Amateur and University of Georgia senior Lee McCoy finished solo fourth in the 2016 Valspar Championship, beating world No. 1 Jordan Spieth — also 22, like McCoy — head-to-head and finishing four shots out of the sudden-death playoff eventually won by Charl Schwartzel.
Most players would be thrilled to see the balance in their checking account go up a lot with a solo fourth-place finish in a PGA Tour event. Not McCoy, though. As an amateur, he doesn’t get any prize money. Zip. Nada. So, the $292,800 that McCoy would have earned were he a professional instead goes to the next place and the professionals who finished there. That means Graham DeLaet and Charles Howell III are the beneficiaries as they finished tied for fifth overall but tied for fourth among pros.
Spieth told McCoy that he shouldn’t look at the prize table to see how much money he would have made. McCoy didn’t listen.
“I shouldn’t have looked,” said McCoy. “It was a lot of money. I think I’ve got like $350 in my bank account right now, so that’s mostly gas money. It hurt. But there’s so much going great for me right now I’m just trying to take it all in and I’m just really grateful to be standing here.”
McCoy will get another chance to play for free on the PGA Tour in a few weeks. By virtue of finishing inside the top 10 in an open event, he gets into the next open event on the PGA Tour, which is at the Puerto Rico Open, played opposite the WGC-Dell Match Play.