Mackenzie Hughes is tied for the lead at the midway point of the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Hughes started Friday’s second round with three consecutive birdies and went on to finish the day with a bogey-free, nine-under 63.
“It’s important to get off to a good start and I think especially given the round I had yesterday (71), I was kind of stuck in neutral and didn’t get much going, so to get that fast start kind of felt like, okay, I’m making my way up the leaderboard and you can kind of put the cut line out of your mind a little bit and kind of push forward,” said Hughes.
“Yeah, the great start was a huge bonus and got me rolling,” he said.
“It was really solid. I didn’t really have much stress and had a nice groove going with the irons, hit a lot of close shots. Yeah, just really in control with that,” said Hughes.
“Being in the fairway was important, but when I was in the rough I controlled it really well in the rough and gave myself looks. Felt good with the putter, which is normally a strength, so if I can start hitting it close and give myself good looks, then it’s going to turn out pretty nice,” he said.
Hughes began working with coach Josh Gregory a couple of weeks ago, concentrating on full swing, and has been spending more time in the gym than he normally would.
“I think just kind of lifting on a more regular basis,” said Hughes.
“I think it’s easy to go through a tournament and say I’m not going to train this week, but I’ve been up in the gym here at the club and been putting in work up there, just even during the week, which normally I wouldn’t be doing, but trying to push a little bit harder and also on the range,” he said.
“It’s just a commitment to doing it pretty much every other day, hitting drivers as hard as I can,” said Hughes.
“I know I’ve probably gotten a few looks on the range because it looks sometimes crazy, but it’s definitely helped and I feel like I’ve picked up a little bit of speed, which always helps in this game,” he added.
Nick Taylor shot a 70 on Friday and goes into the weekend in a tie for 10th at six under. Adam Svensson is tied for 18th at five under after he also shot 70.
All of the scores are here.
DP World Tour
After opening the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with a seven-under 65, Aaron Cockerill shot an 81 on a blustery, rainy day.
Click here for the leaderboard.