DETROIT -- While the current Titans will be in Florida battling for their eighth Horizon League title, former President's Award winner and Horizon League Player of the Year David Byrne will realize his dream when he competes on the PGA Tour in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The tournament will be held this week at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale, LA, from Thursday-Sunday.
Byrne has this opportunity after winning Big Break Indian Wells last summer, a reality television show on the Golf Channel. Byrne outlasted 10 other opponents in winning the 10-episode series, which is based on succeeding in a series of challenges and earning money.
In every episode, there were a number of challenges that each contestant had to go through and at the end of the day, two players with the least money squared off in an elimination challenge. Byrne found himself on the lower end of the money pole for most of the series and had to win four elimination challenges through the first nine episodes just to get to the final show.
In the series finale, he went up against another Canadian and his roommate on the series in Kent Eger and Byrne would go on to win the six-hole match play, actually edging Eger in a seventh playoff hole.
Besides the chance to compete on the PGA Tour, Byrne won over $70,000 in cash, a paid trip for two back to the Indian Wells Golf Resort, an Adams golf endorsement deal and a 10,000 Shopping spree to Dicks Sporting goods.
As a Titan, he helped Detroit secure two Horizon League titles (2007, 2010), while winning medalist honors as a freshman. A team captain, he was a three-time HL All-Tournament performer and was just the second golfer in school history to be selected All-League four times. Along with his HL Newcomer of the Year, he ended his collegiate career as the League's Player of the Year as a senior.
Besides his accomplishments on the links, Byrne was a model student-athlete twice earning All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America. A history major who graduated with a 3.56 GPA, he was twice honored on the Horizon League's Spring All-Academic team and was also a six-time member of the conference's fall and spring Academic Honor Roll, and a four-year member of Detroit's Athletic Director's Honor Roll. In 2010, he received the athletic department's highest honor in the President's Award – given to UDM's most-outstanding senior student-athlete.
He was also an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), serving as the president during his season year. While on SAAC, he was always at the forefront in the organization's service projects.
Live coverage of the event starts on Thursday from 3-6 p.m., on the Golf Channel. Round two will also be shown live on the Golf Channel on Friday from 3-6, while CBS will take over coverage on Saturday and Sunday.
Some of the impressive names entered to compete include, defending champion and 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson, Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Steve Stricker.
(Release courtesy of PJ Gradowski, Detroit Athletics)
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