PGA: Mackenzie Hughes cards 63, grabs share of Sanderson Farms lead
Mackenzie Hughes of Canada shot the low round of the day, a 9-under-par 63, to vault into a tie for the lead at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Friday in Jackson, Miss.
Hughes is tied with Belgium’s Thomas Detry at 10-under 134 through two rounds at the Country Club of Jackson. The duo is one shot clear of Austrian Sepp Straka at 9 under.
Hughes posted nine birdies without a bogey, including birdies at Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 to start his day off strong. He wrapped up the day with birdies on the final two holes, sticking his approach shots to 6 feet and 8 feet, respectively.
“I started with a new coach a couple weeks ago in Napa and working on a couple small things which have been kind of showing on the golf course,” Hughes said, “and I’ve been putting in a lot of work in the gym and on the range to increase my club head speed and ball speed, so that’s been showing up, as well. Just a combination of a few different things, but been working hard at it, and it’s always nice when you put in hard work and you get some good results.”
Detry shot a 67 for the second straight day, recording six birdies and one bogey.
After several years of playing mostly in Europe, Detry earned his PGA Tour card over the summer via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, giving him access to more events stateside.
“I was qualified for (the Finals) last year. I didn’t go. I regretted it,” Detry said. “This year I was in between going and not going, and I made a really last-minute decision to go, and it paid off.”
Straka started his round on the back nine and made five birdies in an early six-hole stretch. He finished his day with eight birdies and two bogeys for a 66.
Straka is coming off his best PGA Tour season yet, in which he won the Honda Classic and fell in a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, a FedEx Cup Playoff event.
“I didn’t really know what to expect this week,” Straka said. “I took a couple weeks off after the Tour Championship, and didn’t really know where my game was, and just tried to kind of find it here this week, and thankfully after kind of a rough first nine yesterday, it’s been pretty nice.”
Scott Stallings (67 Friday), Mark Hubbard (69) and South Africa’s Garrick Higgo (66) are tied for fourth at 8 under. First-round co-leader Davis Riley shot a 71 and dropped into a tie for seventh at 7 under with Nick Hardy (67) and Germany’s Stephan Jaeger (68).
Defending champion Sam Burns shot a 69 Friday and is tied for 18th at 5 under. Notable names to miss the cut at 2 under included Gary Woodland (even), Russell Henley (4 over) and Jason Dufner (4 over).
–Field Level Media