Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes returning to U.S. Open following strong showing at Memorial

Canadian Mackenzie Hughes will be returning to the U.S. Open following another strong outing on the PGA Tour.

Hughes, of Dundas, Ont., finished in a tie for sixth on Sunday at the Memorial to earn a spot in the major tournament.

He’ll join fellow Canadians Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., and Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., at Winged Foot when the U.S. Open tees off in the fall.

Hughes, who also qualified for the U.S. Open in 2013 and ’18, had three birdies — including one on No. 12 with 67-foot putt — and three bogeys for a 72 in the final round of the Memorial to finish 3 under.

WATCH | Hughes sinks a 67-foot birdie putt:

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., drained a 67-foot birdie putt on the 12th hole, on his way to finishing in a tie for 6th at the Memorial, earning himself a spot in the U.S. Open. 0:40

Hughes and runner-up Ryan Palmer earned U.S. Open spots as the leading two players from the top 10 who were not already eligible.

Henrik Norlander could have taken the final spot with a par on the 18th, but made bogey to tie Hughes at 3 under. The spot went to Hughes because he had the better world ranking.

Jon Rahm struggled to a 3-over 75 but held on to win the tournament by three strokes over Palmer at 9 under.

Rahm, who held an eight shot lead at the turn before a difficult back nine, joins Seve Ballesteros as the only Spaniards to reach No. 1 in the world golf rankings following the victory — leapfrogging Rory McIlroy, who held the top ranking since Feb. 9.

Meanwhile, Conners (72) came in a tie for 22nd at 3 over and Hadwin (81) fell down to 54th at 9 over.

Jumps to No. 75 in World Golf Rankings

Hughes will go from No. 97 to a career-best No. 75 in the world golf rankings following the Memorial.

He shot a 60 in the first round of the Travelers Championship less than a month ago and finished the tournament third, while also grabbing second place at the Honda Classic in March before the COVID-19 pandemic halted golf.

WATCH | Hughes drains 47-foot and 43-foot birdies to close out Travelers:

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., sank birdie putts from 47 feet and 43 feet to close his round in a tie for 3rd place, at 17-under, at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. 0:53

The 29-year-old Hughes has three top-10 finishes in 11 events in 2020 after only three top-10 finishes in 54 tournaments between 2018 and ’19.

Only five players broke par Sunday, the fewest for a final round since the Memorial began in 1976. The average score of 75.932 was the highest for the final round since it was 75.972 in 1978.

WATCH | Hughes makes 53-foot birdie putt at Honda Classic:

Mackenzie Hughes hits a 53 foot putt on the 17th hole, the Canadian would end up finishing in 2nd place. 0:53

The 120th U.S. Open, originally scheduled for June 18—21, was postponed to September 17-20 because of the pandemic.

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