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“I want to support what you’re doing,” Justin Thomas said as he handed over a personal check to mini-tour golfer Mike Visacki at the Charles Schwab Challenge. “Keep chasing this dream,” Thomas adds as he heads off to finish T-40 on Sunday.
Visacki made news in April when he broke down in tears as he told his father that he’d successfully qualified for the Valspar Championship, his first PGA Tour event. That video, combined with his story of struggling at no-name events and continuing to chase his dream led to an invite to compete over Memorial Day weekend at the Charles Schwab Challenge where he had his moment with Thomas.
The golfer, who has put 200,000 miles on his Honda Accord playing in tournaments with next to no money on the line, now finds himself with a lifeline, thanks to Thomas, the world’s No. 2 ranked player.
"I made it." ❤️
Michael Visacki fights back tears as he tells his father that he's reached a lifelong goal of competing on the PGA TOUR.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 26, 2021
“It’s extremely hard,” Visacki said of his golf journey. “Sometimes entry fees are $400-$600, and if you don’t win or come second, I mean you barely break even. Then it’s not like every week is a free entry fee that we’re just playing for a prize. Like if you miss two or three cuts and each cut, each tournament costs you $500 then in two, three weeks you’re down $1,500 just in entry fee, not alone practicing, having to worry about paying rent, phone bill, electricity, gas, hopefully the car’s not going to break down.
“Even with all my success, it’s still very, very, very hard to make a living. If I was having to pay rent I would probably still wouldn’t be able to play professional golf as much as I’ve won in the past.”
— Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood) May 31, 2021
Mike Sr., who can be seen in the video hugging Thomas and telling him, “God bless you and your family” said in April that the family has made incredible sacrifices to help their son realize his dream. Asked where Mike’s mother was as her son was about to realize his PGA Tour dream, Mike Sr. told a reporter that she was working.
“What they have done for me, I mean I can’t thank them enough. I can’t repay them enough,” Visacki said of his parents. “Sometimes there were would be nights where they wouldn’t eat, just to give me some food. They would sacrifice, sometimes maybe not paying a phone bill just so I could go and play some junior tournaments.”
And now with the help of Thomas, maybe Donna will get the chance to see her son play with the big boys out on the PGA Tour.