It’s been a rough ride back to health, but Williams Lake professional golfer Mitch Gillis said he’s hungrier than ever to earn status at this year’s Web.com Tour Qualifying School event.
But the 2007 B.C. amateur champion, who qualified once in 2011 for the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School, said the timing of his injuries couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Last December Gillis tore his shoulder apart while working out in the gym. In June, just one week after he was cleared to pick up a golf club, he displaced some cartilage in a rib, leaving him on the shelf until just three days prior to the first Canadian Tour event of the season in Victoria.
With no time to prepare for the tournament Gillis missed the cut, but his bad luck didn’t stop there. His next scheduled tournament in Calgary was cancelled due to the flooding, and he missed a cut in Saskatoon the following week.
Gillis’s prior support system — a five-year deal from 2008 to 2012, also came to a close this past December.
“Basically with no form of funding this year I turned to a website called Rallyme.com, and I just launched a crowd funding rally to help me to pay the entry fee, travel costs, caddy fees and everything to help me get through Q-school this year,” Gillis said.
Rallyme.com is a sports-oriented backing website used to help athletes raise funds from ‘backers’ to help achieve a given monetary goal.
Gillis chose a 45-day rally and is asking for $12,500. In exchange for backing an athlete backers then receive ‘givebacks’ depending on how much they decide they’d like to donate.
“You can boost anywhere from $1 on up,” he said, and added some of his givebacks include an autographed photo, swing tip videos, personalized lessons, video lessons and sponsorship opportunities.
And so far, in just six days, Gillis has raised 60 per cent of his goal — $7,376 — with 39 days left on his Q-school rally.
“I’m healed up going full time here in Phoenix and trying to get this rally going and just spending time on the course the rest of the day,” he said. “I’m really excited to see how this rally turns out.”
Gillis’s first round of play at Q-school will be held in Texas in October.
To view Gillis’s Rallyme.com page, including a video further explaining Gillis’s goals, visit www.rallyme.com/rallies/151.