Today the junior from Gardendale begins defense of his title in the 46th annual Travis Hudson/Bernard Weinstein Invitational at Musgrove Country Club.
Mullinax is one of 153 golfers who will hit the course in today’s opening round. The morning session begins play at 7:40 a.m. while the afternoon session gets started at 11:50 a.m. The final group tees off at 1:50 p.m.
“We have them coming from all over North Alabama,” said Musgrove Country Club Golf Pro Phil Green. “It’s a very strong field, one of the strongest ever.”
Last year, Mullinax won the tournament by four strokes. Bobby Spiller led by one stroke going into the final round. Mullinax took control early on Sunday, shooting 4-under par on the front nine and closing with a 5-under par 66 to finish with a four-stroke victory.
His three-day total of 14-under par was the lowest winning score since the course was redesigned in 1992.
Mullinax has been in the mix each of his two years in the event. He finished second in his first Travis Hudson/Bernard Weinstein Invitational in 2011.
Four former champions will be in this year’s field including: Mullinax, Steve Hudson, Bobby Spiller and John Coles III.
Steve Hudson is a five-time champion winning in 1979, 1991, 2003-04 and 2010. Spiller won the 2008 title and Coles won titles in 1999, 2001-02.
Green said the course is in excellent condition heading into this year’s event.
“The rain has been good for us. The recent rains haven’t been too much because the course drains so well. The cooler temperatures have helped our bent-grass greens,” Green said.
This week’s tournament will be divided into flights following the second round. The top 16 players will make up the championship flight for Sunday’s final round.