Pro sets course record, wins $1.5 million — and flies home in coach
Tom Hoge had himself a week. It started as a rollercoaster ride before ending with a plane ride, which is the point of this story, but we’ll get back to that.
First, let’s recap and figure out how we got here because there are a lot of moving parts. Hoge, the 33-year-old Tour veteran, opened last week’s Players Championship with a six-over 78, which made his chances of making the cut slim. He even booked a Friday afternoon flight for Fort Worth, Texas, assuming he’d be heading home.
Then he shot 68 in the second round — 10 shots better than Thursday — was two over for the tournament and suddenly had a chance of making the cut. But he had to wait until Saturday morning to find out since the second round didn’t finish due to weather. So Hoge canceled the Friday flight and rebooked another one for Saturday afternoon, just in case.
This is where Luke List comes in. The top 65 and ties made the cut at the Players, and List was among the pros finishing up his second round on Saturday morning at TPC Sawgrass. List needed to par the 9th hole to knock out all the players at two over, but he made double bogey, the cut moved to two over and Hoge was among that group that got in on the number.
Hoge had to ditch another flight, then shot the course record at one of the most precise and punishing tracks these guys face.
His 10-under 62 consisted of 10 birdies and no bogeys, and he went from narrowly missing the cut to contending in a tournament that boasted the PGA Tour’s biggest regular-season purse and winner’s payout in history.
“I felt like I made some really nice swings coming down the stretch [on Friday] when I was right on the cut line trying to make it all the way 15 through 18,” Hoge said. “So I felt like my game was in good order, as silly as that is to say, that I could have missed the cut. But I was excited to get back out there once I did have a tee time.”
Hoge couldn’t catch Scottie Scheffler — no one came close — but he did shoot 70 on Sunday to lock up a tie for third, which was good for $1.475 million. That’s almost as much as Hoge made in his lone PGA Tour victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last year ($1.566 million).
So, with nearly $1.5 million added to his bank account and a course record to his name, how did Hoge celebrate on his trip back home? A coach seat.
As you can see, Hoge responded to AP sportswriter Doug Ferguson’s tweet with his seat number, but at least Hoge splurged and got that aisle seat instead of getting stuck in the middle.
In a world of private jets and lucrative endorsement deals, this goes one step further in cementing Hoge’s everyman status. You know what else does? His diet.
“It’s actually my complaint here this week, is the food is too healthy in player dining,” Hoge said on Saturday. “There’s a QR code for us; I logged that complaint. They need some food like the rest of the obese people in America eat. … I’m pretty hungry right now. I’m ready for a cheeseburger or something.”