Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ontario, carded a final round one-under par 70 to capture the 107th playing of the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship at Niakwa Country Club in Winnipeg.
Hughes, a member of Team Canada's National Squad, finished at 10-under par 274 for the championship, besting 2010 Canadian Men's Amateur champion and teammate, Albin Choi of Toronto, by two strokes. Choi posted a four-day tally of eight-under par 276, after posting a score of 1-under par 70 in round four.
“It was one of the hardest days of golf that I've had to play,” said Hughes, who is entering his senior season at Kent State University. “It was really fun and I enjoyed being in that position, but I was sweating, big time. Thankfully, I got it done.”
Coming off an impressive win at the 2011 Glencoe Invitational, a T9 finish in the stroke play portion of the 2011 Western Amateur and a junior collegiate campaign that saw the 20-year-old earn individual medalist honors at the 2011 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship and also garner First-Team All-MAC honors, Hughes called the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship victory the “biggest” of his career.
“To say I'm a national champion of Canada is a huge honor,” said Hughes . “It has been a long time coming. I've had some close calls in these big events for Canada, so this feels amazing. Definitely, at the top of my list for wins.”
With the victory, Hughes earned exemptions into the 2012 RBC Canadian Open, a PGA TOUR event at Hamilton Golf & Country Club as well as the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship at Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wisc., later this month.
“That’s storybook,” said Hughes. “Whenever [the Canadian Open] is at Hamilton, the last two times it was there, I was dying to be there playing. Obviously, back then I wasn’t good enough, but next year hopefully my game keeps improving and I can have a good week in front of the home crowd.”
Jacob Patte of Oshawa, a member of Team Ontario’s 2011 Willingdon Cup championship team, Team Canada Development Squad member, Wilson Bateman of Spruce Grove, 2011 B.C. Mid-Amateur Championship winner, Cory Renfrew of Victoria, and Team Canada National Squad member, Corey Conners of Listowel, Ontario, finished in a four-way tie for third at seven-under par 277.
Opening-round leader, T.J. Bordeaux of Tacoma, Wash., posted a four-day tally of 4-under par 280 to finish T7 alongside Matt Hansen of Los Osos, Calif., and Justin Shin of Pitt Meadows, B.C.
Scott Markham of Winnipeg fired a final round 71 and finished in 19th place at plus two. Todd Fanning of Winnipeg was 75 on Sunday and finished at plus seven. Adrian Kibsey of Winnipeg was 76 and finished at plus 11.
The 2011 Canadian Men's Amateur Championship at Niakwa Country Club featured 240 players with a cut after 36 holes to the low 70 and ties. Elmhurst Golf and Country Club joined Niakwa Country Club in hosting the opening two rounds of the championship with the final two weekend rounds being contested at Niakwa.
The 2012 Canadian Men's Amateur Championship will take place at Camelot Golf & Country Club in Cumberland, Ontario from August 4-10. The 108th playing of the championship will once again feature an expanded field of 240 competitors with Club de golf Outaouais in Rockland, Ontario, also challenging players during the opening 36-holes of the event.
photo courtesy (Golf Canada/Fred Greenslade)