Mackenzie Hughes may have missed the cut last week at the U.S. Open, but his solid form of late ensured he’ll get more chances at the majors soon.
The 29-year-old Canadian made the Tour Championship for the first time in his five seasons on the PGA Tour.
It’s incredible he was among the 30 to make it to East Lake after his start to the season. Hughes missed nine of his first 11 cuts with T-55th and T-65th the other two results.
Then the former Kent State Golden Flash came out with a flash and finished solo second at the Honda Classic. He followed it up with a missed cut and T-70th, so the Honda really looked like an aberration.
But Hughes cashed another big payday with T-3rd at the Travelers Championship. He was off to the races from there as he made six straight cuts and qualified for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
He played well against an elite field at the Memorial (T-6th) and had a good FedEx Cup Playoffs run (T-13th, T-10th, 14th net/T-7th gross).
Even his MC at the U.S. Open wasn’t woeful. Scores of 72-76 at a demanding Winged Foot only left him one off the weekend.
Looking to this week, Hughes nearly won his second career PGA Tour event (2016 RSM Classic) at the 2019 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
He finished T-2nd (69-70-66-66) and just one behind champion, Graeme McDowell. Hughes had a good all-around game in his only tournament appearance. He was T-24th in the field in driving accuracy (75%), T-6th in the field in driving distance (306.1), T-22nd in greens in regulation (70.83%) and third in putts per GIR (1.588).
It’s not difficult to have a good ball striking week at Corales, which is good for a guy who was outside the top 150 last season in SG off the tee and SG approach. Hughes was elite on and around the greens, where I see this tournament being won.