Sanderson Farms Championship

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Country Club of Jackson

Mackenzie Hughes

Quick Quotes

Q. You talked yesterday about gaining speed. Do you think gaining speed, has that forced you to think a little bit differently around the golf course because maybe you're hitting shots further than you're used to and maybe having to play it a little bit differently?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Not a ton. I'd say it's mainly been kind of par-5 play where I feel like I'm on certain tee shots trying to maybe hit it a little harder to give myself some better opportunities into greens.

But it doesn't really change much else than really other than off the tee with the driver. The driver is the only club I'm trying to hit as hard as possible. If I hit an 8-iron, I don't really care how far I hit it, I just want to hit it the right number. My irons typically go fairly far.

Yeah, just really with the driver on par-5s, it's kind of a focus of mine, I guess, and doesn't really change how I play. Just maybe a little bit more aggressive on those holes.

Q. Obviously the rebounding with that birdie at 18 probably has to make you feel a lot more comfortable heading into tomorrow?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, that was huge. I felt like I let one get away on 17, made a bad swing, kind of had a little distraction there on the tee, so that was unfortunate. But I knew coming up 18 that that was going to be a big hole for me for tomorrow, and making a 3 there was huge. It keeps me within striking distance of Mark, and he's been playing great, so it'll be a tough battle tomorrow.

Q. I know one win on your resume so far, but what have you learned since that last win that you think can help you heading into tomorrow?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, I just think that I've had a few chances since then, obviously, to win, and on Sunday things can move faster, and it can be harder to stay in your own rhythm, in your own game. But I think that's the most important thing to do tomorrow for me is stay within myself, focus on my own game, and let the chips fall where they fall.

I'll feel good about things if I do that, and like I said, I just want to have a chance coming down the last few holes, and we'll see what happens.

Q. How would you assess your round overall in terms of what were you happy with and is there anything you want to hone in on going into tomorrow?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, I hit a lot of really nice shots. I think I was happy with kind of the way I responded to some adversity. I three-putted the 2nd hole and then came back with birdie on 3. I bogeyed 17, rebounded on 18 with a birdie.

Those are the kind of things that when you're doing those, you kind of have a little bit of a feather in your cap, if you will, just because you feel like your attitude is in the right place to bounce back. But yeah, managed the game really nicely today and hit some nice iron shots, but going to need to just be a hair sharper tomorrow to get it done.

Q. What was your energy into the week? Did you feel like you were playing well and would have a chance to be here in this spot?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: I definitely felt like I was playing well. I definitely felt like in Napa I was close to having a really good tournament there. So it was just a matter of time, and I feel like I've been trending towards a week like this. It's just being patient and waiting for it happen. It's been fun to be in the mix, and tomorrow will be even more fun.

Q. What did you do last week?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Last week I was home in Charlotte for the Presidents Cup, and I had my mom in town for the week, so we did some fun family stuff and just kind of hung around the Charlotte area. We had a good time. It was fun. I hadn't seen her in a little bit. That was pretty much it. Did a little practice, but it was pretty low key.

Q. Have you played much with Mark before, Hubbard?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah. In 2013 we played together in the final round of the wildfire invitational in PGA TOUR Canada, and I finished 2nd and he won there. He got the better of me back then. I'm hoping that I can get that back to even tomorrow.

It'll be a lot of fun, someone I'm comfortable with. He's a great guy, easy to get along with, so it'll be a fun day.

Q. How much does that comfort factor help when you're playing with someone, especially in the final group trying to win a golf tournament?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, it's nice. I think that it'll be different than a Thursday-Friday. I don't expect there to be tons of joking around, but there will be some fun had, and we'll be definitely pulling for each other to play great.

I don't think either of us would have ill will towards the other one if they won or I won or whatever the case may be. We'll have a fun battle tomorrow, and whatever happens we'll still be friends the next day.

Q. What do you feel like you've made progress with since starting to work with Josh a couple months ago?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: Really just kind of owning my golf swing a little bit more and been able to hit some shots kind of the way I see them in my mind a little better. I think that throughout this year in 2022, I've been fighting a shot that goes left and kind of over-draws, over-hooks, so that for me has been something I've been trying to eliminate from my game. I've done a good job of that so far with Josh.

I think that we're still in the very early stages of it, so I'm excited to see where we can take it.

Q. Do you feel like you play your best golf in situations like this where you're in contention and you're kind of -- you need to play well? Do you feel like that's when your best golf shows?

MACKENZIE HUGHES: I think so. I think I really enjoy the heat of the moment. I think -- I'm thinking back to my most recent memory, but let's say the Honda Classic, for example, I come in there, had missed five straight cuts, and on that weekend I got in the mix and I felt like I was kind of relishing being there and enjoying that even though I hadn't played that great coming in.

Just enjoy that type of atmosphere, that feeling you have playing in those final few groups. It'll be fun tomorrow.

But yeah, I think you practice and play for these types of moments, and you want to be feeling those nerves and coming down the last few holes being one of those guys with a chance to win.

I'm excited where I'm at.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
125354-1-1002 2022-10-01 23:32:00 GMT

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