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Willie Mack III’s U.S. Open Success Boosts Support For HBCU Grad

Willie Mack III’s U.S. Open Success Boosts Support For HBCU Grad

Former Bethune-Cookman Men’s Golfer Willie Mack III via BCU Athletics

Willie Mack III, a product of Bethune-Cookman University, an HBCU in Daytona, Florida, had a dream run at the U.S. Open Championship. Playing at the historic Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina, he had the opportunity to compete for the U.S. National Championship.

Mack played well, putting himself in contention to make the 36-hole elimination cut. However, the pin placement and fast greens on the cut day left no room for error, leading to Mack’s elimination from contention. According to HBCU Gameday, Mack finished with a 10-over-par 80 in the second round.

Despite his early exit, Mack’s journey to the U.S. Open as an HBCU alum garnered attention and support from fans. His experiences on the APGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, and PGA Tour have prepared him to strive for regular participation on the PGA Tour.

This marked a significant moment for HBCU alums in golf, as it had been since 2015 when a representative from an HBCU qualified for the U.S. Open.

Mack started strong on the front nine with three birdies and six pars, finishing with a score of 38. However, he struggled on the back nine, carding a 42 and totaling 11-over-par for the tournament.

The U.S. Open proved to be a challenging tournament for many golfers, as even big names like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Rickie Fowler failed to make the cut. Despite the tough competition, Mack’s performance was commendable until the final nine holes, which halted his momentum.

There was widespread support for Mack’s run on social media. The Facebook group “Black Golf Alliance” had numerous posts backing Mack’s run and shared their experiences with him during his career. HBCU groups also took note of Mack’s run, although many were only aware of his time at B-CU and not his professional career.

There are currently 20 HBCUs with golf programs. Willie Mack III’s recent performance at the U.S. Open is pivotal for HBCU golf, amplifying the visibility and recognition of the talent and potential within these programs. His success has the potential to ignite greater interest and support, translating into enhanced funding, resources, and opportunities for HBCU golfers to excel at elite levels and attract top recruits.

Despite falling just short of the peak of his career, Willie Mack has gained many new fans. The resilient journeyman will continue to grind his way to opportunities, making the HBCU nation proud along the way.

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