August 5, 2021

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Willie Mack III cashes in at PGA’s Rocket Mortgage Classic

Willie Mack III, a former eminent golfer at Bethune-Cookman, made his first PGA tour cut on Friday and took his first tour check on Sunday. Mack ended in a draw for 71st at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Mack brought home $ 15,075 after shooting 68-73-72-71 to finish 4 under par 284 and level with Jimmy Walker and Bo Van Pelt on the Detroit Golf Club course. He finished the race ahead of four others, including 45-time winner and 2021 PGA champion Phil Mickelson (-3).

A native of Michigan, 32-year-old Flint came up with sponsorship exception 90 miles from his hometown. It was his third PGA Tour start of the season. Former Jackson State Golfer Tim O’Neal was also in the field after the win John Shippen invitation earlier in the week. O’Neal missed Friday’s cut after shooting +3, 74-73-147 in the first two days.

Grinding pays off for Willie Mack III

Mack worked his way up the pro golf ladder and lived in his car for a year and a half. The car caught fire and exploded in 2018, with Mack only saving his golf clubs.

Despite this setback, he became the a year later Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour Proponents Player of the year. The APGA is a tour that aims to provide African Americans and other minorities with the opportunity to compete and win at the highest level in professional golf. Mack was a successful winner, winning titles in about 60 mini-tour events.

Keep it in the game

During the week, Mack played well in front of a variety of family and friends. His 15 birdies tied him for 49the in The Field. His 11 bogeys were 11the. There were no double or triple bogeys on his card. Outside the tee, he averaged 273.1 yards with a driving accuracy of 71.43% and hit 72.22% of the greens in regulation.

Mack even played the par-4 holes par for the week. He was 1-under on par-3 and 3-under on par-5s. His 4½-foot par putt on his 18 histhe and the last hole on Friday allowed him to make the cut on the number. He’d missed the cut on his two previous starts at The Genesis Invitational and the Farmer’s Insurance Open.

Cam Davis won the Rocket Mortgage on the fifth hole of sudden death in a three-man playoff with Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann.

I look forward to further opportunities

Wayne Birch, who played for Merritt at Southern and Caddies, returned to the court after Merritt finished Friday to take root for Mack when he tried to make the cut. He was delighted with Mack’s performance.

“I was probably more nervous than he (Mack),” Birch said after watching Mack sink the short putt for par on his last hole on Friday. “In the black golf community, we all knew, all of us who played at a high level, that Willie was next. It’s so big. “

Mack will next serve at the PGA John Deere Classic July 7-11 at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.

“I want to serve again,” said Mack after his last lap in Detroit. “Luckily I joined John Deere next week so hopefully I can take that momentum and play well next week.”