Keoke Cotner, a Bedford resident, added some extra miles to his car's odometer but boosted his bank account considerably during Sunday's final round at the WNB Golf Classic in Midland.
Cotner finished second at the tournament, adding $56,000 to his season earnings total and moving to 77th place on the season money list. It marked Cotner's first runner-up finish in a Nationwide Tour event since 2005.
And it almost did not happen. After playing a practice round Tuesday in Midland, Cotner -- the first alternate at the event -- drove home to Bedford because he did not think he would have a tee time in Thursday's opening round. After arriving in Bedford, he learned that Chris Riley would not be competing and Cotner could fill that spot, if he returned to Midland. So he did.
And, by Sunday night, the extra 10-hour commute resulted in a $56,000 payday -- or $5,600 per hour, based on driving time. Not a bad payoff, if you can get it.
Even better: Cotner now is within striking distance of cracking the top 60 on the season money list, which would earn him a spot in the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship, Nov. 5-8 at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney. The golfers who rank in the top 25 on the season money list after the event in McKinney earn 2009 PGA Tour cards.
_ Jimmy Burch