The Valspar Open is being played this week at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, FL on the PGA Tour. This is also the event in which Jimmy Brandt,
the winner of Golf Channel's "Big Break Myrtle Beach" last year got his chance to tee it up with the Big Boys with a free entrance into this tournament.
The results were all too predictable. In a field of 144 golfers, Jimmy finished at eight over par and tied for 127th place. He was 14 strokes behind second round leader Brandon De Jonge who is in at -6. Needless to say, he failed to make the cut.
I don't mean to make light of this, because young Jimmy Brandt is no doubt a better golfer than anybody that I know, but there is being a good golfer, and then there is being a golfer good enough to compete on the PGA Tour, and to say that there is a world of difference between those two options is putting it mildly.
Back in December, when "Big Break Myrtle Beach" concluded, I wrote the following on The Grandstander:
In that championship match, Brandt defeated Peterson on the seventeenth hole, 3 and 1. It was a ragged match that at times it was a match that neither guy seemed to want to win. Winner Jimmy defied golf's oldest cliche that you "putt for dough" by butchering almost every opportunity he had with the flat stick. Still, he prevailed, and in addition to his cash and prizes, his Big Break will come in the form of an entry into the PGA Tour's Valspar Open which will be contested March 12-15 this coming season.
I will be tracking and reporting on Jimmy's performance in that event, but I will predict now that, based on how he performed on BBMB, he not only will not make the cut, he will be in the bottom five of those "missed cut" players. For his sake, I hope I'm wrong because he seems like a nice kid, but professional tournament golf is the ultimate meritocracy, and I fear that a cruel fate awaits the young man.
Okay, so he didn't finish in the bottom five (eleven golfers, including John Daly, posted scores higher than +8), but I can still say that I believe I had that.
Brandt came across as a nice young kid on Big Break, and I hope that he can overcome this and make a go of it on the Tour, but he's got a ways to go.