Canadian rookie Hughes wins Sea Island playoff
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Mackenzie Hughes figured he was down to his last chance to stay alive in a four-man playoff Monday morning in the RSM Classic.
The Canadian rookie with pluck and a pure putting stroke poured in an 18-foot par putt from off the 17th green at Sea Island, and that last chance turned into his first PGA Tour victory when the other three players all missed from 10 feet or closer.
“I made the putt of my life right there,” Hughes said.
Hughes calmed his nerves and came up clutch in the 42-degree chill, becoming the first PGA Tour rookie in 20 years to go wire-to-wire for his first victory. The final day of a long year on the PGA Tour brought a most unlikely finish.
Hughes had a chance to end it Sunday night until his 10-foot birdie putt in the dark on the 18th hole turned away. The next morning, he was the only player who was never on the green at the par-3 17th until his ball was in the cup.
Blayne Barber, Henrik Norlander and Camilo Villegas narrowly missed their par putts to extend the playoff.
Hughes was watching from off the green, and the prospect of winning became more real with each putt that missed — first Barber, then Norlander. And when Villegas missed his 7-footer, Hughes dropped his putter, turned his back on the green and knocked off his cap as he rubbed his head in disbelief.