Rookie golfer Mackenzie Hughes surprised a lot of people, including himself, on Monday, when he won the RSM Classic. It was his first career PGA Tour win. The Canadian golfer’s first career PGA Tour victory not only made him happy, it also made the people who had him winning on US Betting lines a lot of money since he was a big underdog.
Hughes won a four-man playoff on Monday by pouring in an 18-foot par putt on the 17th hole, after the three other players missed putts from 10 feet or less.
After the tournament, Hughes said it was the putt of his life. With the victory, he became the first rookie on the PGA Tour in 20 years to win his first tournament with the lead during every round. His victory has been called the most unlikely finish of the year.
Hughes had a chance to win the tournament on Sunday night, but he missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. On Monday morning, he was the only player whose ball didn’t make it to the green on the par-3 until he made the game winning putt.
Camilo Villegas, Henrik Norlande, and Blayne Barber all had chances to extend the tournament on Monday, but narrowly missed their opportunity. Hughes, who was watching from the fringe, didn’t think he had a chance to win until the other three golfers missed their putts. He told reporters that he felt he would lose the tournament if he didn’t make the putt, and right before he hit the ball, he told himself to take advantage of the chance to go first and put the ball in the hole. That way the pressure would be on the other golfers to make their putts, which they didn’t.
With the victory, Hughes will be able to play at the Masters this year, and he will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadian and childhood hero Mike Weir, who won the Masters in 2003.
Hughes said he was in contact with Weir throughout the tournament, and likes having an experienced golfer to ask for tips when he needs.
Tim Herron was the last rookie to go wire-to-wire for his first PGA Tour victory, a feat he accomplished in 1996 at the Honda Classic. Hughes was able to do the same thing thanks to his opening round score of 61, which gave him a lead he was able to hold on to over the weekend.
He finished the tournament at 17 under, bringing an end to a memorable rookie season.
Hughes, who went to Kent State, is a two-time Canadian amateur champion. For the past few years, he has been grinding away in the minor leagues, hoping for a big break. Now that he has won a PGA Tournament, expect to see more of him on tour.
Hughes and his longtime girlfriend, Jenna, recently got married and are planning to go on their honeymoon during the offseason. With Hughes winning $1.08 million on Monday, the newlyweds can afford to vacation anywhere they want.
Once the honeymoon is over, Hughes will turn his focus on next season’s schedule and he will be hoping for some of the same magic he had this weekend.