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Coming Down to the Wire

Big Break: MesquiteWhen Hiroshi Matsuo drove away in the car that he won on Tuesdays Big Break: Mesquite, Gerry James could only wave goodbye after being eliminated from the series.
After a grand effort to stave off elimination by posting an episode high 16 points, James fell short of Matsuo's series total of 99 points and was forced to face Brian Kontak and Josh Warthen in the Elimination Challenge that led to his demise.
I have to give Gerry a shout out and say well done, Warthen said in a blog. This guy doesn't play nearly as many tournaments as most of us on the show and he hung in there. He hit some clutch shots and made it through some tough elimination.
Matsuo, meanwhile, added seven points to win the 2008 Chrysler Sebring. The Jupiter, Fla. resident led the standings in each of the series' first ten episodes.
In the remaining two episodes points will not longer be awarded as the final three contestants start each show all-square. The winner of Big Break: Mesquite will earn an exemption to play in the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic on the PGA TOUR.
Big Break: Mesquite implemented a scoring system to give the series a tournament feel. Shows will consist of challenges that allow the players to earn points that will be used to determine which players make or fail to make the cut. The cut line varies from episode to episode and is based on the players cumulative points for the series. The cut will be announced at the start of each show and will be applied directly after that episodes final Points Challenge. Players who make the cut advance directly to the next episode. Players who fail to make the cut will go to the Elimination Challenge. The competitor with the worst performance in a shows Elimination Challenge will be eliminated from Big Break: Mesquite.
James originally was considered a long shot in the series due to a perceived stereotypical lack of touch in the short game. After all, anyone who is 65 and has twice won the senior division of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship couldnt be taken as a series threat.
Right? Wrong.
James prided himself on possessing the total game when it comes to golf, something to which PGA TOUR star Vijay Singh can attest. One of the top players in the world, Singh is an admirer of James work ethic and the two play golf together when they are at home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. In addition, former PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beaman recommended James to the GOLF CHANNEL for Big Break: Mesquite.
James power and size comes from a previous career in body building. As a teenager, he saw a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger and said to himself, I want to look like that.
After moving from Michigan to Los Angeles, he worked as a door man and worked out with the giants of the body building world at Muscle Beach. Before James knew it he was benching more than 500 pounds. During the time he was pumping iron he also moonlighted as a professional wrestler. In his first televised match he took on Macho Man Randy Savage and later competed against the likes of Andre the Giant.
Working odd jobs, such as a bouncer in a night club and a truck driver, he paid both the bills and the toll it took on his body to succeed in body building. His work paid off in 1990 when he won the Mr. California body building title. At the time James earned the title, he weighed 263 pounds and sported a modest three percent body fat. Shortly after winning the Mr. California title, James grew weary of all the protein powder, supplements and steroids it took to get to the top of his profession.
Too many steroids, James said. It was starting to put my health at risk.
The gentle giant stopped the steroids and turned to God and golf to take his life in a different direction, something that the other Big Breakers came to respect.
They also came to respect his game. And while it wasnt enough to win the Big Break Mesquite, James gave them something more than just his drives to marvel about.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Big Break: Mesquite