CHESTERTON | Trey Mullinax accomplished a mark that no golfer had ever achieved at the Sand Creek Country Club on Friday afternoon and needed every bit of the feat to win the Northern Amateur Championship.
Mullinax shot a course-record 63 after carding birdies on seven of his first eight holes Friday. The Alabama junior entered the day tied for 25th but ended the afternoon hoisting the Arthur Ellis Memorial Trophy after shooting 9-under in the third and final round of the annual tournament.
“I definitely ate my Wheaties this morning,” Mullinax joked. “I hit the ball well all week, and I came into today knowing that I had to do some work. I just wanted to go shot-for-shot.”
Mullinax started the day with aspirations of cracking the top 10, and those were reaffirmed when he birdied the first four holes of the round. Once he chipped in for an impressive birdie on eight, Mullinax started to believe that he could go even further than the top 10.
“It was the eighth hole when I started to realize that this was pretty special, and I had a real chance,” Mullinax said. “I knew I could do it once I hit that shot.”
Even though Mullinax was confident with his ability, his surge to the top of the leaderboard caught everyone by surprise, including Sand Creek Chief Operating Officer Mike Misheck.
“I was watching the scores scroll across the screen when they came in at the turn, and I saw someone come across with a minus-seven,” Misheck said. “I thought that had to be some sort of mistake, so I checked the scorecard online, and sure enough, Trey had done it. I raced out to the course to watch his last couple of holes. What an impressive round of golf and a record-breaking performance.”
Mullinax, by virtue of his low starting position, finished his round much earlier than the leaders and stood patiently at the final hole as second-round leaders Robert Bell and Chris Hemmerich made their way through the course. Both golfers delivered their highest scores of the week while Illinois sophomore Brian Campbell carded a 68 to finish a stroke behind Mullinax.
“I knew that I was with the leaders, but I wasn’t really sure where I stood down the stretch,” Campbell said. “I played really consistent golf all weekend, and this was a great tournament to play in.”
The Northern Amateur featured a handful of local golfers, led by Chesterton’s Kyle Grassel (63rd, 226). Despite the struggles of the local golfers, Misheck was proud of their efforts and the hometown representation.
“Part of our objective is to showcase our local talent,” Misheck said. “I know it’s difficult on these young players, but they fared very well and even showed some of their moxie by bouncing back from a tough first day.”