Justin Thomas spoke at his Memorial Tournament press conference about the undisclosed cheque he handed over to Mike Visacki at last week's Charles Schwab Challenge.
Justin Thomas Explains Incredible Mike Visacki Gesture: “I Just Wanted To Help”
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the Memorial Tournament, Justin Thomas explained to reporters about his meeting with mini-tour player Mike Visacki at the Charles Schwab Challenge last week.
Visacki reached his first PGA Tour event at the Valspar Championship at the beginning of May after he successfully Monday-qualified for the tournament, with the 37-time West Florida Tour winner’s raw emotion caught on camera as he phoned his dad to tell him the news.
After seeing the video of Visacki, Thomas explained how the emotion captured really resonated with him, and how he wanted to help.
A viral video captured the world number two handing Visacki a cheque, of which the amount is undisclosed, before embracing both him and his father.
“I just wanted to help,” Thomas said at his Memorial Tournament press conference.
“I saw the video of Mike calling his dad after he Mondayed in Valspar, and in a day and age where it seems like only anything in the media is negative, I just felt it was so refreshing and great to see and how genuine his excitement and emotions were.”
Though Thomas would have preferred the moment to stay private between the pair, he also understands that this can benefit Visacki’s career.
“It wasn’t the intention for it to get the publicity it did.
“I just wanted it to be direct between him and I, but if it helps him get more notoriety and helps him and others be able to pursue this dream of playing on the PGA Tour, then so be it.”
While Justin Thomas suggested the money will help Visacki pay for the PGA Tour’s expensive Q-School, he also explained that the gesture extends beyond finances and that he’ll happily provide Visacki with support if ever he needs it.
“Any little way I can help out, I want to, I want to be helpful more than just money.
“I just was like if you ever want advice, if you ever want to pick my brain, you ever just want to talk, I’m here for you, I’m happy to help.
“I was very fortunate to have some great mentors and people willing to help me growing up and if it’s a difference of him playing on mini tours or getting his Korn Ferry card the next year, then that means more to me than any amount of money I could ever give him or anybody.”
The pair first met at the Valspar Championship, where Visacki missed the cut.
Thomas then offered the 27-year-old an invitation to play a practice round at last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, but unfortunately a wash-out meant they couldn’t fulfil the proposal.
Charles Schwab had also extended a sponsor’s invitation to Visacki to play at the tournament, and even though he missed the cut again, he didn’t seem to mind too much after Thomas’ incredible gesture.