Alumna Taylor Collins Wins Big Break Mexico
September 6, 2013St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Big Break Mexico -- Season: 19 -- Pictured: Taylor Collins- (Photo by: Mark Ashman/Golf Channel) (Mark Ashman / Mark Ashman/Golf Channel / February 11, 2013)
When it comes to her golf game, Taylor Collins has always had more than her share of doubters because she stands only 5 feet, 1 inch tall. But as Collins likes to say, “If you’re good enough, you’re big enough.”
The reality show victory is worth more than $100,000 for Collins, who gets $50,000 cash for winning, plus another $30,000 from show sponsors Macanudo Cigars, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Adams Golf, which also is providing an endorsement contract.
She ended up watching her victory by herself Monday night. Collins was in Orlando so she could appear at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday on “Morning Drive” on the Golf Channel. Her parents had booked a vacation in Mexico this week, and Collins couldn’t say anything, so there was no way for them to watch the episode together.
“I just told myself, ‘You’ve been messing around all 18 holes, it’s time to step up and get it in the hole,’“ Collins said. “I wanted to get this shot up and down to prove a point to myself.
“It seemed like whenever the pressure was on, that’s when I seemed to play best.”
Playing well has been a hallmark of her career. As a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas, Collins was the South Florida PGA’s Girls Player of the Year. She was a member of three national championship teams at Nova Southeastern University and she won the 2011 NCAA Division II individual national title her senior year.
Collins said she’s played golf ever since she can remember. She started by taking lessons from Bob Toski, who is still her teacher and who, despite weighing only 118 pounds during his PGA Tour career in the late 1940s and early ’50s, regularly drove the ball 250 or more yards.
“I learned everything from him,” said Collins, who spoke with Toski on Sunday and Monday and meets with him Wednesday. “He was saying he was proudand he can’t wait to watch the finale.”