So how did he celebrate the news? He flew straight home to get his passport.
Not expecting a trip to Scotland anytime soon, the Alabama golfer raced back to Birmingham to collect the necessary paperwork, squeezing out three hours of sleep before flying to JFK airport early Monday morning to catch a flight to Edinburgh. , via Dublin.
Mullinax had been sleeping at zero-to-zero since the previous day and rolled into St. Louis. Andrews at 8 am Tuesday. Just after lunch, he was at the Old Course at the first court of his 18-hole practice round to prepare for the start of the tournament on Thursday.
“A little blurry,” he summed up his week to reporters on Saturday.
“I was fine on Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday I was very tired.”
Despite his fatigue, Mullinaks posted a solid run to 71 on opening day. Three scarecrows during his 73-punch second round nearly cut short his Open debut, but parity in 18th place was enough to see him crawl under the cut line and live to see the weekend.
And before heading into the third round, Mullinax discovered what he thought was the cause of the mishit: bent sticks. After landing in Edinburgh, the American said he found his clubs in a bag and in a travel suitcase.
“My guess is that by going through the TSA or something, they just took the iron off,” he suggested.
“I actually found out last night that my stick was two degrees below normal, I knew it looked funny… I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t know what’s going on.’
“The ball didn’t roll like it did in Kentucky and I thought, ‘Sure, I didn’t lose it in two days.’
Of course, Mullinax had a strong third round, hitting seven birdies on his way to carding out of six to 66. That meant an improvement of seven hits from the previous day, though his teammate Kevin Kisner narrowly missed him, who threw 65.
Although his compatriot slowed down in the bottom nine, his compatriot got off to a brilliant start on Saturday morning, equaling seven Mullinax birds per round in just 10 holes.
“Today was great… I was just trying to keep up with Keys the whole time, he was phenomenal,” Mullinax said.
“It became like ‘who can make the most birdies?’
“It was a really cool moment,” he said.
“It was getting dark, the sun was setting. To see this view while walking across the bridge, all the memories you had here, it was really cool for me.”