BETHPAGE, N.Y. (5/20/19) In one of the four major championships contested annually in professional golf, former Dominican College golfing great Brian Mackey acquitted himself quite well in his two rounds of competition in the 2019 PGA Championship, which was contested this weekend at the famed Bethpage Black Golf Course on Long Island in Bethpage, N.Y. Mackey failed to make the cut following the opening two rounds of the tournament, but the current head golf professional at Hollow Brook Golf Club in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., posted a seven-over-par, 147, which enabled him to post better scores than several major champions in the field.
Mackey carded an opening-round, 74 (+4), on Thursday and went a stroke lower in the second round on Friday with a 73 (+3). His 147 was better than five former major champions including Jason Dufner (2013 PGA Champion), Y.E. Yang (2008 PGA Champion), John Daly (1991 PGA Champion & 1995 British Open Champion), Padraig Harrington (2007 British Open Champion, 2008 British Open Champion & 2008 PGA Champion) and Shaun Micheel (2003 PGA Champion).
The toughest hole all week was the par-4, 484-yard, 15th, but Mackey handled that well by carding even-par 4's on both occasions. In round one on Thursday, Mackey's tee shot went 270 yards and found the fairway, leaving him just under 230 yards for his second shot into the green. His approach shot found the green and left him with about a 30-foot putt for birdie. He came up just short with his birdie putt, but tapped in for par, as Mackey concluded the round with six-consecutive pars shooting a one-over-par, 36, on the back nine.
Mackey had to scramble a bit with a sand save on the 15th on Friday. His second shot -- after putting it once again in the fairway off the tee -- landed in a side bunker, but he got up and out with a wedge that ended up just five feet from the cup which allowed him to drop in a par-saving putt.
Mackey's opening round got off to a solid start, as he was even par through four holes and moved as high as a tie for 13th on Thursday. Three bogeys during the ensuing four-hole stretch, and a bogey on 12th, pushed him to four-over-par, but he settled things by logging six-straight par's to save the round.
Mackey began Friday's second round going off the 10th tee. He bogeyed the 10th, but rebounded with his first birdie of the week after carding a three on the par-4, 11th. The highlight of the hole was Mackey sinking a 35-foot putt for birdie.
He gave a shot back with a bogey on the par-5, 13th, but he countered with his second birdie on the par-3, 14th, when he dropped an 18-footer to card a two. Mackey capped his interesting opening nine holes with a birdie at the 18th to move to three-over for the tournament. His tee shot on the 18th found a fairway bunker, 138 yards out. Mackey was able to reach the green in two and rolled in a 17-foot putt to card a three on the par-4 hole.
However, bogeys at holes 3, 4, 5 and 6 brought a close to his tournament, but not before he turned in a respectable showing for his home course.
The PGA Championship brings together Tour professionals and Club professionals to compete for the association's national championship. Twenty (20) Club pros from around the country earn a spot in the major championship by competing in various qualifying tournaments. Mackey was named the 2018 New Jersey Player of the Year and competed in his first-ever PGA Championship.
Under the new PGA Tour calendar, the PGA Championship is the second of four major championships contested throughout the season. The major schedule gets underway in April with The Masters, followed in May with the PGA, continues in June with the U.S. Open, and concludes in July with the Open Championship. Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship for the second-consecutive season and captured his fourth major championship overall.
As a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) alum, Mackey has taken part in the past two CACC Men's Golf Championships. He was a guest speaker at the 2017-18 championship banquet, and then this past fall he teammed up with former Goldey-Beacom College golfing great Mike Tobiason to hold a Q&A at the 2018 championship banquet with current CACC golfers. The Q&A featured Mackey and Tobiason, who have on their resumes at competitors in various major championships. In addition to Mackey's appearance in the PGA Championship this past weekend, Tobiason competed in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional outside of Washington, D.C.
Mackey is one of the best golfers in CACC history, as he claimed the 2008 NCAA Division II East/Atlantic Super Regional Individual Championship by winning in a playoff. By claiming the title, Mackey then competed in the 2008 NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament. His incredible run happened under the guidance of his head coach and father, Wayne Mackey.