Playing a PGA tournament as a wildcard was a thrill in of itself for 22-year-old Lee McCoy, senior at the University of Georgia.
Playing the final round with world No. 1 Jordan Spieth even more of a thrill.
Finding out that because he’s an amateur he’d have to forgo the $292,000 due him for finishing fourth over the course of a fantastic weekend … well that wasn’t so thrilling.
Playing well at Innisbrook was no real surprise for McCoy, he grew up in a subdivision located a stone’s throw from the course and told reporters he has played the Copperhead course “a thousand times.”
Spieth reported that he warned McCoy not to look at the prize money he was due, so as not to be tempted to give up his amateur status.
“I shouldn’t have looked. Lot of money. Lot of money,” McCoy said. “I think I got like $350 in my bank account right now, so it’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. Just really grateful to be standing there.”
Only five amateurs have finished in the top five of a PGA event since 1991, when Phil Mickleson took fourth at an event. The most famous amateur performance in recent memory came when 17-year-old Justin Rose took foufrth at the 1998 Open Championship.