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Sport Willie Mack III grabs 66th pro win in Billy Horschel Invitational at TPC Sawgrass

07:33  01 august  2021
07:33  01 august  2021 Source:   golfchannel.com

The long-running Harder Hall Women's Invitational is getting a new name and course rotation

  The long-running Harder Hall Women's Invitational is getting a new name and course rotation Some of the most storied women’s amateur golf events on the calendar take place in the middle of the winter in Florida. The long-running Harder Hall Invitational, played for more than 65 years at Harder Hall Golf Club in Sebring, Florida, is one of them. It fits into what…Beginning in 2021, the Harder Hall will get a bit of a facelift. The tournament, newly named the Citrus Golf Trail Ladies Invitational, will start a rotation around its Sebring, Florida, home to six area clubs on the Citrus Golf Trail. Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club is first up to host the next event on Dec. 28-31.

Willie Mack III made four late birdies to take the lead in the first round of the APGA Billy Horschel Invitational on Friday at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course. More: Billy Horschel to host Advocates Professional Golf Association event at TPC Sawgrass . Lutchman, who helped Florida A&M win its first MEAC title last spring, birdied Nos. 16 and 17 and had a clean card on the back nine. Johnson, a Tallahassee resident, also had a bogey-free back nine, with a birdie at No. 16, and Taylor, who plays at Michigan State, mixed three birdies with two bogeys.

Willie Mack III fired a 3-under 69 at the famed TPC Sawgrass on Friday to take a two-shot lead in the inaugural Billy Horschel APGA Tour Invitational . © Provided by Golfweek Willie Mack III Mack made the turn at 1 over but made three straight birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 14 and made another one on 16 to take charge. He parred the famous 17th hole, which was playing at 128 yards on Frida

Willie Mack III won his 66th professional title on Saturday at the inaugural Billy Horschel APGA Tour Invitational at TPC Sawgrass.

a man swinging a golf club © Provided by Golf Channel

“It’s been a special few days this week,” Mack told APGA Tour media after shooting 69-69 to win by four shots. “Just having Billy Horschel’s name associated with the event is special.”

Horschel, a six-time PGA Tour winner, learned about the APGA Tour’s mission to diversify golf and provide developmental opportunities to minority players. Inspired by their mission, Horschel told his team he wanted to host an APGA Tour event and immediately, sponsors like Cisco and PGA Tour Superstore jumped on board.

“I feel like I have a connection with the players because I wasn’t a country club kid,” said Horschel, who was born in Grant-Valkaria, Florida. “I grew up lower-middle class so we didn’t have the financial backing to go play tournaments around the country. I received my first new set of clubs when I turned 13 and before that they were just hand-me-downs and knock-offs.”

Coincidentally, Horschel is familiar with Mack as they met at a couple of PGA Tour events, for which Mack received a sponsor's exemption, and now they have the same swing coach, Todd Anderson.

Three years after a chance meeting with Billy Horschel, Willie Mack III comes full circle with Billy Ho Invitational win

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TPC Sawgrass has hosted THE PLAYERS Championship since 1982. The annual return to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course allows players to grow increasingly familiar with Pete Dye’s famed creation. Billy Horschel says: “On the tee it looks like a hole where you want to hug the left side, but it reality, you don’t need to be on that side to get there in two. It’s such a short par 5 that being anywhere in the fairway will give you a chance to go for it. The left side will just give you a better angle.

The official PGA TOUR profile of Billy Casper. PGA TOUR stats, video, photos, results, and career Mazda SENIOR TOURNAMENT PLAYERS Championship: He finished that three -tournament run at TPC Sawgrass ' Valley Course, where Vintage Invitational : Finished 6th at the Vintage Invitational .

“He [Horschel] shoots me some texts throughout my couple PGA Tour starts,” said Mack on Horschel. “It’s always exciting to have him be so successful and give a hand to somebody who’s trying to get where he’s at.”

‘You just can’t make that up’: How an idea to lift up minority golf became something much bigger

Mack is the most successful player in the history of the APGA Tour, alongside Tim O’Neal. He holds seven victories and two Lexus Cup titles as the APGA Tour Player of the Year. A Farmers Insurance brand ambassador, Mack has played in four PGA Tour events this year, making his last two cuts. He believes the opportunities to play on the PGA Tour have boosted his confidence to continue dominating on the APGA Tour. “It’s helped me learn how to stay calm and play better on courses,” said Mack, who also loves to pick Horschel's and Anderson’s brains on how to improve.

The PGA Tour has also made a big push to help diversify the game, including starting First Tee programs in inter-cities and partnering with the APGA Tour. “We are going in the right direction,” said Mack. “It’s not going to be an easy fix or a fast fix, but the PGA Tour being able to partner with APGA Tour Tour has been huge success for everyone that plays.”

“Just another opportunity for these guys to continue their dream to play tour golf, but also connect them with people in the business world who would love to help and mentor them along the way is huge,” said Horschel. “We need to support people of all background and ethnicities because that’s the only way golf is going become more diverse and more inclusive.”

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It's the final World Golf Championships event of the 2020-21 PGA Tour "super season". And it ended in thrilling fashion, as Abraham Ancer outlasted Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama in a playoff at TPC Southwind in Memphis. It was Ancer'And it ended in thrilling fashion, as Abraham Ancer outlasted Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama in a playoff at TPC Southwind in Memphis.

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