Mackenzie Hughes wins Sanderson Farms Championship with birdie on 2nd playoff hole

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JACKSON, Miss. — Whether or not it was sheer confidence or outstanding resilience, Mackenzie Hughes by no means doubted he would win the Sanderson Farms Championship. He simply by no means imagined how it might unfold Sunday night.

Hughes needed to make six key putts on the ultimate seven holes — 4 of them for par — to outlast Sepp Straka on the second playoff gap for his second PGA Tour victory.

The second felt so much more durable than the primary one, that is for certain, Hughes mentioned.

The 31-year-old Canadian famend for his putter lastly made birdie his third time taking part in the 18th gap on the Nation Membership of Jackson, pouring in an 8-footer for the win.

However this was as a lot about pars — the 15-footer on the par-5 14th, the 7-foot putt on the sixteenth after he could not attain the inexperienced from a fairway bunker, and two robust par saves on the 18th gap from 100 toes behind the inexperienced in regulation and from a bunker on the primary playoff gap.

I stored telling myself the entire week that I used to be going to do it. That was the one factor I noticed in my thoughts, Hughes mentioned. These par saves down the stretch, I used to be simply making an attempt to will the ball into the opening.

The primary par save on the 18th gave him a 3-under 69 to pressure a playoff in opposition to Straka, who performed two teams forward of Hughes and shot 67 to publish at 17-under 271.

On the second playoff gap, Straka missed from 18 toes on the perimeter earlier than Hughes made the profitable putt. It was the second time in his final 4 tournaments that Straka misplaced in a playoff. The opposite was in opposition to Will Zalatoris at the beginning of the PGA Tour postseason.

I performed good golf on a troublesome Sunday, mentioned Straka, who picked up his first PGA Tour title earlier this 12 months on the Honda Traditional. Giving your self possibilities to win out right here it key. The extra you are able to do that, the extra comfy you will be.

For Hughes, it had been six years since his lone victory — additionally in a playoff — at Sea Island.

I used to be combating like hell to remain in it, Hughes mentioned. Ending second, whereas it is nonetheless nice, it form of stings whenever youre that shut. I simply wasnt going to just accept that at the moment.

The victory comes one week after the Presidents Cup, and Hughes was disenchanted to not be included on the Worldwide group at Quail Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina, the place he lives. He needed to make use of that as motivation, and it certain labored out that manner.

Garrick Higgo of South Africa had a 68 and completed third. Straka took the lead by getting up-and-down for birdie on the par-5 14th and the reachable par-4 fifteenth. He needed to accept pars the remainder of the day.

Hughes had these scoring holes nonetheless to play, and he almost squandered the prospect. On the 14th, he was out of place off the tee, his wedge over a tree again towards the golf green got here up quick in a bunker, he needed to lay up once more and escaped with a 15-foot par putt.

On the closing gap, he was effectively left off the tee and punched beneath a tree and over the inexperienced in opposition to the grandstand. After free aid, he used putter from 100 toes away off the inexperienced with excellent tempo to three toes for.

On the primary playoff gap on the 18th, Hughes got here up quick in a bunker with solely about 15 toes from the sting of the bunker to the pin. He blasted out to five toes and made par.

That despatched them again to the 18th for a 3rd time, and Hughes closed him out.

Mark Hubbard, who went into the ultimate spherical with a one-shot lead, managed solely two birdies in his spherical of 74 and tied for fifth.

The ultimate spherical featured 5 gamers who had no less than a share of the lead sooner or later. That included Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, whose spherical got here undone on the par-5 14th when he took a triple bogey and not using a penalty shot.

Higgo by no means was a part of the lead, although he lingered the complete day and missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the seventeenth that finally stored him out of the playoff.

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