Hughes wins RSM title in Monday playoff

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Mackenzie Hughes won the RSM Classic with a par on the third playoff hole after darkness previously halted the tournament after two extra holes.

The five-man playoff, which originally included Billy Horschel, began Sunday evening when the quintet finished 72 holes at Sea Island at 17 under. Horschel was eliminated on the first extra hole when he missed a short par putt, and the remaining four players each parred the second extra hole to set up Monday’s finish.

All four remaining players missed the green on the par-3 17th when they returned to the Seaside Course, and Hughes had the longest remaining par putt. But he rolled it in from off the fringe, then watched in disbelief as Barber, Norlander and Villegas all failed to match him.

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“If I don’t make that putt, I’m probably done,” Hughes said. “As soon as I hit it, I knew it was on a good line, and about a foot from the hole I knew it was right in the heart. It was such a good feeling to see it go in.”

It’s a career-changing win for Hughes, 25, who opened with a 61 Thursday and held sole possession of the lead after each of the first three rounds. The Canadian was making just his fifth start as a PGA Tour member, but now the rookie is exempt through the 2018-19 season and has spots in the Tournament of Champions, Masters, Players Championship and PGA Championship in 2017.

The T-2 finish is still a career-best result for both Barber and Norlander, the latter of whom entered the week on a sponsor invite with no PGA Tour status. For Villegas, it’s his first top-10 finish since winning the 2014 Wyndham Championship.