Bethune Cookman University golf standout Willie Mack III is proving to the world that his story is far from over. Mack III secured his Korn Ferry Tour Card earlier this week while competing in Savannah, Georgia.
Mack III is the latest to come to the spotlight during this current influx of attention to HBCU golf programs. NBA Champion JR Smith has become a standout on the North Carolina A&T State University Golf Team and Steph Curry has become a major financial contributor to the Howard University Golf Team in recent years.
Mack III who is a native of Flint, Michigan was at Bethune Cookman in 2006 and became the first African-American to win the Michigan Amateur Championship in 2011. He has been through his fair share of adversity in his career and now he’s relishing his new opportunity to become another prominent in HBCU golf.
“It’s been a long road,” Mack said Monday in Savannah, Georgia. “I’m glad I was able to put myself in position to be able to shoot a good round on the last day and move up the leaderboard. It’s been a long time coming. It’s special. To have my brother on the bag going through each stage has been pretty cool. Hopefully, he can caddie more in some of the events and we can play well.”
Mack III has had strong familial support throughout his career. His father Willie Mack Jr. told the Golf Channel that Mack III had to make some very tough decisions to live out his dream.
“I’m very proud,” Mack Jr. said. “I’m proud. His mother is proud. He’s had a journey: sleeping in his car for a year and a half, putting my house in foreclosure – twice. And so you don’t mind doing those things for your child when they’re doing something positive. He was doing something very great for himself.”
“I’ve always told him, if you believe in something, your dreams, just never give up, and he hasn’t.”
Mack III’s brother Alex also commended his brother on what he’s been able to do on the golf course.
“This is what Willie’s meant to do,” Alex said. “This is what he was put on this earth to do, to play this game. We have some bad rounds, some bad tournaments, whatever. It doesn’t matter. When you look at the little chart and it goes down, it goes straight back up.”
It’s great to see HBCU standouts in non-traditional Black sports get the shine and recognition they deserve. Mack IIi will continue his journey as a representative of what HBCU students can accomplish.