Of course, Woods knew he was dealing in understatement. A son of a single-parent social worker, Mack earned a sponsorship at a black college, but with finances tight there was obviously limited funds to fuel the dream. Hence the bed in the back seat. But Mack preserved and became somewhat a prolific champion on the mini-tours and, although a few trips to Q-School were unsuccessful, he was convinced that if he kept on pressing, a chance would come. And here it is.
Mack actually made his PGA Tour debut at Torrey Pines last month when his friend from the Advocates Pro Golf Association Kamaiu Johnson was diagnosed with Covid-19 on the eve of the championship. Grateful, but woefully underprepared and playing with what was later found to be a cracked driver, Mack missed the cut. “This week will see the proper ‘me’,” he said on Wednesday.
And with five birdies – albeit with four bogeys – he was certainly true to his vow. Can he make the cut today? Imagine being in his spikes? The last tournament he played in he won £200 – and the entry fee was roughly £80. If he makes the cut on Friday, the least Mack will collect is £55,000. And his entry fee was a only nod from Tiger.
Genesis Open R1: Leaderboard
1. Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) -5 (F)
T2. Wyndham Clark (USA) -4 (F)
T2. Patrick Cantlay (USA) -4 (F)
T2. Joaquin Niemann (CHI) -4 (F)
T2. Scottie Sheffler (USA) -4 (11)
T2. Max Homa (USA) -4 (9)
T2. Alex Noren (SWE) -4 (10)
Selected others: Dustin Johnson -3 (F), Keegan Bradley -3 (F), Adam Scott -2 (F), Russell Knox -1 (8)