For anyone who knows how much of a grind of mini-tour golf can be, you'll be able to appreciate Willie Mack III's particularly precarious situation. The 30-year-old tour pro's car had recently been called in under warranty to replace the engine. Days later, Mack found himself in a nightmare scenario with his life in danger on a Central Florida highway.
Mack, a PGA Tour Latinoamerica player, considered himself lucky to be alive after his engine caught on fire Thursday. Driving at full speed on the highway, Mack's vehicle mysteriously turned off. He managed to pull over to the side of the highway and sat in his car as he called for help. Fortunately for him, a good samaritan had pulled over to inform Mack that his car was on fire. The Grand Blanc, Mich. native managed to flee the car, retrieving his golf clubs, but not his personal belongings as the car burst into flames. The video is chilling to watch:
Of course, for mini-tour players who drive from golf course to golf course and state to state searching for meager paychecks, losing a car, and many of your belongings, can be one of the worst case scenarios. So a fellow mini-tour player, Doug Smith, started a GoFundMe to help raise money for Mack. The 30-year-old, who was once featured in Sports Illustrated magazine after winning the American Junior Golf Association's Buick Junior in 2006, and then became the first African-American to win the Michigan Amateur in 2011, played in two PGA Tour Latinoamerica events in 2018, and splits his time between the Advocates Pro Golf Tour and other mini tours.
For those interested in helping Willie, here's a link to the GoFundMe page.