James Marshall called it the best nine-hole stretch of his golfing career. It resulted in the biggest payday of his life.
Marshall, a 24-year old from Fayetteville, Ark., shot an 8-under 28 on the back nine in the final day of the Colbert Charity Classic at Colbert Hills, earning him a $20,000 check.
“It’s incredible,” Marshall said. “I hit a lot of good shots and I made pretty much every putt I had (on the back nine).”
Marshall began Saturday at 8-under par as he was paired with former Kansas State golfer Robert Streb, who entered the final round of the four-day tournament as the leader at 11-under par. But Streb couldn’t hold off Marshall’s late charge. “He just ran me over on the back nine,” said Streb, who finished in second place at 13-under par.
Both Streb and Marshall shot even-par on the front nine on Saturday, but Marshall began his push on hole No. 10 when he eagled the par-5 to close within one stroke of Streb. Marshall proceeded to birdie each of the next six holes and scored par on holes 17 and 18 to cap off his day with a score of 64, which tied the course record. He admitted his performance surprised himself a little bit.
“I really didn’t have any expectations coming in because I really hadn’t been hitting it that great,” he said. “But I started hitting it well the second round and kept it going.”
Marshall found the bulk of his success throughout the tournament on the back nine, where he shot a combined 14-under during his four days on the course.
“For some reason I was really comfortable on the back nine,” he said. “It really fit my eye well. The front nine I never really played that well on but I always got it going on the back so it worked out.”
Marshall continually credited his putting for his success, and thanks to that putter, he was holding a large check on Saturday.
“I was lucky enough to win a few times in college so I’ve done it before but this is obviously a lot bigger stage so it was good coming down the stretch to be able to do it under pressure,” Marshall said. “For a guy like me, $20,000 is a lot of money.”