Willie Mack will be playing the Rocket Mortgage Classic this weekend.
For the first time in three career PGA Tour events, the Flint professional golfer made the cut after shooting under par 68-73-141 in the $ 7.5 million event at Detroit Golf Club 3.
But Mack had to work up a sweat on the way to the clubhouse after fighting.
Mack couldn’t finish his first round on Thursday because it was getting dark, so he was back on the course early Friday, finishing up a round of 4 under par 68 to finish in 21st place after 18 holes.
He got off to a good start in the second round, making birdies on two of the first five holes, moving into a tie for eighth place. But Mack fell out of the top 10 when he bogeye the par-5 seventh hole, and he made two more bogeys on the back to leave a question as to whether he would make the cut.
It’s been a long day for Mack.
“I think I got here at 6 a.m.,” he said. “I still had three holes. I played 1-under, played pretty solid. Actually, I played well all day. I missed a lot of putts so it would have been a different story if these went in. Otherwise, as I said, I played pretty well.
“I think I slept about three hours. I’m tired, but I think the adrenaline kept me going and hopefully it will last for the next two days. “
Mack had several family members and friends who followed him in the second round on Friday. His uncle even had T-shirts made with his name and face on them.
Having his family on hand made the cut even more special.
“The first PGA Tour event you went to,” he said. “I’ve played in two this year, but COVID, they couldn’t come. It was special that they were just here.
“I’ve heard some of my friends. I haven’t looked, but I know their voices, so I heard them. It’s exciting to just be able to play with friends and family in your hometown. It was two fun days. “
Mack, 32, played in his first two PGA Tour events that year at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational. But he missed the cut on both solid first rounds before making the cut on the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
He received sponsorship waivers in all three tournaments.
Mack will enter the third round on Saturday seven strokes behind co-leaders Joaquin Niemann and Tom Lewis, who are 10 under par over 36 holes.
The tournament has a top prize of $ 1.35 million.
Among the players who move into the third round on an equal footing with Mack, after Major Champions Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson.
Players who missed the cut include defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and former Rocket Mortgage Classic champion Nate Lashley.
Mack’s partner in the third round will be Byeong Hun An from South Korea. You’re supposed to tee off at 8 a.m.
Mack is a former Michigan amateur champion who has won 65 mini-tour events since his career 10 years ago. He played in high school in Flint Central and Grand Blanc before winning 11 college tournaments at Bethune-Cookman University.
The Willie Mack III story
Willie Mack III gets exempted in the Rocket Mortgage classic
Willie Mack III misses editing at the Genesis Invitational
As a young professional, Mack lived in his car for 18 months
Willie Mack III wins the Michigan Amateur Championship