Jay Woodson handles pressure to win Big Break Invitational

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Jay Woodson capped off an incredible week on Friday with a bogey free four under 68 to win the inaugural Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation. The former Big Breaker came up huge on the par five 18th hole, making a heroic birdie to edge Emily Talley by one stroke.

Woodson trudged to the 18th green at three under par in a tight spot. His second shot had flown the green landing in the greenside bunker. There was not much room for error as the ball was on the downslope in the back of the bunker facing water on the other side of the green.

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In typical “Big Break” fashion, Woodson came through in a high-pressure situation landing his shot just on the fringe clearing the bunker; the ball would trickle down onto the green finishing six feet from the hole. Woodson would then drain the putt officially claiming the tournament and the $100,000 first place prize.

"I knew what I was capable of doing and was confident in my abilities,” said Woodson after the round. And no doubt this will be a huge boost for the 32-year-old who is currently competing on the NGA Pro Tour Series.

Strong competition

Woodson was able to emerge from a talented pool of players that included Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, a PGA Tour Winner, Tony Finau, who just recently locked up his 2014-2015 PGA Tour card, and James Nitties who has also played on the PGA Tour.

The Big Break Invitational is based off the Golf Channel’s reality television show “Big Break” that pins upcoming golfers against each other in a variety of pressure situations, with the winner usually gaining a sponsor exemption into a PGA or LPGA Tour event, as well as money.

The four-day event featured 40 past Big Break competitors, 20 men and 20 women, including 15 Big Break champions.

Big Break format

The format was like none other with a $300,000 dollar purse at stake. The first two days featured an adjusted Stableford format, where players get points based off the score they get on a hole, with the objective to get the most points possible. The third day was match play and the final day was stroke play to determine the overall champion.

After two rounds of Stableford, Woodson was the No. 11 seed in match play. During match play, he would take out the No. 2 seed Mark Murphy by a score of 5 and 4. With the career win, Woodson gains an automatic exemption into next year’s tournament, which he will surely be looking forward to.

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