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korn ferry tour

Journeyman who lived in his car makes hole-in-one at tour event

Mike Sweeney boasts one of golf's most extraordinary life stories and he marked his debut on the Korn Ferry Tour this week with an incredible ace
 

Mike Sweeney’s mad week at the HomeTown Lenders Championship is just another chapter in his extraordinary golf career.

As reported by Ryan French of Monday Q Info, Sweeney’s life has revolved around funding his quest to climb the golf ladder in America.

The 26-year-old from Enfield, Connecticut used to work in a bowling alley and equestrian club where he said he “cut the grass, shoveled sh**, cleaned the horses.”

Not only did he become an impressive golfer in this period of over four years, but he was also a rapper performing under the name of MikeyD860. He turned professional in 2018 but struggled in Minor League Tour events, and the money wasn’t flowing.

After taking another job at Subway, he left his father’s house when he was 25 after making a deal to leave at that age, and he lived out of his car in a Walmart car park for a few months.

One of his friends then let him stay at their place and he currently works in the cart barn at The Florida Club.

Sweeney had to use a large chunk of his savings to pay the $500 entry fee to the Korn Ferry Tour Monday Qualifier. This was his 12th Monday event in trying to reach the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours, and he’d never been successful before.

He holed a bunker shot for eagle on the 18th hole to reach a playoff which he then came through – and his week got even better on Friday.

Just four holes into the first round at The Ledges in Huntsville, Sweeney holed a 4-iron from 230 yards on the par-3 13th hole.

This helped him to shoot a 1-under 69 on his very first appearance at an event sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

“I was a little salty because I just missed a six-footer for birdie on the hole before,” he said, “so I was really trying to hit good golf shots, try and make up for it.

“Then as to how it went in or why it went in, I don’t know the answer, but it did, so a little slam-dunk 4-iron never hurt anybody.

“After that, I just tried to focus on the next golf shot and try to keep my mind from racing as much as possible.”

So there you have it – Mike Sweeney is your new favourite player and his story is certainly easy to root for.

Sweeney’s plight shows how grueling golf can be when trying to achieve lofty goals and it seems Sweeney is already building a large fanbase.

“A lot of guys just saying let’s go Sweeney, let’s go Mike. People that I don’t think I know but maybe I do.

“You can’t really ask for more. My boy Vincent back here, he’s the only person that was able to actually fly in and come watch outside of my friends and family, so it’s nice to feel I’ve got other people out there.”

(Image credit: Korn Ferry Tour)

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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