One of the most heartwarming stories in golf in 2021 belongs to “Big” Mike Visacki.
Visacki, 27, went viral in April when he Monday-qualified for the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort and followed it up with a tearjerker of a call to his father to let him know he’d just made a 20-foot birdie putt in a playoff of the qualifier to earn a spot in the field… for his first PGA Tour start, just 90 minutes north of his hometown:
"I made it." ❤️
Michael Visacki fights back tears as he tells his father that he's reached a lifelong goal of competing on the PGA TOUR.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 26, 2021
At the time, Golfweek’s Adam Schupak wrote this about Visacki:
Visacki is more than just the hometown kid making good. His story resonated because he never quit on his dream. He has been plying his trade in the obscurity of golf’s bush leagues, notching 37 wins on the West Florida Pro Tour while piling on more than 170,000 miles on his Honda Accord and living at home with his parents. Daniel Robinson, a fellow mini-tour player said, “We all think of him as No. 1 in the world without a world ranking.”
The fairytale continued, as Big Mike birdied his first hole at the Valspar:
First hole on TOUR, first birdie. 🐦
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 29, 2021
Though he would ultimately miss the cut, Big Mike received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the Charles Schwab Challenge. Another terrific story came out of that week as major champion Justin Thomas presented Visacki with a check to help him continue to pursue his dreams of playing on the PGA Tour.
@RickRunGood This was an incredible moment. JT is World Class on and off the course. Big Mike, Pappa Mike and caddie Skinny Mike are so deserving and are in a class of their own. Best of Luck Big Mike. pic.twitter.com/2kw2kpFbrh
— Gilbert Little (@GilbertLittle1) May 31, 2021
And now — with loads of mini-tour events on the docket as Visacki chases his dream — the Caddie Network is running a search where you can apply to become Big Mike’s caddie.