Willie Mack III

Willie Mack III pockets check at John Deere Classic

Bethune-Cookman alumnus Willie Mack III was so dedicated to his pro golf career he lived in his car. That sacrifice is now paying off.

Photo Courtesy: PGA Tour

Former Bethune-Cookman golfer Willie Mack III is building momentum on the PGA Tour.

The 32-year-old followed up his tie for 71st and $15,000 payday at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic with a T-64 with two others (Brian Gay and Andrew Landry) at this week’s $1.08 million John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois. Veteran Lucas Glover won the event at 19-under, 265 and took home the $1.1 million winner’s check.

Making the cut and the check

Mack III shot 70-66 at the par-71 TPC Deere Run course over the first two days to make Friday’s 4-under cut at -6. He got in with a 1-over 72 in Saturday’s third round before finishing with a 2-over 73 in Sunday’s final round.

His 3-under par 281 total earned him another $13,268. It brings his two-week total to 28,343. Not bad for a guy who had not made a PGA cut before two weeks ago and spent a year-and-a-half living out of his car.  

“I think the momentum from last week in Detroit, playing in front of my family and friends, just carried over,” said Mack, a Flint, Michigan native who had many of those same fans on hand this week in Illinois.

This week he averaged 297.9 yards off the tee and hit 64.29% of the fairways. He also hit 73.6% of the greens in regulation. Mack carded 15 birdies and ten bogeys, half of them in Sunday’s final round. His only double-bogey was on the 11th hole Thursday

Perseverence paying off for Willie Mack III

In the Rocket Mortgage, Mack finished ahead of 2021 PGA champion and 45-time winner Phil Mickelson. At the Deere Run Classic, he bettered Aaron Wise, 53rd in the FedEx rankings, and C. T. Pan who has three top 15 finishes this season. He’s proving he belongs.

“Just never giving up,” Mack said of his attitude. “It’s going to be some tough times, not only for me but for everybody, so you just have to go along, take each day as it is and hopefully it’ll work out good in the end.” Lucas had not won an event in ten seasons.

Mack III has 60 mini tour wins and had 11 tournament wins during his collegiate career at B-CU. He missed the cut in his first two career PGA starts this season at the Farmer’s Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational before his success over the last two weeks.

He’s definitely trending in the right direction. No word on when his next PGA Tour start will be.

Willie Mack III pockets check at John Deere Classic
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