It was only fitting that a tournament plagued by delays deliver a long-awaited first PGA Tour win to Trey Mullinax. The 30-year-old outlasted a crowded leaderboard and eventually won the Barbasol Championship by a stroke over Kevin Streelman with a stirring 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole.
The tournament, which has suffered a delay every year since 2015, was a shootout with soft conditions allowing players to take dead aim and Mullinax did just that with eight birdies in the final round at Keene Trace Golf Club to come back from three off the lead after 54 holes. Mullinax and Streelman separated themselves from the field with birdies at the 13th and 15th holes, but the par-3 16th proved to be the pivotal hole.
Having the honour, Mullinax pulled an 8-iron and hit a fine shot to the fringe, 12 feet away. Streelman then proceeded to pull his 7-iron into the greenside bunker and couldn’t get up and down, making bogey to fall one behind – a deficit he erased a hole later, but Mullinax took the lead back when it mattered on 18.
Mullinax’s irons are Ping’s S55, a model introduced in 2013, making them relics by tour standards. But Mullinax loves his irons, especially the 8-iron.
“I’ve had these in the bag a long time, since college at Alabama,” Mullinax told Golf Digest in 2019. “I’ve swapped around a little bit but always come back to these guys. They’re my babies. My favourite club is the 8-iron. We just get along. When I set her down, we have a nice relationship so if I’m ever between clubs and one of the options is the 8-iron, I’m always in.”
As he should be – at least this week in Kentucky. Mullinax ranked first in greens in regulation, hitting 59 of 72 greens. That helped lift him to the top spot in strokes gained/approach-the-green, picking up more than eight shots on the field.
Which, when you win by one, comes in kind of handy.
What Trey Mullinax had in the bag at the 2022 Barbasol Championship:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Ping G425 LST (Project X HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX 70), 9 degrees
3-wood: Titleist TSR, 15 degrees
Irons (2): TaylorMade P770; (4-9): Ping S55; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM9
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (52, 56 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM9 WedgeWorks (60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie
PHOTO: Jamie Squire