35-year Steve DuPlantis, best known as a seasoned PGA Tour Caddie, was also the single father of an 11-year old daughter when he died in a car accident seven years ago. Sierra DuPlantis discovered the news when she was preparing to dance at a middle-school basketball game in Ohio. She remembers it as a bit of a dreamlike moment, “It was so surreal. It didn’t even register to me that he was really gone. He’d just texted me that morning, I miss you, and all this stuff. I loved him more than anything.” But quite aside from the obvious trauma of losing her beloved father, Sierra had another major obstacle to contend with. She already had a warm, supportive home in her father’s girlfriend’s family, but who would pay for her education? Why, Jim Furyk, of course. In other words, the man who once fired her father.
While Jim Furyk was not a fan of DuPlantis’ lack of planning and habit of showing up late, he did consider the man a dear friend. So when Sierra’s grandfather and PGA Tour put together an educational fund raiser for her, Furyk was all there. His appearance was a featured part of the fundraiser and several golfers paid big money to join his group. Even in the subsequent years, he has continued to participate and donate generously to the memorial tournament organized by the Sierra Duplantis trust.
His generosity, which he’s tried to keep very quiet, has paid off handsomely. Today, Sierra is a sophomore at the Clemson University majoring in political science and hoping to venture into law. She’s also a sister of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and is currently living on its campus residence. But when lauded for his major role in her success, Jim Furyk just waves away the accolades, “I just want to be honest. That’s easy stuff.” If you say so, Jim.