Monday, March 14, 2016

Lee McCoy could've made a whole lot of money as a pro at the Valspar

University of Georgia senior Lee McCoy capped a great week at the Valspar Championship on Sunday with a solo fourth-place finish at Innisbrook, where his family had a condo, and on the Coppehead Course which he said he had played countless times.

On top of finishing three shots out of the sudden-death playoff won by Charl Schwartzel, McCoy beat fellow 22-year-old and world No. 1 Jordan Spieth, his Sunday playing partner, by four shots.

Unfortunately, McCoy, who will turn pro later this year, is an amateur, so he was playing for free this week. That means he couldn't collect any of the $292,800 he would have won for finishing alone in fourth. That money was split between Graham DeLaet and Charles Howell III, the players who finished joint fourth among the pros.

Spieth told McCoy that he shouldn't peek at how much he was giving up as an amateur. 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.''

The good news is that McCoy will get more practice on the PGA Tour. 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.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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