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Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes has flashy finish to tie for 3rd at Travelers Championship


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Video clips of Canadian Mackenzie Hughes draining a 47-foot birdie putt on No. 17 at the Travelers Championship — making a sharp right turn before heading into the hole — were starting to circulate online when he turned around and drained a 43-footer to birdie No. 18, too.

The back-to-back birdies put the product of Dundas, Ont., into a tie for third with American Will Gordon at 17 under on Sunday, and two shots back of eventual winner Dustin Johnson.

Although it was a flashy finish for Hughes, it was still something of a disappointment after the Canadian fired a 10-under 60 on Thursday to hold a three-stroke lead after the first round.

“Those last two holes were a huge bonus,” said Hughes. “The weekend was pretty frustrating for me. I felt like I was playing well enough to shoot some better scores, and it just wasn’t quite happening for me.”

PGA Tour events are not open to spectators in an effort to protect players and fans alike from COVID-19.

So when Hughes drained the impressive breaking putt on No. 17 at TPC at River Highlands, the celebration was limited to a couple of quiet fist pumps as he walked over to his caddie.

WATCH | Mackenzie Hughes closes with birdie putts from 47 and 43 feet:

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., sank birdie putts from 47 feet and 43 feet to close his round in a tie for 3rd place, at 17-under, at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. 0:53

“That was a putt that would just make people erupt, the way it was a pretty dramatic putt. It broke 20 feet, went in with perfect speed. That would have been really exciting,” said Hughes. “No. 18 would have been an amphitheater and it would have, again, kind of charged the crowd up.

“It was definitely different to hear crickets when you make some putts, but I was happy nonetheless.”

Hughes is projected to jump up 24 spots in the FedExCup rankings after the top three performance to sit 46th.

Johnson wins for 13th straight season

Johnson closed with a 3-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Kevin Streelman. Johnson, who extended his career-long season victory streak to 13, last won in Mexico City in March 2019.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus each won in 17 consecutive years. Johnson failed to win in 2014, but is given credit for winning in the 2013-14 season from his victory in the fall of 2013 in Shanghai. The tour changed to a wraparound season in 2013.

Johnson tapped in for par on the par-4 18th, raised his ball to acknowledge the smattering of applause from course workers, officials and reporters, the only in-person witnesses allowed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

WATCH | Dustin Johnson putts his way to victory:

American Dustin Johnson claimed his 21st PGA Tour victory with a one-stroke win at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. 2:33

He finished at 19-under 261 for his 21st PGA Tour title.

Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., had a 3-over 73 day to finish 66th at even par.

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