Flint native, golfer Willie Mack III, just had his dreams come true, and he has none other than Tiger Woods to thank.

The Grand Blanc High School alum will be making his PGA debut at the 2021 Genesis Invitational. Tournament host Tiger Woods announced Willie Mack III as the recipient of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption for the invitational. 

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Woods made the announcement of the special exemption which was named after Sifford, the PGA Tour's first Black player, who won twice on the Tour. The honor has been awarded since 2009, and promotes diversity in golf.

Woods spoke of Willie Mack III, who is 32, saying,

“Willie learned to golf with his dad just like I did and those are memories that will last forever. I am excited to see Willie make another lasting memory when he tees it up at Riviera,” Woods said. “Willie has endured through difficult times off the course the past few years and I know Charlie would be proud of how he has stayed focused on achieving his dream.”

Mack was a star player at Grand Blanc High School  and went on to play collegiately at Bethune-Cookman, where he won 11 individual titles. In 2011 he became the first Black player to win the Michigan Amateur. Currently Mack competes on the Advocates Pro Golf Association (APGA) Tour and Florida Professional Golf Tour. He was named Player of the Year for both tours back in 2019.

On February 18-21, Mack will join other Michigan natives Donnie Trasper and Jake Kneen, who made their PGA Tour debuts in the last year, for his first time on the PGA Tour. Mack commented on the honor in a statement,

“I want to thank my father who introduced me to the great game of golf,” Mack said. “My dream since I first picked up a club has been to play on the PGA TOUR. It’s really special that I will play in my first PGA TOUR event because of an exemption named after Charlie Sifford, a person I’ve long admired, and in a tournament hosted by Tiger Woods, who is the reason I got into golf.”

We are all sending good luck vibes your way Willie!

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