If you win a PGA Tour event, what would you do with the winning check? It seems like a simple question. You’d cash it, right? That was not the case, however, for former five-time PGA Tour winner and current NBC/Golf Channel announcer Roger Maltbie.
On July 20, 1975, Maltbie won the Pleasant Valley Classic contested at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass. by a single stroke. It was his second PGA Tour win. Unlike today’s absurd oversized checks, he was awarded a standard-issue bank note worth $40,000, which he promptly folded up, put in his pocket and headed out for a night on the town to celebrate.
According to him, the night got a little hazy after that.
“I don’t know how long I sat there, but it took a little while until I realized I won the day before,” Maltbie said, according to ESPN’s Jason Sobel. “I was going to get a newspaper and read about how cool I am. Then I reached into my pockets and I’m like, ‘Oh, s—. Something bad’s happened here.'”
It turns out the man Johnny Miller affectionately calls “Rog” had “misplaced” the check and was convinced he’d never see it again. The PGA Tour cut him another check, but the sentimental value of that little piece of paper could never be replaced, or so he thought.
As fate would have it, the owner of the bar actually found the missing check soon after and let Maltbie know. They agreed that since he already got the money, the bar would frame and display it along with their other golf memorabilia. After the bar closed for business, the check was returned back to Pleasant Valley Country Club.
At this year’s Deutsche Bank Championship contested at nearby Norton, Mass., Maltbie and his check were reunited at long last.
“I promise you this,” he said laughing. “That’s the last winner’s check I’m ever going to get.”
Good call, Rog.