Mackenzie Hughes’s tremendous first year on the PGA Tour came to an end on Sunday, one event shy of the ultimate goal.
Hughes posted a three-over-par 74 to finish in a tie for 44th spot at the BMW Championship. The result left him just outside the top 30 players who qualify for the FedEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship.
Hughes entered the tournament 31st on the points list and after three rounds, was projected to end up 26th but wasn’t able to hold that spot.
Getting to the Tour championship came with some significant benefits including exemptions into the first three major championships as well as all four World Golf Championship events. Still, even with missing out on that, his first campaign on the PGA Tour has been an overwhelming success. It was highlighted by a victory at the RSM Classic in November that came in a four-golfer playoff that carried over to a Monday finish. The win gave the 26-year-old a two-year exemption as well as $1.088 million in prize money.
Over the course of the season, Hughes made the cut in 22 of the 31 tournaments he played, equaling the best of any rookie on the tour this year, and collected $2.4 million. He also made his debut in the majors, teeing it up at the Masters and the PGA Championship, missing the cut in both. In July, he finished the RBC Canadian Open as the top home-country player, tied for 32nd.
Hughes will likely get consideration for the PGA Tour’s rookie of the year award. However two other first-year golfers, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, made it through to the Tour Championship and may be the favourites so far. The award is voted on by PGA Tour players.
Despite the end of the golf season, Hughes does have something to look forward to as he and his wife Jenna are expecting their first child.
The Tour Championship will have some Canadian content as Adam Hadwin advanced to the final leg, sitting in the 21st spot on the FedEx Cup points list. The Abbotsford, B.C., product shot a 65 on Sunday to end the BMW Championship in a tie for 40th.
Hadwin will also play the following week as part of the International team at the Presidents Cup.