We often look at professional athletes and think they have it made.
But for most, it wasn’t always easy, as they struggled and fought to one day be able to make millions playing a game for our amusement.
And that’s why what this pro golfer did for a mini-tour player fighting for a chance at the PGA Tour will absolutely blow you away.
Seven years ago, Michael Visacki made the decision to leave the University of Central Florida to chase his dream of playing professional golf.
He had been one of the top young players in the country from an early age, and was one of the best high school golfers in the state of Florida, so his blue collar parents never hesitated to support their son in the hopes that his talent would help make his dreams a reality.
But after seven years on the West Florida Tour where he established himself as one of the best developmental players in the country, Visacki had yet to make it to the PGA Tour despite having 37 mini-tour victories to his name.
That all changed a few weeks ago, though, when Visacki made an incredible up and down at the Monday qualifier for the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship to finally make his first professional tournament.
And immediately following the biggest moment of his life, he made an emotional phone call to his father to let him and his mother know that all of the sacrifices, all of the blood, sweat, and tears they put into Michael’s dream had paid off.
This is amazing 😢
Michael Visacki got emotional after qualifying for his first TOUR event 👏
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) April 27, 2021
For very obvious reasons, the video of Visacki calling his father went viral on social media, and almost instantly turned everyone who saw it into a massive Michael Visacki fan.
And throughout the rest of the week, as he played in his first PGA Tour Event, Visacki continued to show the humility and gratefulness that made golf fans fall in love with him.
Michael Visacki talked today about the sacrifices his parents made growing up. They'd skip meals, avoid paying bills, beg tournament directors.
So why does he think his story is resonating?
"Because a lot of people give up on their dreams," he said. 🥺pic.twitter.com/xPoCGjHJfm
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) April 27, 2021
Fast forward to this week, and yet another video of Visacki is going viral.
And this time it’s all because of what the second ranked golfer in the world, Justin Thomas, recently did for him.
After seeing the videos of Visacki, Thomas became a fan, and the winner of the 2017 PGA Championship decided that he wanted to help.
So when he ran into Visacki over the weekend at the Charles Schwab Classic, he did something so awesome, it blew everyone away.
Thomas told Visacki he wanted to help him in any way that he could, and then proceeded to slip him a check to help cover travel costs, tournament entry fees, and whatever other expenses are associated with Visacki’s efforts to chase his dream.
— Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood) May 31, 2021
But Thomas isn’t just helping out financially — he’s also planning tee times for the two to play golf together, and says he’s going to be there for Visacki to pick his brain, give advice, and whatever else he may need.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 2, 2021
In world in which professional athletes seem to become bigger divas and prima-donnas every day, seeing someone who’s literally at the top of their sport, and has the potential to go down as one of their sport’s greatest of all-time, reach out and take a player who’s still struggling to make it under his wing is the type of stuff they make movies about.
It’s one thing for Thomas to write a check – lots of guys can write a check and never think about it again.
But to also put in the work to build a relationship and take time out of your schedule to just help someone else – someone who theoretically could one day be your competition – says a lot about Justin Thomas.
The media has had plenty to say about Thomas recently, and plenty have wanted to see him fail, but it’s hard to see how anyone can root against Justin Thomas now.
And hopefully, he can help Visacki take that next step so one day soon there will be two of the good guys on the PGA Tour that everyone can root for.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.