NGA member Mark Silvers wins “Big Break”
Former Gamecock caps great season in style
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – December 20, 2012 – Some golfers experience a meteoric rise to the top of the game, while others make a steady climb to the game’s upper echelon. NGA TOUR member Mark Silvers is more of the latter, but with his breakout season of 2012, his trajectory has certainly changed.
Silvers defeated James Lepp during Tuesday night’s finale of the Golf Channel’s Big Break series. In the 18-hole finale, Silvers was 2 down through 15 holes, but he battled back to win the final three holes to claim the title.
Silvers earned an exemption into the PGA Tour’s 2013 Greenbrier Classic, $50,000 cash, a $10,000 gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods and an Adams Golf equipment deal. The 2013 Greenbrier Classic will be held July 4-7 at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, where Big Break was taped this past summer.
“It’s been a great year,” said Silvers. “Ever since I turned professional in 2010, I’ve gotten a little more comfortable. The biggest thing that helped me was being able to play on the NGA TOUR, which I believe is the strongest tour in golf outside of the PGA and Web.com Tour.”
After several years of success on the NGA TOUR Carolina Series, Silvers of Savannah, Ga., set his sights on the NGA TOUR Pro Series in 2012. And it didn’t take long for the University of South Carolina alumnus to make his mark.
The former Gamecock earned three top-10 finishes in his first four events of the year and earned his first Pro Series win in the Avoca Classic at Scott Hall Preserve in his fifth start.
“To be able to get a win early in the NGA Pro Series was a huge confidence booster for me,” said Silvers. “If you can win on the NGA TOUR, you can win anywhere. I carried that momentum the rest of the year. I used that on the Big Break. To be able to win under pressure means a lot. ”
Ironically, the pressure Silvers experienced during his first win on the NGA TOUR was applied by the same person on the Big Break – NGA TOUR member Rick Cochran. Like Silvers, Cochran made it to the Final Four on Big Break before being eliminated.
“It was great to have Rick there,” said Silvers. “We played countless rounds together and knowing you had a good buddy there with you helped with the pressure for sure.”
In the middle of the monumental season, Silvers’ biggest pressure came from friends wanting to know the outcome of The Big Break, since filming concluded mid-summer.
“It was brutal,” said Silvers. “That was the first thing that everybody wanted to know. I finally started telling people that I forgot.”
What Silvers didn’t forget was how to compete at a high level after filming concluded, earning six more top-10s and finishing inside the top five on the NGA TOUR money list. In addition, Silvers earned the NGA TOUR Golf Achievement Award, given to the golfer that best personifies a professional golfer both on and off the course, and advanced to the Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School, earning conditional status on the Web.com Tour for 2013.
“I should be getting into three of the first five events on the Web.com Tour next season,” said Silvers. “If I play well, after the reshuffle I should be good to go for the rest of the season.”
If so, Silvers rise to the top will continue to pick up speed.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Web.com Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Web.com Tour Professionals.
The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA TOUR, Euro, Web.com, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fifteen (15) “Major” Championships.
NGA alumni include: 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk; 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink; 2009 U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time U.S. Open Champion Lee Janzen; British Open and PGA Champion John Daly; British Open Champion Tom Lehman; PGA Champion David Toms; 2003 Tour Championship Winner Chad Campbell; 2010 NGA Player of the Year Michael Thompson; 2012 PGA TOUR winners Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings and Scott Piercy.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Web.com Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. In 2012, the NGA TOUR became the “Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open” and secured one PGA TOUR and six Web.com Tour event exemptions for its members, the most in developmental golf.
For more information on the NGA or the NGA Pro Golf Tour, please visit our website at www.NGATOUR.com or contact our Tour Office at (800) 992-8748.