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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Former HBCU Golfer qualifies for the U.S. Open

Courtesy of Bethune-Cookman Athletics

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Former HBCU Men’s Golf star Willie Mack III from Bethune-Cookman University has qualified for the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, scheduled to take place June 13-16 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Willie Mack qualified for the 124th edition of the U.S. Open by winning a three-man playoff in a USGA qualifier in Jupiter, Florida. He would finish fifth on the final leaderboard at The Bear’s Club (June 3), turning in a 141 total scorecard across two rounds. In the playoff, Mack turned away Brendan Valdes and Thomas Ponder, respectively, earning his first-ever qualification to a major event.

“I feel excited and ready to get out there and see what I can do,” commented Mack when speaking with NBC Sports on Golf’s Longest Day. “To be able to keep plugging along and get to the U.S. Open is exciting.”

For Mack, the U.S. Open is set to mark the eighth official PGA Tour event of his career, and – as previously stated, his first-ever major.

HBCU US Open Pinehurst golf Willie Mack IIIHBCU US Open Pinehurst golf Willie Mack III

Willie Mack III played his collegiate golf at Daytona Beach, FL HBCU Bethune-Cookman from 2008-11, where he was recruited by and played his first two seasons under BCU Hall of Fame coach Dr. Gary Freeman, arriving to the Wildcats from Flint, Michigan. Mack was one of the most highly rated men’s golf recruits for the Wildcats in HBCU history, followed three years later by the incoming of Ryan and Leon Fricker, with the Ivybridge, England, brothers playing under then-head coach Loritz “Scooter” Clark, now Director of Golf at North Carolina A&T.

Prior to his arrival to Bethune-Cookman, Mack had also recorded previous “firsts” in his career, including becoming the first-ever African-American to win the Michigan Amateur Championship in June 2011.

“I won a tournament a couple of weeks ago in a six-man playoff after a birdie on the first two holes and won,” continued Mack when speaking to NBC Sports. “I had a little momentum coming into this tournament, an experience with a playoff, but there are some great players out here. Just to be able to get that done provides me with a lot of confidence right now. Hopefully, I can keep that going and play well [next week].”

Live coverage of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst will be available through NBC Sports and Peacock. Fans can watch groups and holes on USOpen.com, with Peacock and NBCSports.com carrying the TV broadcasts.

Follow Bethune-Cookman Golf on Twitter (@BCUGolf) and Instagram (@BCUWGolf) for all of the latest news and updates. For all Bethune-Cookman Athletics news, follow us on Twitter (@BCUAthletics), Instagram (@BCU_Athletics) and BCUathletics.com.

Former HBCU Golfer qualifies for the U.S. Open

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