Mackenzie Hughes honors late friend at RBC Canadian Open

HAMILTON, Ontario – The 13th hole at Hamilton Golf & Country Club has been transformed into this year’s “Rink” hole, complete with hockey boards ringing three sides of the tee, goalie masks as tee markers and a Zamboni perched on a hill overlooking the green.

The “Rink” hole has become one of the most unique and entertaining scenes on the PGA Tour, but for Mackenzie Hughes, it’s been a somber chance to remember and honor Bill Bath, a “family friend” who died earlier this year.

Hughes said he met Bath when Hughes was 11 years old and on vacation in Cuba and that Bath had been “a big part of [Hughes’] journey.” To honor Bath, Hughes has worn one of his friend’s hockey jerseys while playing the 13th hole.

“I’ve been thinking about him a lot the last month or so. His wife and son have been out here watching me. It’s a bit emotional even when I put that on to think about him,” Hughes said. “I know the last time I was here he actually caddied for me. So, a lot of great memories with him and his family. That was kind of the reason behind the jersey.”

Despite two late bogeys, Hughes shot a second-round 64, the Canadian’s lowest score in his national championship, thanks to two eagles. The first eagle came at the par-4 12th, his third hole of the day, when he holed his approach shot from 79 yards. He matched that at the par-5 fourth with a 12-foot putt.

“I knew when I made the eagle putt on 4 that I was in the lead or near the lead,” he said. “I knew I was right there. I did a great job for most of the day. The finish wasn’t what I planned for but happy with the result.”

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