School is back in session for Michael Visacki. The second stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School recently wrapped up, with Visacki just eking out a passing grade. His final round was filled with intense moments and dramatics usually found in Hollywood scripts. Three rounds in the 60s put Visacki in prime position to grab his Tour card. However, his final round didn’t get off to the start he was hoping for, as he shot a 4-over 39 on the front nine. Needing a storybook finish to keep his dream alive, Visacki made eagle on 10, followed by birdies on 11, 12 and 16. The back nine 5-under flurry put him back in contention. Needing a par on the par-5 18th to qualify, Visacki put his second shot into the water. All that hard work was potentially washed away by a rinsed ball. But “Big Mike” wasn’t quite finished with the dramatics, getting up and down from 160 yards out, calmly draining the 10-foot par putt to qualify by one stroke and earn 2022 membership status on the Korn Ferry Tour. Perfectly fitting for Visacki’s incredible journey to this point.
Michael turned pro 7 years ago and has been traveling the country playing in mini-tour events since then. There was no Q-School last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, so Visacki had to wait an extra year for his next shot after a heart-breaking finish two years ago. In the final round of Q-School in 2019, he lost a ball in the trees on the 17th, made double-bogey and finished one stroke shy of earning status for the 2020 season.
All of this, and more, is part of Visacki’s storybook 2021. Back in February, GOLFTEC entered the Visacki story. Michael had played a few rounds with a GOLFTEC Sarasota Coach, Tyler Beasley, who immediately told Michael he has the game to make it to the next level, but there were a few things he could work on. Michael walked into GOLFTEC for the first time and starts working with Tyler on his game.
Fast forward to April, when most of the rest of the golf world got to know Michael Visacki. Michael drains a 20-foot putt on the 18th hole of a Monday qualifier to qualify for PGA’s Valspar Championship. The putt and subsequent reaction were recorded and posted on social media.
After the round, the video of Michael’s emotional call with his dad, Mike Sr. goes viral, seen by millions around the world. The “Big Mike” Train is officially rolling and Visacki is set to tee it up in his first ever PGA Tour event.
In another, “you couldn’t write this stuff any better” moment, “Big Mike” birdied his first hole at the Valspar Championship. Despite the dream start, Visacki failed to make the weekend, finishing four off the cut line, but gaining valuable experience.
Fortunately for Mike, his story and great play kept gaining traction and were enough to earn a sponsor’s exemption into the Charles Schwab Challenge in May. Before the tournament, Visacki played a practice round with Justin Thomas, surely a highlight for any aspiring Tour pro. But highlights didn’t stop there. After the round, JT handed Visacki a check to provide financial support for “Big Mike’s” journey, along with offering some words of encouragement to keep chasing his dream.
Another missed cut at Charles Schwab, but Visacki refused to give up. He kept working at his game at GOLFTEC, and kept improving. In July, “Big Mike” entered the Waterloo Open in Iowa. A three-round total of 23-under-par was good enough for a one-stroke victory and the biggest payday of Visacki’s life, $50,000.
After Waterloo, Visacki turned his focus to Korn Ferry Tour Q-School prep. He was exempt from pre-qualifying, but entered and played in the first stage event at Orange Country National – Panther Lake. Playing with his GOLFTEC Coach, Tyler Beasley, on his bag as caddy, “Big Mike” finished the stage at 18-under and tied for 1st place. Second stage brought him to the Plantation Preserve Golf Club. After three rounds Visacki was in qualifying position heading into the final round, a final round 70 that, as previously stated, had a little bit of everything. In the end he was one shot clear and earned his Korn Ferry Tour membership.
Q-School finals take place November 4th-7th in Savannah, GA where Visacki can improve his status on Tour with a high finish. Congratulations to “Big Mike” and his caddie, Tyler Beasley and good luck at Q-School Finals!