KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
McCoy fractures wrist, forced to withdraw from Second Stage
March 06, 2017
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
- Lee McCoy finished fourth at this year's Valspar Championship shortly before completing his collegiate career. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Editor's note: Lee McCoy is competing at this week's Valspar Championship on a sponsor invite, hoping to replicate or build on last year's performance, where he captured the hearts of west Florida fans with a fourth-place finish.
Last fall, he had an untimely experience as he attempted to navigate the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament.
Here's the account of our Adam Stanley.
Lee McCoy, who finished tied for 41st at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last week on the PGA TOUR, fractured his wrist in two places in a car accident Monday, and will not be in the field this week at Second Stage of the Web.com Tour Q-School in Plantation, Florida.
McCoy finished tied for third at his First Stage site in West Palm Beach, Florida at 9-under-par.
The University of Georgia star had just gotten off a red-eye flight from Las Vegas in Florida when he got into a single-car collision.
“It’s the way it goes sometimes. Something I can’t be in control of,” he said. “I was turning right from underneath an overpass. I couldn’t see someone coming in the inside lane and I pulled out in front of them. I stomped on the gas and avoided them, but I (hit) a concrete wall. I didn’t hit the wall going very fast, but I was just trying to get out of everybody’s way and not hit anybody else. I jammed it when I hit the wall. I hit the wall face-on.”
McCoy was able to laugh about it Tuesday morning, saying it was ‘not ideal.’
“It was kind of that five-minute period afterwards and I was thinking, ‘Today, of all days.’”
McCoy visited some doctors at home where it was confirmed that his wrist was fractured in two places. He was relieved to hear that the ligaments in his hand are maybe ‘partially torn’ and not ruptured, which would have meant surgery for the 22-year-old.
As far as his approach to next season goes, he’s going to try to play Monday qualifiers and get into as many TOUR events as he can. Since he made the cut in Las Vegas, he will be able to go straight to the Monday qualifiers instead of having to go to the pre-qualifiers.
He was, of course, upset at what happened, especially because he said his game had been coming around recently.
“That’s what’s sad,” he admitted. “Even last week in Vegas, I had a decent finish for someone with no status. I played OK. I didn’t hit it too incredibly well and I didn’t make a ton of putts, but I was still able to score and that’s a good sign of the game coming back around.”
McCoy said his agent called him and asked if he wanted to play the Shriners Hospitals event. Although he waffled a little, he eventually realized it was a good decision.
“Either I play well and have a good warm-up session and come back a little late, or if I miss the cut then I come back and play a practice round,” he said. “It worked out the correct way, but Lord knows where I’d be if I didn’t go and play.”
McCoy made his PGA TOUR debut at the 2015 U.S. Open after making it through qualifying. He finished fourth alone at the Valspar Championship earlier this year after nipping Jordan Spieth in the final round by four shots.
Lee McCoy interview after Round 4 of Valspar
“It was certainly something I’ll never forget. That could have happened anywhere, but for it to happen at my home course in front of my family and friends, I had so much support that week,” he said. “I couldn’t have drawn it up any better in my mind.”
McCoy explained he’s learned so much in the seven TOUR events he’s played since the Valspar. He missed the cut at the six other events in the 2015-16 season, but turned things around last week in Las Vegas.
“I was learning about myself as I was going along, and there’s obviously a lot of those clichés that are very true. I had a bunch of starts in a matter of two months and I just didn’t really play well for two months. I didn’t hit it well, and I didn’t putt it well; it was just bad timing,” he said.
It was eye-opening for him to see how incredible the talent is on TOUR.
“You don’t ever see guys out there hit bad shots. I kind of expected it to be that way, but the tolerances for poor shots on the TOUR are just so much smaller. You need to be so much more precise and if you’re missing your numbers by three, four or five yards all day, you’re not going to have a putt for birdie all day,” he explained. “Trying to give yourself birdies opportunities on TOUR is a much larger undertaking than in college. I used to make seven or eight birdies a round in college all the time, and that is so hard to do on TOUR.”You need to be so much more precise and if you're missing your numbers ... you're not going to have a putt for birdie all day.
That said, McCoy still has a plethora of good college memories to build on as his professional career gets going, including capturing the SEC Player of the Year honor in his senior season, leading the Georgia Bulldogs to its 29th conference championship.
“I’d won a lot individually in college (and) was really happy to win SECs individually. That’s something I’m proud of. I had two putts to win the team deal, and about a foot before it went in, I knew it was in, so I was able to look back at my team and watch their reactions. I got to watch them react to the ball going in; I didn’t even get to watch the ball go in,” he said. “It was something really special.”
Now, McCoy will rest and recuperate for the next few months as he looks ahead to a long and healthy professional career. Bad timing for the young star, but he knows he’ll be back and better than ever.
“It was unfortunate for this to happen now, because I was very confident I was going to make it through Second Stage this week,” he said. “I’ll be six weeks, eight weeks. I’ll be good to go.”
Sadly, I fractured my wrist in 2 spots yesterday during a small car accident and had to WD from 2nd stage. Will be healthy in 6-8 weeks— Lee McCoy (@LeeMcCoyGolf) November 8, 2016