Mackenzie Hughes didn’t think he had all his right stuff in Sunday’s final round at Royal St. George’s, but he still managed a one under 69 and a tie for sixth in his debut at the Open Championship.
Hughes finished all four rounds at eight under, seven behind winner Collin Morikawa, who won by two shots over Jordan Spieth. His sixth place finish, the highest by a Canadian in Open Championship history, earns Hughes a return trip in 2022.
Corey Conners finished with a 73 to tie for 15th at five under.
“I would’ve loved to play a little better the last couple days, but all in all, I was pretty pleased with the efforts,” said Hughes, who opened with two consecutive bogeys on Sunday.
“Yeah, the start was definitely disappointing. You couldn’t have too much of a worse start,” added Hughes, who birdied the third and bogeyed the fourth, then birdied two of the next three holes to make the turn at even par.
“I kind of tried to tell myself that everyone in the field today was going to make some bogeys and it kind of helped early on when I saw a few guys not get off to the best starts either. Few guys were two over through four, five holes,” he said.
“I knew there were other guys that were having troubles, too, so that kind of helped. I just tried to stick to the game plan and I knew I would get my share if I stayed patient,” he added.
Hughes traded a bogey and a birdie on the second nine, before sinking a 20 footer for birdie on the final hole of the tournament to get under par on the day,
“To shoot under par today when I really didn’t have my stuff at all, you know, felt pretty good,” said Hughes.
Conners also started off with two consecutive bogeys. His first birdie of the day came on the sixth hole, followed by an eagle on seven, but he bogeyed eight and made the turn at even par, before three bogeys on the second nine left him at three over.
“There was definitely some nerves out there. I wasn’t able to get the putts to fall in to kind of get some positive momentum and settle me down a bit, but I just tried to plug away and be patient,” said Conners.
“It was definitely more of a battle than I’d hoped for, but, yeah, it was a good learning experience,” said Conners, whose majors this year included a tie for eighth at the Masters, a tie for 17th at the PGA Championship and a missed cut at the U.S. Open.
“I feel like they’re all really good tests of golf and I feel like my game has been trending in a positive direction as well. It’s nice to have decent results there. I’d probably say I left each one a little sour, left a few shots out there, definitely room for improvement as of this week, but overall, it’s been pretty solid and fun to be kind of in the mix in three of the four majors this year,” he said.
The final leaderboard is here.