Willie Mack III Holds His Own With a Five-Birdie Opening-Round 70

Willie Mack III
Willie Mack III walks on the 12th hole during the first round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2021 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Mini tour pro Willie Mack III, making his second PGA Tour start on a sponsor’s exemption, opened with a 1-under par 70 at Riviera Country Club.

When the sun set on day one of the Genesis Invitational, the Florida Professional Golf Tour veteran was tied for 34th and well positioned to make the weekend in L.A.

Despite missing the cut in his debut at the Farmers Insurance Open three weeks ago, Mack feels the tour experience in San Diego boosted his confidence.

“I think it helped out a lot,” Mack said. “Other than that [nerves], I played good at Torrey, I just was in the rough probably 90 percent of the time. I think it helped out a lot.”

Mack, who hit only seven fairways in two rounds at Torey Pines, managed to match that total (7 of 14) in just one round at Riviera. He also had the putter working, making four birdies that measured anywhere from 10 to 20 feet.


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