In search of the magic formula

Augusta | Pinned to the podium at 5:40 p.m. downstream of the majestic pavilion of the Augusta National, in the late afternoon of Monday, Mackenzie Hughes pondered the mythical property scattered before his eyes. At 31 and on his third visit to Augusta, he pinched himself again.

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“Look at whatever you see on the horizon as the sun sets in the distance,” he tells us, amazed at the landscape as he looks straight ahead in the direction of the famous Amen Corner.

“We don’t think this place is real, it’s very beautiful. But he adds with a very wide smile. We played golf there on a great day. It’s amazing.”

For a Canadian to win the PGA Tour, nothing compares to a pilgrimage to Augusta at the Masters Tournament. There is no tournament to be compared to. Adults included.

The nerve of war

And while Hughes may temper his impressions of this spot as he went to 80 (+8) in the second round of the 2017 edition, there’s no doubt about it.

Although he never breaks normal, he strives to find a recipe for doing so. Last year he got 40And the His ranking is due to the last round of 76 (+4) which lost him valuable places.

You should have seen him in training, Sunday and Monday, in search of the “secret of your caramel”. He worked around the greens as much as he worked on the perfect surfaces. He wanted to add precision to his lines.

In Augusta, the short game is the nerve of war. Although this legendary track has run for several years and now hits 7,510 yards, accuracy with the iron and mastery of the racquet are key.

Hughes is among the PGA Tour leaders on the Greens this season. He ranked ninth in shots won on the board while he was on the Greens (0.73) and 19And the Ranked in number of hits per green (1.71).

The perfect touch

But Augusta National’s roofs are still special. He wants to improve his instincts there.

“Keep it simple and avoid overthinking. It shows that you also have to have confidence in your abilities. If you follow my instincts and have good feelings, I can have a good imagination and a good touch. That is the key here.”

“More than anywhere else, this course identifies the best golfers on the greens. We take hits that we don’t see elsewhere on the circuit. At short distances they can be super fast and ‘broken’ a lot or in multiple places. be slower and suddenly “broken.”

“There is art in it in my opinion. It is certainly to my advantage.”

Above all else, Hughes wants to avoid breaking his head by pushing his shallow readings too far. He wants to free his mind. Recently, he says he has faced some difficulties. That is why he has to simplify his life.

“I should trust my first reading and not worry too much. I’m better when I trust my instincts. I try to find all my creativity.”

tradition

It has become a tradition. Since the return of Masters champion Mike Weir in 2003, the Canadians have been regrouping for the practice rounds.

On Monday, Hughes and Weir began their outbound trip while Cory Connors joined them on the return. At 51, Southpaw can still keep up with the kids who started in their 30s and hit a mile ahead.

Above all, he can give them valuable advice about places to prefer, places to avoid and angles of attack.

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