box on the first hole both did their best to keep their nerves in check, but their tee shots predictably found the right rough.

We both looked a little shaky at the start, obviously, because we knew what was at stake, recalled Peters, whose resulting bogey turned out to be good enough to halve the hole.

Each player halved the second before Peters rolled in a birdie putt on the third to take a 1-up lead.

A remarkable recovery by Peters from the greenside rough on the par-4 fourth kept Sorentino from squaring the match after three holes.

I thought I was going to steal the hole though, said Anthony. He made a great four. So I was bummed out about that. A four or three I thought would get me the hole and he made a clutch four to stay 1-up.

After a couple of pars at next hole, Sorentino finally broke through by rolling in a tricky 20-foot birdie putt at the 7th to even the match and regain some confidence.

I finally started hitting good shots, said Anthony. It was a hard putt and it dropped. So that was cool. It kind of got me rolling a little bit. And less fear of the speed of the greens.

Sorentino then had another chance to keep the momentum going his way but his birdie at the par-3 eighth finished just shy of the hole leaving the match even.

At the par-4 ninth, both players hit beautiful approach shots into the green resulting in a pair of birdies sending the two to the back nine all square.

Both players found trouble off the tee at the 10th, although Peters got the short end of the stick as his ball was nestled down in knee high rough. As he attempted to hit his recovery shot, he heard a popping noise in his wrist and could only fear the worse.

It really scared me. I mean, there were a million thoughts going through my head. As soon as I felt something pop I looked down and it just looked funny to me. I just started getting dizzy. It felt funny, recalled Peters on the situation. Then all of the sudden in my head I am thinking what am I going to do if I broke something in here. I need to make money playing next week to pay my bills. I cant get a job in time to be able to pay my mortgage.

With the help of a makeshift ice pack, Peters overcame the wrist injury to again make an out of this world up and down to keep the match even in what could have been the turning point of the contest.

From there, each player took turns in winning the next two holes with pars, leaving the match even as they strode to the 13th tee. This time however, it was Sorentino who created some trouble for himself by pushing his drive into the forcing him to tee up a second ball. He eventually conceded the hole giving Peters a slim lead once again.

One of the officials said that it hit a tree and bounced in, said Sorentino. I looked for it for a minute but I really didnt want to find it. I mean, my provisional is in the middle of the fairway. I pretty much just thought that hole was his anyway unless I threw a dart.

The players halved the 14th and moved on to the par-5 15th where Peters wondered where the match was headed.

Nobody wanted to take control it seemed like. Every time I felt like I was taking control I gave him one back the next hole. Then he wins a hole and then he would give me one back, Peters noted about the ebb and flow of match play. Its definitely an emotional grind.

Justin and AnthonyA perfect drive and an equally impressive 7-iron left Peters with a 12-foot eagle putt which was eventually conceded as Sorentino struggled to find the green in regulation.

On the par-4 16th each player left their approach shots well short of the pin and halved the hole after both two-putted.

Sorentino was now 2-down with two to play and needed to win the par-3 17th to stay alive. He pulled his tee shot left as Peters safely reach the green. A miracle shot from out of the bunker and under a tree failed to find the cup suddenly giving Peters the match and The Big Break.

Its been quite an experience, an experience I will always remember, said an elated Peters. To be part of the first golf reality type show like this with 10 different personalities. To be part of this huge production and to go and win the whole thing. I mean its something special. It something that I will always cherish. It hasnt really soaked in yet but I am sure once it airs and once everything soaks in, its going to be one of the greatest accomplishments I will probably ever achieve, especially to this point.
Related Links:
  • The Big Break Home
  • Airtimes for The Big Break
  • Discussion Boards - Talk about the show
  • Video - Watch Justin Peters' winner interview
  • Video - Watch Anthony Sorentino's exit interview