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U.S. Open Qualifying

Willy Wilcox continues his incredible comeback by going low at U.S. Open qualifier

May 06, 2022

A week after picking up his first victory since getting sober, Willy Wilcox went low again. And this time, it has him one step closer to getting back to the big time.

The former PGA Tour pro fired a six-under-par 66 at a U.S. Open local qualifier on Thursday to comfortably advance. Wilcox will next play in one of the final qualifiers, which begin later this month.

After his round, Wilcox gave fellow former PGA Tour player John Peterson credit for motivating him. The retired Peterson was medalist at a different local qualifier earlier this week. Amateur Ford Clegg wound up nipping Wilcox for medalist honors by a stroke.

The 35-year-old Wilcox won the 2013 South Georgia Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he also shot a 59. He's best known for making a hole-in-one on TPC Sawgrass' famed 17th hole during the 2016 Players Championship.

But a longtime drug addiction led him to walk away from the game last year. After a stint in rehab, however, Wilcox is now sober and playing great golf again. Thursday's 66 came on the heels of a dominant seven-shot victory at an Emerald Coast Golf Tour event that he capped off with a walk-off albatross.

"Just holding a big check again means the world to me," Wilcox told the Firepit Collective's Ryan French, "and doing it sober means even more."

If he keeps this up, he could be back to holding checks that are a lot bigger in the near future.