Lee McCoy officially hires caddie 'Pepsi' Hale, signs with Callaway at U.S. Open sectionals

Lee McCoy, shown at the 2015 U.S. Amateur

Lee McCoy officially hires caddie 'Pepsi' Hale, signs with Callaway at U.S. Open sectionals

Professional

Lee McCoy officially hires caddie 'Pepsi' Hale, signs with Callaway at U.S. Open sectionals

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – Lee McCoy officially joined the play-for-pay ranks today at U.S. Open sectional qualifying.

McCoy, a former Walker Cup player and Golfweek First Team All-American as a Georgia Bulldog, sported Under Armour apparel and a Callaway hat and a pro’s oversized golf bag. Of his opening-round 69 at Germantown Country Club, he said, “I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. And it’s nice to not be the one carrying that heavy bag.”

He left the heavy-lifting to veteran caddie Steve “Pepsi” Hale, who had been on the bag for Keegan Bradley until recently.

“I have an incredible caddie,” McCoy said. “I’m really lucky to pick him up. Right place, right time. A total home run for me.”

Bradley and Hale won three Tour titles together, including the 2011 PGA Championship. But Bradley, mired in a slump in which he had missed eight of 14 starts this season, parted ways with Hale after the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in late April. Before word spread, Bradley texted McCoy and let him know of Hale’s availability.

“It was something really classy for him to do,” McCoy said.

Hale didn’t want to be quoted, but expressed his joy at being back at work doing what he loves to do and said there was one benefit to being out of work: he got to attend his son Andrew’s high school graduation.

McCoy, who wrapped up his amateur career with a sixth-place finish in the NCAA Championship last week, showed his potential in the pro ranks when he outdueled Jordan Spieth head-to-head (69 to Spieth’s 71) in the final round of the Valspar Championship in March. McCoy finished fourth in what amounted to only the fifth time an amateur has finished in the top 5 of a PGA Tour event since Phil Mickelson won as an Arizona State junior in 1991.

 

McCoy is set to play in this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic on a sponsor’s exemption. The Barracuda Championship and John Deere Classic already have announced McCoy will be playing there too, and McCoy said he has three more invites secured but wasn’t at liberty to make them public yet. His schedule also includes an overseas trip to play a European Tour event.

“It’s a dream come true to come out of college and get a chance to get my feet wet like this,” McCoy said.

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