Richard Fletcher “Dicky” Pride is 43 years old and has been a professional golfer since 1992.
He had a successful career at the University and Alabama and was semi-finalist in the 1991 U. S. Amateur.
Pride even collected a win on the PGA Tour in his rookie season, when he beat Hal Sutton and Gene Sauers in a playoff in the 1994 FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.
Since then he has battled health problems and bounced back and forth between the Web.com and the PGA Tours.
Even though Pride started 2012 with virtually no status, he was able to get into the field for the Myakoba Classic in Mexico on a Past Champions Exemption and turned that into a T-5 finish.
That got him into the Honda Classic where he posted a T-7. The highlight of the year and his best finish since the win in 1994 was a runner-up finish to Jason Dufner at the Byron Nelson in May.
For the year Pride has made 11 cuts in just 16 events, posted three top-10 finishes and has earned $1.2 million.
By qualifying for the FedEx Cup and finishing inside the top-125, he earns a fully exempt PGA Tour Card for 2013.
He made birdies at No. 17 and No. 18 last week at the Deutsche Bank to finish No. 70 and punched his ticket for the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs at the BMW Championship held at Crooked Stick near Indianapolis, Indiana.
Pride made a note of his ties to Indiana when he met with the press on Tuesday.
“My wife is from about an hour from here in Muncie, so we have lots of friends and family coming over to support me, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Coming into the week at No. 70 on the FedEx Cup Rankings Pride has to finish top-3 this week to move inside the top-30 and qualify for the FedEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship at East Lake Country Club.
Pride was very positive about his situation.
“I’ve got nothing to lose, so go play. There are no worries about playing poorly or doing anything like that. You just stick to your game plan, know which pins you are going to shoot for and just go for it.”
Pride has been around golf for a long time. He has seen the highs and the lows. He is enjoying a career year in 2012 and is exempt to play with the big boys again next year.
Starting the year with no status, earning his card for 2013 and making it to the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup Playoffs has to be very satisfying for a journeyman like himself.
We see the likes of McIlroy, Woods and Mickelson week in and week out on the PGA Tour. It's great to see a regular guy succeed and realize his dreams of making it on the biggest stage.
Maybe there is a win for him this week and a fairy tale ending hoisting the FedEx Cup.
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