Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

This week’s feel-good PGA Tour story Alistair Docherty has Barstool Sports’ Riggs to thank for his chance to chase his dream and he’s taking advantage

By admin Jun1,2024

Alistair Docherty won’t soon forget his 30th birthday and the chain of events that led to the Canadian native earning a spot in this week’s RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

On March 20, Docherty was playing in the Saturday game at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, when his friends huddled around him as he faced a 5-6-foot putt to win the 11th hole.

“We’re not playing for much, but we’re having a great time,” Docherty said. “They stopped me and they’re like, ‘Hey, we’ve got a surprise for you.’ ”

That’s when they broke the news that he had been granted a sponsor exemption into the PGA Tour’s Myrtle Beach Classic.

RBC Canadian Open: Leaderboard | Photos

“It was the best surprise, greatest 30th birthday I could ever ask for,” Docherty said.

He went on to finish in a tie for second in the opposite-field event, which was taking place while most of the stars were cashing guaranteed money at the limited-field, no-cut Wells Fargo Championship.

“Life Changing Week!” Docherty posted on his Instagram page.

Docherty was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, and moved with his family to Vancouver as a young child. At age seven, the family moved to Washington state.

Since graduating from Chico State in 2016, Docherty has been chasing his dream on lower-level tours such as the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. But after missing at second stage after the wraparound year, he was at a crossroads until he met Sam “Riggs” Bozoian of Barstool Sports.

“I didn’t know where I was going to play, and I went back to caddying at Silverleaf in Scottsdale. Met a few people, and a lot of people helped me out. I hung the clubs up for a little bit, but I ran into Riggs at the right time, played my ass off in front of him, and I impressed him enough that he’s been helping me ever since,” Docherty said.

Speaking on Barstool’s Fore Play podcast, Riggs recounts how he wrote Docherty a personal check for $50,000 and told him to go play.

“If I didn’t run into Riggs at the right time, I don’t know if I’d still be playing or standing right here,” he said at the Myrtle Beach Classic.

Success for Docherty has been hard to come by on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he has just one top-10 finish in 40 starts. He finished 86th on the Korn Ferry Tour last year and this year he has made just four of eight cuts, earning $26,751. The eighth-year pro entered the Myrtle Beach event with earnings of $152,978 across PGA Tour-sanctioned competitions.

After bogeying the 14th hole of the final round at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Docherty parlayed birdies on three of the last four holes to shoot 64 and tie for second, six shots behind winner Chris Gotterup. He earned $356,000 for the runner-up showing, more than double his career earnings.

Alistair Docherty plays his shot from the second tee during the third round of the 2024 Myrtle Beach Classic at Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

“This is what we always want, just a chance. Just a chance and take advantage, and I did it,” Docherty said after the Myrtle Beach Classic. “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.”

Asked to name what he’d proven in Myrtle Beach, he said, “That I can be here. I can be here, and I can play with the best of them. I can do it.”

Playing for just the second time in his career on the PGA Tour, Docherty earned a spot in the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton by virtue of his top-10 finish.

“What better way to go back to Canada? I haven’t been back in a long time, and maybe some of my family from back east will be able to come over,” he said.

Asked what he’s most looking forward to about playing a Tour event in his native Canada, he said, “Going to Toronto and wearing my Canucks jersey.”

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By admin

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