CHANDLER, Ariz. — Georgia alum Lee McCoy won the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament on Sunday to earn fully exempt status for the 2018 Web.com Tour season.
McCoy, who completed his Georgia career in 2016, edged out South Korean Sung-Jae Im by two strokes.
“I think it was Jack Nicklaus that was famous for saying that most of the tournaments he won, he didn’t really win, other guys lost,” McCoy told PGATour.com. “That was not the case today. I had to go out there and win. We had a great battle out there today. Every time I thought I had gotten far enough ahead and could start playing conservative, he would roll in a 20-footer and it was a little frustrating at times, but it’s nice to be able to push yourself that hard in a big spot and come out on top.”
The victory was the second win of the year for McCoy, who won the Freedom 55 Financial Open on the Mackenzie Tour in June. McCoy had a successful 2017 season in Canada, making 10 cuts in 12 events and finishing No. 6 on the Order of Merit.
A year ago, McCoy competed in the First Stage of Q-School in West Palm Beach, Fla., where a 9-under total landed him in a tie for third and allowed him to advance. The week before he was slated to compete in Second Stage, McCoy made his first professional cut at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He finished the week 41st and took a red-eye back to Florida to get in a practice round before competition. On his way to the Plantation Reserve Golf Club the following morning, McCoy was involved in a minor car accident, injuring his wrist in the process. The injury left him in a cast and forced him to withdraw from Second Stage.
“It was brutal,” he said of the injury. “I was in a cast for six or seven weeks. I took it off and I was fine, so it wasn’t a career-ender or life-threatening, but it was just the worst possible timing. It hurt even more because I was playing really well going into Second Stage. At some point, you just have to sit back and realize that sometimes you don’t have control over your life and sometimes it’s just part of the plan. If that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have ended up in Canada and I might not have the same guy on the bag, and I might not have even come here this week. Who knows what would’ve happened. It certainly worked out for the best in the end.”
Sunday’s victory takes a deal of pressure off McCoy heading into the 2018 season, as the Tour first-timer will be able to plan his entire schedule and won’t be subject to any reshuffles during the year.
“It kind of just goes along with my whole strategy for golf,” McCoy said, “which is just trying to take as much pressure off of myself as I can. I don’t really make goals for myself each day to try and hit a certain number and I’m not really trying to win. I kind of like to just let it happen by accident. So not having that added pressure of making the reshuffles and not knowing if I’ll be in the upcoming weeks, that’s huge. It definitely adds a level of comfort.”
Former Bulldog Joey Garber finished 30th at 15-under and will receive exempt Web.com Tour status for the first eight events of 2018.