After car accident, Lee McCoy makes PGA Tour return at familiar Innisbrook

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After car accident, Lee McCoy makes PGA Tour return at familiar Innisbrook

PGA Tour

After car accident, Lee McCoy makes PGA Tour return at familiar Innisbrook

Lee McCoy calls himself the “luckiest unlucky guy ever.”

After making the first cut of his professional PGA Tour career and tying for 41st at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, McCoy returned home to South Florida only to be involved in a Nov. 7 car accident a day before he was set to play in the second stage of Web.com Tour Qualifying School.

While minor, the accident left McCoy’s right wrist shattered in two places. He had to wear a cast for six weeks and the injury would keep him from hitting a golf ball for two months.

“The six weeks I was in a cast I had nothing to do but sit home and whine about it,” McCoy said. “The toughest part was I couldn’t even get my hand around an Xbox controller the way the cast was. … You just sit there in a cast and do absolutely nothing. I wore a little hole in my couch.”

But it couldn’t been worse. McCoy could’ve found himself on that couch for longer – and off the golf course forever.

“I had two fractures; I had one fracture that wasn’t too bad, and then I had one on the other side on the top of my hand where like the tip of the bone that goes into the hand where all your ligaments attach completely lifted off, so I had to kind of wait for that to settle,” McCoy said. “But I didn’t have to have any surgery or anything, which was a huge blessing.

“… I had a bunch of face-to-face time with a really good orthopedic surgeon who told me if that bone would have just fractured or would have stayed put, all my ligaments would have detached from that bone and I would have ruptured every ligament in my hand and I probably never would have played golf again.”

Instead, McCoy’s wrist is “absolutely, unequivocally 100 percent” as he prepares to play in this week’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course.

Lee McCoy

Lee McCoy and Jordan Spieth, pictured at the 2016 Valspar Championship (Getty Images)

McCoy, who used to ride his bike to the Valspar as a kid, finished solo fourth at Innisbrook last year playing as an amateur. After his performance, even Jordan Spieth was raving about the Georgia Bulldog’s play.

“You would have thought he was out here for years, working the ball both ways,” Spieth said after last year’s event. “The way he was talking, couldn’t sense any nerves or anything on his putting stroke, either. He’s certainly really ready to be out here. It was really fun to watch.”

McCoy went on to win the SEC Championship last year and help the Bulldogs to the NCAA Championship. He then turned pro last summer, but things didn’t go like they did last year at Innisbrook. McCoy missed his first eight Tour cuts as a pro.

“It was just a bad stretch of golf there for a couple of months,” McCoy said. “It’s not like I had been out here for five years and I missed every cut for the last two. It was eight weeks. I just played bad.”

With his wrist fully healed, McCoy hopes those struggles on the course are behind him. The key, though, will be patience. McCoy showcased that ability while recovering from his injury. He didn’t rush his rehab and now he doesn’t even feel like he ever broke his wrist.

If he doesn’t force things out on the golf course, those eight missed cuts last year? They will be a thing of the past, as well.

But it won’t be easy. He’s playing for a paycheck now. And this week, he’s playing in front of fans who remember his stellar play last year.

“I’m back on my home course. I’m surrounded my family and friends. I get to sleep in my own bed that I grew up in. I just have to try to enjoy the week,” McCoy said. “It’s not really worth it to put any pressure on myself because all I did last year was come out and have fun, have a great time, and everything worked out.”

Perhaps things will work out again this year. After all, McCoy is the luckiest unlucky guy ever.

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