ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Picture this.
You’ve just won your first PGA Tour title, handled all the media obligations and now have to rush over the pond to get ready to make your debut in the Open Championship. But you’re in Kentucky with the Barbasol Championship hardware and your passport is home in Alabama, so — courtesy of the PGA Tour, which sets up a private jet — you fly south.
You repack, get three hours of sleep and then head for Scotland, the itinerary taking you through JFK and Dublin before touching down in Edinburgh. And that’s when you see the horrors at the hands of luggage handlers.
We’ll let Trey Mullinax take it from here.
“All my clubs were out of my (golf) bag when I got here,” Mullinax said. “A lot of clubs were bent, and so we had to adjust and stuff like that. I guess going through TSA, whatever, they took the irons out (of the golf bag) and put them not back in my golf bag. They were just lying in the travel case.
“A couple of irons were bent and stuff like that.”
But his travel nightmare has turned into a dream week at the 150th Open Championship played at the Home of Golf. After making the cut on the number, he and Kevin Kisner were the first two-ball out and Mullinax shot 6-under-par 66; Kisner shot 65. Mullinax will be able to sleep in a bit longer Sunday after moving up more than 50 spots on the leaderboard.
“A little bit of a blur,” Mullinax, 30, described his present state. “I left my house at 5 a.m. Monday morning, got here at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, and then teed off at like 1:30 for 18 holes. I was actually OK Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday I was really tired. I haven’t slowed down. I really haven’t had any time. I’m really looking forward to next week getting home to my family and hanging out with my kids and celebrating the win, seeing some friends and stuff like that.”
Playing the Old Course has certainly woken him up.
“Getting to hit shots I’ve never hit before,” he said of the highlights. “My caddie has been very prepared for the shots that we’re going to have to hit and the bump and runs you have to hit around here.
“I feel very prepared, and I feel like my game’s good.”
And now his putter is back to normal, too. On Friday night, Mullinax discovered the lie of his putter was off by 2 degrees.
“I knew it looked funny. I was having to tell my caddie, man, I’m having to forward press this a lot. I was like, man, I don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “The ball wasn’t rolling like it was in Kentucky. Surely I didn’t lose it in two days.
I found out today that it was 2 degrees off. I played a lot better today.
“Shooting 66 out here is never bad. I was just trying to keep up with Kiz the whole time. I mean, he was putting phenomenal. I started making some putts. It became kind of like who can make the most birdies? He made the most birdies. I sniffed him on the last hole. Might have caught a skin there with him.”