For at least one week, Kyle Reifers was living right. When his birdie putt dropped on the 72nd hole of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational on Sunday, Reifers found himself one shot behind eventual winner Harris English, which meant he'd be taking home the second-place check for $70,400.
Considering Reifers had missed the cut in eight of 11 events and made just $43,000 on the Nationwide Tour in 2011, taking home $27,400 more than he'd made all season, in one tournament, seemed like a win.
But for Reifers the week would get even better. That's because winner Harris English and John Peterson, who finished in a tie for second with Reifers, couldn't take home their checks for the week.
Both players didn't refuse the cash; they simply couldn't take it because they were both playing in the event as amateurs. Thanks to a wonderful rule that forbids amateurs from taking home prize money when they play in professional events, Reifers ended up with an even bigger surprise: a first-place check for $144,00 for finishing in second.
It's safe to say this is probably the first time in Reifers' career where finishing runner-up was a good thing. Not only did he get to take home the big check, he also moved up 47 spots to fifth on the tour's money list, and one step closer to securing his PGA Tour card for next year.
- Kyle Reifers