From Caddie to Contender: Docherty’s $356K Myrtle Beach Payday Revives PGA Dream

Alistair Docherty didn’t finish atop the Myrtle Beach Classic field, but he left The Dunes Golf & Beach Club as one of the week’s biggest winners. 

The Canadian got into the inaugural event via a sponsor exemption and used a furious finish to shoot a final round 64 and finish in a tie for second, which earned him $356,000. Just as importantly, an emotional Docherty proved to himself that he is capable of playing at the highest levels of the game. 

“I can be here, and I can play with the best of them,” he said, wiping tears from his eyes, when asked what he proved to himself. “I can do it.”

To appreciate Docherty’s emotions, one must understand his journey. The margins at the top of the golf world are razor thin and the 30-year-old Canadian has often fallen just short, leaving him battling on the game’s mini tours and looking for funding to continue pursuing his dream. 

That dream nearly died on several occasions – he once put the clubs in the closet for 2 months and caddied six or seven days a week at Silverleaf Country Club in Scottsdale to pay rent – but Docherty made an influential friend, Barstool Sports’ Sam “Riggs” Bozoian. 

Riggs, host of ForePlay, one of golf’s most popular podcasts, played with Docherty and believed his game. When Docherty earned conditional Korn Ferry Tour status in 2023, he officially became a Barstool athlete, and it was Riggs that gave him the sponsor exemption into the Myrtle Beach Classic. 

“It was during my 30th birthday with all the guys at Grayhawk (Golf Club) during the Saturday game, a bunch of beverages being consumed, and they surprised me on the 11th hole,” Docherty said of how he found out about the sponsor exemption. “Everybody huddled around. I had like a five-, six-foot putt to win the hole. We’re not playing for much, but we’re having a great time. They stopped me and they’re like, hey, we’ve got a surprise for you, and it was the best surprise, greatest 30th birthday I could ever ask for. It was awesome.”

Awesome is also a good way to describe Docherty’s Sunday play. He birdied the 15th, 16th and 18th holes – finishing with a 13-foot birdie putt that drew a roar from the crowd – to rocket 17 spots up the leaderboard. 

After a week that saw the California State – Chico alum shoot rounds of 65, 68, 71, and 64 to finish at -16, he no longer had to suppress his emotions.

“I was crying with my mom – Happy Mother’s Day to her,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t be happier.”

The primary source of Docherty’s joy was a red hot putter. For the week, he was second in the field in strokes gained with the putter (8.39) and he rolled in 155 feet of putts in the final round to fuel his rise. 

While Docherty had largely flown under the radar through three rounds, Riggs and his buddies from Arizona were well aware of his play throughout the week. 

“There’s a very select few that are able to get a hold of me, and Riggs is one of them,” Docherty said. “I actually FaceTimed him yesterday when they were out at Grayhawk and playing. They were having a great time. We were laughing, which just kept the vibes nice and high.”

While Riggs and the relationship with Barstool has been vital to Docherty’s ascension, he hadn’t checked his phone in the immediate aftermath of the defining performance of his professional career. 

“No, and it’s going to stay off for a little bit,” Docherty said when asked if he had checked his phone. “I (am) going to celebrate with my family and the people that are here, and I’m going to take it all in.” 

Docherty’s finish earned him a spot in the PGA Tour’s next full field event – the Canadian Open, adding to his excitement. 

“What better way to go back to Canada?,” he said. “I haven’t been back in a long time, and maybe some of my family from back east will be able to come over. I’m so excited.”

When asked what he was most excited about the Canadian Open, Docherty deadpanned: “Going to Toronto and wearing my Canucks jersey. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Jokes aside, Docherty’s play in Myrtle Beach provided a significant boost to his dream of earning a PGA Tour card and just as important as those dreams might be the confidence he gained.

(Follow Alistair Docherty on Instagram)

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