MacKenzie Hughes is swinging it easy in his PGA Tour debut. That's because the other landmark event happening in his life right now – or the "nail biter" as he calls it – is marrying his fiance next week.
Thankfully, and appropriately sticking with the golf vernacular, his bride-to-be has everything “dialed in” as it pertains to their nuptials, allowing him to focus on his big-circuit debut at the Safeway Open – where he’s played himself into contention.
“This seems a bit easy in comparison,” Hughes told.
Hughes is currently locked in a tie for 10th, and eight shots off Scott Piercy’s lead heading into the weekend after closing his Friday round with three straight birdies to post consecutive rounds of 69 at the event at the Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif.
For Hughes, sudden invulnerability has inspired confidence. As a full-fledged member on the PGA Tour with the card he earned with his win at the Price Cutter Championship on the Web.com Tour last month in his back pocket, he’s been able to relax, and just play his shots.
“The biggest pressure comes from within,” he said. “In terms of the big picture, I have got the whole fall, and an entire year ahead of me.
“I don’t look at this event as the end all be all. Certainly I want to get off to a good start, but it wasn’t like I put too much pressure on myself to play well.”
The second round at the Safeway Open will continue Saturday at 7:45 a.m. local time in Napa. Players will be begin their third rounds shortly thereafter, with Hughes teeing off later in the afternoon.
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