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by TV News Desk
Mark Silvers (Savannah, Ga.) battled back from a significant deficit on Tuesday's final match by going 5-under on the final five holes to defeat James Lepp (Abbotsford, British Columbia) 1-up on the season finale of Big Break Greenbrier, Golf Channel's 18th season of its reality competition franchise.
Tuesday's finale was the most-watched and highest-rated finale of any Golf Channel original series in 2012, attracting 309,000 total viewers, and was the highest-rated and most-watched Big Break Greenbrier episode this season.
As champion of Big Break Greenbrier, Silvers receives one of the most valuable prize packages in Big Break series history, highlighted by an invitation to compete in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic in July and $50,000 in cash. In addition, Silvers receives an Adams Golf endorsement contract, which includes $10,000 in cash; $10,000 shopping spree to Dick's Sporting Goods; and $10,000 car rental credit for from Avis Car Rental.
"As soon as that putt goes in, the first thing I think about is how proud Dad would have been," said Silvers, whose father passed away just prior to the filming of the series in June. "Before he passed, Dad told me that all he wanted to do was see me happy and doing what I want to do. It is sad that he is not here to see it, but I'm sure he is up there watching and has a big smile on his face."
Contested at The Old White TPC Course at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, the 18-hole match proved to be one of the most intense and dramatic finales in the series' 18-season history. Silvers went 5-under on the final five holes to clinch victory over Lepp, sealed with his five-foot birdie on the course's signature hole, the 162-yard par-3 18th.
"I really don't know where my future goes from here, but I do take a lot of confidence from this," said Lepp after the conclusion of the match. I know that I'm a good golfer and I know that I can still get better and improve. I'm looking forward to the challenge of becoming a better golfer."
In addition to competing in the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR, Silvers also will be competing on the Web.com Tour in 2013. Silvers earned conditional status on the Web.com Tour by finishing 95th at the final stage of the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament at PGA WEST.
The 11-part Big Break Greenbrier series unfolded on the on the resort's four golf courses: The Old White TPC Course - home to the PGA TOUR's The Greenbrier Classic; The Greenbrier Course - a Jack Nicklaus design and home to the 1979 Ryder Cup and the 1994 Solheim Cup; The Meadows Course - a Dick Wilson and Bob Cupp design that is often referred to as the most scenic of The Greenbrier courses; and The Snead Course - the private residents' course and a Tom Fazio design that showcases a remarkable test of strategic tee shots, precision approaches and undulating fast greens. During the series, the competitors resided in two deluxe, 3,000-square-foot timber-framed homes in The Greenbrier Sporting Club luxury residential community, located 3,300 feet atop Greenbrier Mountain.