ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – As the PGA Tour mulls multiple investment offers potentially worth billions, and social media is abuzz with outrageous sums offered to the game’s top players by LIV Golf, Matt Atkins represented a monsoon of perspective.
For background purposes, Atkins is a 32-year-old journeyman who earned a spot into this week’s RSM Classic via an eight-man playoff at Monday qualifying. Earning his first Tour start since 2019 was rewarding, but the opportunity went well beyond a player chasing his dreams.
On Friday following three consecutive birdies to finish his round at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort to make the cut, the opportunity and the emotion overwhelmed Atkins.
“We can at least pay our bills the next couple of months.”
Monday qualifier Matt Atkins was emotional after making the cut @TheRSMClassic.
He reflects on past struggles and on why he's playing for something bigger than himself. https://t.co/ySWRSNxmRN pic.twitter.com/WM1YsKxeWQ
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 17, 2023
“I still have status, still can make something happen, but financially was in a position where paying bills was going to be almost impossible,” explained Atkins as he fought back tears. “Getting into the event was an opportunity, but making the cut and making a check, we can at least pay our bills the next couple months.”
Atkins is tied for 44th after two rounds. A finish there would earn him around $25,000.
Atkins, who finished 108th on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and officially earned $88,202 this season, said he’s been able to adjust his outlook this year and has fought the urge to be consumed by the job.
“I think that would be the thing I would change the most, is just being out here and playing and not being so concerned with what each week or what status on the Tour will do for the next however many years,” he said. “Still be present, be here in this moment and just enjoy it and whatever happens is always meant to happen. It's what's meant to be.”