PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Sam Burns took dwelling the trophy and the seven-figure examine, however Mike Visacki received the week.
The video of the Monday Qualifier’s teary-eyed telephone name to his father after holing a 20-foot birdie putt to win a playoff for the final of 4 spots into the Valspar Championship has been seen greater than 12 million occasions.
The second went viral due to its authenticity – a 27-year-old grinder who by no means gave up on his dream, even when it meant working at a driving vary or dwelling at dwelling along with his dad and mom.
Visacki’s story got here alongside at a time when the golf world was coming to phrases with the PGA Tour’s Richie Riches getting even richer, divvying up $40 million in Player Impact Program money that pays for box-office buzz reasonably than what number of birdies and bogeys they make. (Could a MQFer qualify for the PIP cash seize as a result of Big Mike is surging?)
Here was Visacki, whose father grew up in a house of mud and hay in Yugoslavia and purchased his first pair of soccer footwear for $20 when his household immigrated to the U.S., giving voice to the little man who’s attempting to make ends meet on golf’s mini-tour circuit.
William McGirt can relate. He remembers the way it felt to money a $16,000 payday on the Cabarrus Classic on the 2007 Tarheel Tour and repay his bank card. His massive splurge? A GPS. McGirt struck it massive, successful the 2016 Memorial Tournament and greater than $10 million in profession earnings. But he’s by no means forgotten the place he got here from or how lucky he’s that he made it.
“There’s a hundred guys on the mini tours who can beat my brains out on the right course,” McGirt stated.
The line between success and failure is razor sharp. The futility of McGirt’s quest is memorialized in lipped-out putts on the ultimate inexperienced to overlook advancing to the ultimate stage of Q-School in 2007 and 2008.
“You look back at it and you’re kind of like, I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen,” McGirt stated. “But you keep busting your butt and you grind and all you want is a chance.”
Monday Qualifying is a troublesome street that may appear the longest of lengthy pictures to buying standing, however 2018 Masters champ Patrick Reed is the poster baby for the way the dream will be actual.
Just 4 years in the past, Keith Mitchell was plying his commerce on the Korn Ferry Tour when he was one in all 4 qualifiers into the 2017 Valspar Championship. He completed T-11 in his PGA Tour debut and it spring-boarded him to play properly the remainder of the yr.
“It let me know I could play out here if I had my best stuff,” Mitchell recalled. “I’d put it up there with the most memorable weeks I’ve ever had.”
By 2019, he was a Tour winner on the Honda Classic and has earned greater than $5 million in his profession. What did he make of Visacki’s story going viral?
“Four guys do it most every week. I’m glad the world got to see what it was like and the feelings that every single one of those four guys have usually,” Mitchell stated. “He just happened to get on film.”
Kudos to the PGA Tour, pushed by the yeoman’s effort of Ryan French, Mr. Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1), to make clear mini-tour life, for being in Tampa final Monday to seize Visacki’s heartfelt alternate along with his father, simply as that they had captured Nick Hardy’s fist pump in Phoenix. Any given Monday is the motto of those that chase the qualifying dream. As mini-tour professional Dominic Formato put it, Visacki served as a much-needed reminder to all of the dreamers on the market that “sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is closer that it seems.”
Visacki appears like this yr’s Ho-Sung Choi, a social media darling who capitalized on his new-found movie star to achieve different sponsor invitations. (Note to Big Mike: begin writing letters to event administrators.)
“I’m definitely going to try to do a lot more Mondays now, now knowing this experience,” Visacki stated after taking pictures 74-71 to overlook the lower. “It’s eye opening and it definitely makes me want to get out here and continue to be out here. This is amazing.”
Actually, it’s simply one other Monday on the PGA Tour.