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March 13, 2016

Lee McCoy

Palm Harbor, Florida

Q. We're with Lee McCoy. Lee, how would you describe the experience of this week?
LEE MCCOY: Surreal, to say the least. You know, I've always dreamt of just getting a tee time here on Thursday. Being in contention on Sunday playing with the No. 1 player in the world is something that didn't cross my mind. I really had to pinch myself a few times today.

Q. Speaking of being with the No. 1 player in the world, you guys had a nice exchange at the end of this 4th round. What was it like to play with him today and what was it like to be around a guy like Jordan Spieth all day along?
LEE MCCOY: I mean it's really incredible to see a guy in his position to have that much class. At the end of the day I'm still a little college am scrub playing out here with these guys trying to fit in but, you know, the guy had nothing but great things to say and treated me like I really belonged out here. It's pretty cool.

Q. Gary was talking throughout the telecast, you also spoke to Tracy West. You went into her office a couple years ago begging for a spot. She kind of knew she was going to give you a spot at some point but it couldn't be last year because they were filled.
What did it mean to be able to fulfill a life-long dream on playing this event in a course you've played on so many times?

LEE MCCOY: Just incredible. I think I made three unannounced visits to her office. Whenever I was home on break I would hop in and spend a half hour just begging, you know, pretty much all you can do. I have to say thank you to Valspar, Hollis Calver, Tracy West and all those guys for giving me shot. I hope I made them proud.

Q. Lot of fun to watch you all week. Appreciate the time as always. 7 1/2 hour drive. Good luck with that. 36 holes tomorrow. Thank you, Lee.
LEE MCCOY: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Q. This is the 8th ranked amateur in the world, Lee McCoy. You said yesterday it was a dream. Can you put into words what you experienced out here on Sunday here at the Valspar?
LEE MCCOY: Just as good or better. I don't think I played quite as well as I did yesterday. Obviously I didn't make 7, 8 birdies but it was pretty good. Playing with the No. 1 player in the world on my home course on Sunday and just to be somewhat in contention was absolutely incredible.

Q. You looked calm. You looked nerveless. Tell me -- you were hitting some beautiful shots and this is a huge moment here at 12.
LEE MCCOY: My caddy gave me a great read. So he saw it a foot higher than I did. That was the noise I never heard before, everybody screaming at the same time. Jordan told me right after I made it, it was the greatest noise in the world. Doesn't get better than that.

Q. Then this at 14 the par 5. Obviously just coming into the home stretch and at this point a great shot.
LEE MCCOY: Best shot I hit all week. My caddy wanted me to hit it in the left bunker. I cut it probably 25, 30 yards. The wind was helping. I couldn't hit it any better.

Q. How were the nerves?
LEE MCCOY: Surprisingly okay. I know I had to remain calm to contend. I didn't know I would be that calm out there. Obviously being confident in your game and putting well, that certainly helped calmed the nerves.

Q. You mentioned playing with Jordan. To outscore the No. 1 player in the world today, I know you have some nice interaction between you two.
How special was that?

LEE MCCOY: I think Jordan got me career-wise just a hair. We are about the same age so I can't take too much pride in beating him today. He didn't have his best stuff. The guy has got so much class and he really treated me like I belong out here and that meant a lot.

Q. Final question, is it true that you're getting in your car pretty much after finishing the media commitments, driving 7 hours to a college tournament tomorrow?
LEE MCCOY: Our home tournament tomorrow at the University of Georgia at Athens Country Club. We're playing 36 holes. 7:30, 8:00 tee time. Luckily we're riding in carts. That's the little bit of hope I'm hanging on to right now.

Q. Fewer people tomorrow.
LEE MCCOY: Just a hair.

Q. Was it fun out there with Jordan, world No. 1?
LEE MCCOY: It was even more fun than you can possibly imagine with it being my home course, being in contention on Sunday playing with the No. 1 player in the world who is an absolute gentleman all day long.

It was really, really special.

Q. Thanks. Well, a wild week for Georgia senior amateur. You got to play with the World No. 1 on a course you grew up playing. What was the experience like for you?
LEE MCCOY: It was an absolute dream come true as you can imagine. My dream has always just been to get a tee time on Thursday and realizing that dream was something really special and I really soaked it all in.

After the first day I didn't even think about being in contention on Sunday. My aim was the cut. Made it on the number and the next thing I know I'm looking at trying to get to 6-under. So, I had to pinch myself a few times making sure.

Q. As far as the relationship with Tracy West to be able to get into the Valspar Championship, breaking through and also the charitable aspect of trying to be a part of this --
LEE MCCOY: Yeah. I really tried to get into this tournament last year and it ended up not happening. They didn't have a spot for me, which was disappointing but I think I made like 3 unannounced visits to Tracy's office. Kind of spent a half hour begging and pleading and saying, "Hey, I will promise I can play. This won't be bad. Just please give me a shot."

Obviously I'm incredibly grateful to them for giving me a spot. There's so many great players out there that are trying to get these spots or exemptions and give me a chance was incredible.

I just found out yesterday that the tournament is going to be making a donation to my favorite charity that's around here, they give prosthetic legs for kids, people that can't afford them.

I was under the impression that my winnings might go there. I found out that was not correct. The tournament immediately stepped up and said, "I'm really sorry to hear, we'll help you out." I'm so grateful for everything they done.

Q. Now you turn your eye back toward the college season.
LEE MCCOY: I actually play a college tournament tomorrow morning at 7:30 at in Athens. Got to get in the car and make a nice long drive in the rain. No time to celebrate.

Q. Lee, obviously a great week. What are your thoughts on everything that transpired this week?
LEE MCCOY: What a dream come true. My dream was always to get a Thursday tee time. You know, being in contention on Sunday, playing with Jordan Spieth was certainly not what I was expecting at the beginning of the week.

You know, I was really out there just trying to soak it all in and stick to my game plan and played a little bit better than I might have even expected under some really tough conditions today.

Q. Lee, how much was your concentration in these four days in trying to do your best in the tournament and also playing this round over and over as a kid out here at Innisbrook, the shots you remember?
LEE MCCOY: Yeah. Keeping your concentration with that much going on is certainly something that I was having to get used to. Jordan Spieth crowd and a college crowd are certainly not the same thing. I told Jordan, "If you notice an extra 20 spectator out there here today those are my guys."

You know, I was really surprised with how calm I was able to stay this week. I don't think I missed anything inside of four and a half feet this week, you know, which is something that I pride myself on doing in college tournaments and not necessarily quite as much on the line doing.

Doing that out here with some crowds this week was definitely a saver.

Q. I know you played with Jordan before but to play this well in a final round with him, to outplay him, what was that like?
LEE MCCOY: Pinch me, man. It was really special. I know Jordan didn't have his best stuff today. It was playing so, so tough. I can't really take any pride in beating him today. I think he's got me by a hair right now career-wise.

We are the same age. May not seem like it. He's done some incredible stuff in the game of golf. Just being able to kind pick his brain a little bit today, just kind of see how he goes about his business was a really cool experience.

Q. I know you wanted to finish in the Top-10 so you can play I guess --
LEE MCCOY: I don't get in.

Q. I'm talking about for playing in Puerto Rico in two weeks.
LEE MCCOY: You have to be a pro.

Q. What's the circumstances when you played with him before? Do you recall much about it?
LEE MCCOY: 2nd Round of my first college tournament ever. It was at The Farm in northwest Georgia and my 1st Round I played with Justin Thomas and then I played with Jordan in the 2nd Round and played with Bobby Wyatt in the 3rd Round and I got my feet wet really quickly.

Q. How did you play with Jordan that time?
LEE MCCOY: I'm assuming he beat me. I don't remember.

Q. How difficult is it for you to think of 200-some-thousand-dollars you might have won?
LEE MCCOY: Jordan, we were sitting in the scoring tent and it was a sheet with the winnings there and he told me not to look. I looked. I shouldn't have looked. Lot of money. Lot of money.

I think I got like 350 bucks in my bank account right now so it's mostly gas money. It hurt but there's so much going great for me right now. I'm just trying to take it all in, just really grateful to be standing here.

Q. Now you will be getting your car and driving north?
LEE MCCOY: Seven and a half hours. We have our home tournament tomorrow morning at the Athens Country Club, play 36 holes. I think we tee off like at 7:30 or 8. I'm not sure. But the saving grace we do ride in carts so I will not be walking anymore. That's the good news.

It's going to be -- I'm going to be tired but when you're playing good golf it's always, you know, a thrill to get out there and hit some more shots.

Q. No thought of saying, "Coach, i can't make it"?
LEE MCCOY: No. I came back to school for a reason. That's our home tournament. We won it last year. I'm playing good golf so I want to try to help our team defend our title.

Q. What's your plans beyond that once you're done with school? What are you going to be doing?
LEE MCCOY: Turn pro and hopefully make some money.

Q. Immediately?
LEE MCCOY: Yeah. I'm not going to say anything set in stone but my kind of tentative plan is to turn right after the NCAAS, sign some deals and try to get some sponsor exemptions. Hopefully that will be a little bit easier now. I'm hoping. That's kind of where I'm looking at.

Q. If beyond that go to the Web.com Q-School or --
LEE MCCOY: Yeah. The easiest thing to do is to go out and play one of your sponsor exemptions and hopefully do what I did here and make enough money to get status on either the Web or the Tour.

I don't know all the ins and outs as well as I should. There's a way to at least get on the Web or the Tour playing in those sponsors. I'm hoping to play this caliber of golf if I can get some more shots at it and hopefully I won't have to go through Q-School.

I am going to the Canadian Q-School in about a month. That's a good way to get out there, too, and you know, I'm hoping at this point that I'll be able the use all my 7 sponsor exemptions. I'll be able to get 7 shots at it and I'll probably if I can get through Q-School probably make some trips up to Canada in between those weeks to play.

Q. What were your nerves or attitude I guess to begin, you start off, birdie, birdie?
LEE MCCOY: Surprisingly calm. I think the biggest surprise for me from this week was how relaxed I was and how calm I was able to stay.

Like I said, those four, 5-footers, even 6 and 7 and 8 footers I was just rolling them in all week. That's really what kept it going. I really -- I don't want to say I didn't play well because I did but I really didn't drive it well this week at all.

I didn't hit many fairways and I think I was probably somewhere around 40 percent and not being a really long guy that was -- that's a bad thing out here. You really got to be able to thread the needle out here to hit fairways and I just wasn't doing it.

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