Toronto Star ePaper

Hughes nearly breaks 60

Big day vaults Canadian into contention at the RSM Classic


Mackenzie Hughes had about 17 feet to enter golf’s history books.

In the end, the Canadian golfer settled for matching his career low on the PGA Tour and climbing into contention at the RSM Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga.

Hughes shot 10-under-par 60 to get to 18 under for the tournament, and sits two shots back of leader Ludvig Aberg heading into Sunday’s final round.

Hughes, who earned his first PGA Tour title at this event in 2016, made an eagle on the par-5 15th and birdies on the next two holes on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club, giving him a chance to become the 13th golfer ever to break 60 on the tour — none this year. He hit a perfect drive on the par-4 18th and knocked his approach to a makeable distance, but said he misread his birdie attempt.

Adam Hadwin was the first Canadian with a sub-60 round in a PGA tournament, shooting 59 in La Quinta, Calif., in 2017. Hughes also had a shot at 59 at the Travelers Championship in 2020, but a 40foot putt for birdie that day wasn’t anywhere near as close as Saturday’s attempt.

“I probably feel a little bit of disappointment on those last holes, but that’s golfers being golfers, right? Disappointed with a 60,” Hughes said with a smile.

Last October, Hughes won the second event of the wraparound season, the Sanderson Farms Championship, in a playoff. He has had just two top-10 finishes since then.

“A win would definitely cure some of those blues,” Hughes said. “Yeah, even just finishing the year on a strong note, it’s nice for momentum going into next year.”

One of his best finishes came two weeks ago, a tie for seventh at the World Wide Technology Championship.

If he’s victorious on Sunday, he’ll become the first Canadian to win more than once in a season since Mike Weir (three titles, including the Masters, in 2003).

“I don’t come here just to play four rounds of golf and get some reps in,” Hughes said.

“I want to play well. I want to contend.”





Toronto Star Newspapers Limited