Reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champ Sammy Schmitz has already accomplished the hard part - he qualified for the Masters. Now he just has to afford to get there.
Schmitz, 35, lives in River Falls, Wis., and makes a living as the regional director of a health care services company. He earned a trip down Magnolia Lane by defeating Marc Dull in last month's Mid-Am final, thanks in large part to a hole-in-one on a par-4.
But Schmitz wasn't expecting to win, and he wasn't expecting to keep game sharp this winter, either. With that now becoming a priority - and with Schmitz allowed to play practice rounds at Augusta National throughout the winter - his wife, Natalie, recently launched a GoFundMe page to help the family of four deal with the unexpected new costs.
"Being a father of two beautiful girls and having bills and daily expenses has made it very difficult to find the income to make his dream of playing in the Masters come true," she wrote. "We currently live in a small town in Wisconsin where the winters are filled with snow and sub below (sic) temperatures making it almost impossible to practice. The money raised will go toward travel and lodging expenses to practice in Augusta, Ga., in the winter months."
The page was published Sunday with a listed fundraising goal of $30,000. Nearly $4,000 was raised within the first 20 hours.