Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes will try to defend his title and build momentum for his 2024 season when the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship begins on Thursday.
The tournament at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi is the second of seven events to end the year that will decide final qualifiers and playing status for the 2024 PGA Tour campaign.
“It’s a nice place to come back to. Obviously great memories,” Hughes said. “It’s great to be back.
“Definitely motivated to try and recapture those feelings from last year.”
The only player to win back-to-back titles at the event was American Dwight Nevil in 1973-74.
Hughes is in position to qualify for “signature” events at Pebble Beach and Riviera next season by staying in the top 10 among those fighting for a place in the 2024 season.
“For the most part, I’m just trying to play some good golf this fall [autumn] and get some momentum heading into next year,” Hughes said. “If I just focus on me, play some good golf, hopefully that takes care of itself.”
Hughes, ranked 96th, won his first two PGA Tour titles in autumn starts and after tense playoff fights. He won a five-man playoff to capture the 2016 RSM Classic and added last year’s crown in Jackson by beating Austrian Sepp Straka.
“There’s no doubt that’s a confidence booster. I’ve hit some important shots under a lot of pressure and pulled them off. You have those forever to draw back on,” Hughes said.
“Having two wins on the PGA Tour in playoffs also gives me a bit of confidence, just knowing that when it’s needed I can pull it through.”
Hughes is also pushing for a spot on next year’s Internationals squad for the Presidents Cup, to be played on home soil in Montreal.
“It would be one of the thrills of my career,” Hughes said. “I’ll work really hard to do it and try and be my best for the next 10, 11 months.”
The field includes Ludvig Aberg, who won last month’s DP World Tour European Masters before helping Europe capture the Ryder Cup last weekend. The 23-year-old Swede has secured his 2024 PGA Tour berth.
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