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Alistair Docherty’s life changes with runner-up at Myrtle Beach Classic

2 Min Read



    Written by Kevin Prise @PGATOURKevin

    Alistair Docherty’s life changed on Sunday, in the best ways.

    In his second PGA TOUR start, Docherty carded a final-round 64 at the inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic – punctuated by a birdie on the 72nd hole – to finish in a two-way tie for second. With the top-10 finish, he earns a spot in the RBC Canadian Open later this month – an opportunity that the Canada native will relish. And the $356,000 paycheck will help him fund his professional golf dreams for years to come. (Entering the week, the eight-year pro had earned a cumulative $152,978 in TOUR-sanctioned competition.)

    The Korn Ferry Tour member, playing on a sponsor exemption, validated his long-standing belief that he has the game to compete at this level. It’s a lot to process, and Docherty did so with emotion Sunday afternoon at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club.

    “This is what we always want, just a chance,” Docherty said afterward. “Just a chance and take advantage, and I did it. There's been times where who knows if I was going to keep playing, who knows if I was going to be able to financially be able to do it, let alone get status in order to do it, and to receive the sponsor exemption and take advantage is unbelievable. It's awesome.”

    Docherty finished 86th on last year’s Korn Ferry Tour standings, earning $106,858. Funding a career in pro golf isn’t easy – flights, hotels and rental cars, caddies and so on – and Docherty has no trouble rolling up his sleeves to make ends meet (he has caddied during off-weeks, and he’ll couch-surf or sleep in his car if that’s what it takes). He has made just three of seven cuts on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, with $21,631 in earnings.

    Less than two months ago, Docherty was surprised on his 30th birthday (March 20) with the news that he would receive a sponsor exemption to compete in Myrtle Beach. He knows this isn’t a dream he can chase forever without results – he has notched just one top-10 in 39 Korn Ferry Tour starts – and he was touched by the support. He also knew it was coming time to deliver on his potential.

    And this week on the Grand Strand, he did just that.

    “I couldn’t be happier,” Docherty said Sunday afternoon. “I couldn’t be happier.”

    Kevin Prise is an associate editor for the PGA TOUR. He is on a lifelong quest to break 80 on a course that exceeds 6,000 yards and to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. Follow Kevin Prise on Twitter.

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