Thomas aids marriage proposal at Wells Fargo pro-am
May 02, 2018
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Justin Thomas helps fan with marriage proposal
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Time will tell who winds up being the best man in Sean Powell’s wedding to Andrea Cota, which is unofficially set for the summer of 2019.
Justin Thomas was best man for the proposal.
“It all worked out great,” FedExCup leader Thomas said after one of the more unusual pro-am moments of his career. “And I'm really happy that I didn't screw it up for him.”
Thomas had just teed off at the par-4 opening hole at Quail Hollow Club, home of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, when he walked to the gallery ropes and handed Powell a glove and Cota a golf ball. Powell, having choreographed everything beforehand with Thomas and officials from the PGA TOUR, knew what was up; Cota didn’t. She looked at the ball, on which Thomas had written, “Will you?” And she turned around to Powell, who was on one knee.
“I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” he said.
She accepted, and the highly anticipated moment, the planning for which began with Powell’s social media appeal to Thomas two months ago, had gone off without a hitch.
“He sent me a direct message on Instagram and I just happened to be going through them one day and I read it,” Thomas said. “I said, ‘That sounds like a pretty cool thing, and it would be fun to be a part of.’”Justin Thomas delivered the engagement ring to Sean Powell off No. 1 tee at Quail Hollow. (Dustin Turner/PGA TOUR)
Thomas reached out to the TOUR to handle the details, and told Wells Fargo employee Powell to get in touch the week before the tournament. Meanwhile, Cota, a personal fitness coach, was talking to her sister, wondering aloud whether Powell might propose. She had an inkling it might be coming, but had no idea that the proposal would include Thomas.
The first sign that something was up?
“When he started walking over to Sean and was like, ‘Hey, how’s it going? It’s good to see you,’” she said. “I’m like, ‘Good to see you? How do you know him?’ I’m like, ‘What?’ And when he was like, ‘Is this Andrea?’ I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is happening.’”
Powell and Cota knew one another through family and friends back in Sioux Falls, but Powell had moved to Minneapolis to begin his career. He moved back to South Dakota a year ago to be with family as his father battles Stage 4 lung cancer, and was scrolling through the dating app Bumble at the same time Cota was. As it turned out, they were more than compatible.
“We went on three dates in two days,” Powell said.
He knew he wanted to do something special for the proposal, and the wheels started turning when he attended the Waste Management Phoenix Open and saw Thomas earlier this season.
“He’s my favorite golfer,” Powell said, “and so I sent him a message, and five minutes later he sent a message back saying, ‘I want to help you out.’ I almost threw my phone.”He sent a message back saying, 'I want to help you out.' I almost threw my phone.
Suddenly, this wacky pipe dream was real; only the specifics remained. Powell and Cota would be in Charlotte for Wells Fargo Championship week, staying with Powell’s brother. Thomas would be here, too, so Quail Hollow became the setting. But then what? A friend suggested Powell ask Thomas to toss the “proposal” ball to them, but what if someone else caught it? Eventually, it was settled that Thomas would hand-deliver the glove and ball with the cameras rolling to capture everything.
Bumble got wind of it and has pledged $5,000 to the honeymoon, and the happy couple toasted the happy news as they drank champagne outside the media center. Powell laughingly told Thomas he’ll gladly pay for the superstar’s plane ticket to attend the wedding.
“He exemplifies what a golfer is and should be,” Powell said. “He’ll sign autographs. He engages with people. He engaged with me on social media; you know, he has like a half million people following him.
“It’s like the lottery,” Powell added. “Winning the Powerball. You know what I mean?”Sean Powell and Andrea Cota met via dating app Bumble last year in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Dustin Turner/PGA TOUR)