Mullinax claims three-stroke lead entering final round at Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39
October 10, 2020
By Preston Smith, PGATOUR.COM
- October 10, 2020
- Mullinax fired a 62 on Saturday to grab a three-stroke lead. (Mackenzie Perez/PGATOUR.COM)
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Trey Mullinax carded a 62 on moving day at the Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39 to take control entering the final round. Mullinax leads George Cunningham, Stephan Jaeger and Stephen Franken by three strokes.
Relatively speaking, Mullinax got off to a slow start with a par at the first par-5 and a 1-under total through his first six holes. He then played his next five holes in 6-under, highlighted by an eagle at the 10th, to take the lead. He carded three more birdies, countered by a lone bogey, to match a career-low round.
“I know I’m playing well so I just need to stay patient,” said Mullinax. “Guys are going to make birdies out there. These guys are really good. You never know if you’re going to be even-par through 14 holes and then birdie the rest of them. This is what you want to do, you want to have a chance on Sunday. I’m going to enjoy it and have fun playing on Sunday.”
Mullinax has had an up-and-down couple of years, including a freak injury when a Pro-Am partner hit him with an errant shot at the Charles Schwab Challenge last summer. He has competed primarily on the Korn Ferry Tour this year and after a slow start has notched two top-10s in his past four starts.
On a saturated course with length at a premium, Mullinax’s distance off the tee has been an advantage. The 28-year-old ranks fourth on Tour in driving distance with an average of 323.1 yards per drive.
“Out here you have to hit drivers and with length this week that helps a lot,” said Mullinax. “But I don’t really try to hit it too hard anymore. When I got out here I tried to send it every hole and I don’t do that anymore. It’s kind of the exact opposite of the Bryson method…There’s a few holes where I will channel my inner-Bryson. I don’t have a 48-inch driver and four degrees on it, but there’s a few where I’ll challenge it.”
Mullinax credited his recent resurgence to increased practice routines with with instructor Todd Anderson.
“About a month and a half ago me and Todd Anderson started working back together,” said Mullinax. “We worked together in college and when I first turned pro for a couple of years…He set out some plans for me to do and I’ve seen some results. We had some success in the past, but I really liked his scheduling and practice and I think we communicate very well together.”
Mullinax leads two players seeking their first win on the Korn Ferry Tour – George Cunningham and Stephen Franken – as well as Stephan Jaeger, who is attempting to earn his sixth win. Jaeger is one of 13 players in the Tour’s history with at least five wins (two shy of Jason Gore’s all-time record).
The final round will run from 7:40-9:41 a.m. off of the first and 10th tees on Sunday.