July 16, 2021
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK
Q. Good playing over the first two rounds. Following along at home I'm sure we missed some exciting moments today. What was the turning point you can think of that might have either kept the round going positively or perhaps even held it back?
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, I'd say I just didn't quite feel like I had it from -- I wouldn't say from the start, but just felt like I was a tick off, and I didn't have the same control and good feels I had yesterday.
I did a pretty good job of managing my way around and put myself on the greens and just trying to make a lot of two-putt pars and just try to be as stress-free as possible. But this golf course can bite you at any moment.
Looking at a key point in the round, kind of felt like I made a couple nice pars through 4, 5 and 6, and that kind of got me going. And birdied 7. So I think that sort of stretch on the front nine felt like I kind of got over a little hump there and got going the right direction.
All in all it was an okay day. Not thrilled but I'm not disappointed. It's just one of those kind of keep you in the hunt and moving forward to Saturday.
Q. Is there anything you learned or made note of at the U.S. Open when you were in contention that you could perhaps use this weekend?
MACKENZIE HUGHES: I mean, I definitely made some notes on how I felt and all that. I think you're always going to feel nervous and want to do well, but I think that it's about embracing the nerves.
I think just being there at Torrey Pines just gives me a bit more comfort and I guess ease, and I guess kind of playing somewhat near the lead in a major. Just going to keep drawing on those same feels and same emotions I had at Torrey and try to get myself in a good frame of mind for the weekend.
Q. I wonder if you can describe maybe the linksiest shot you've played over the last two days, maybe something today that stood out if you would never see if you were playing on the PGA Tour.
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, it's a good question. Let's see. I hit a chip shot on the 15th hole today from short right, actually all three of us in the group had a similar shot and there was a big slope behind the hole. We all were able to use that slope perfectly and roll them down to a couple of feet.
You don't really get a ton of that in the States I would say. There are some undulations and slopes, but it's not typical, and out here it's quite severe.
The other -- I've hit like 3-iron/2-iron off the tee a lot this week, and I'd say I hit it five, six times today, and on the right hole with a good wind it can go upwards of 280, 290.
That's kind of a shot that you don't get to play in the States very often where it's firm and fast and running. That's probably the most linksey shot I've been hitting is that lower flighted 3-iron/2-iron to get it chasing.
Q. What are you doing when you're not at the golf course because you're sort of locked down? What are you doing to pass the time?
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Just been partying a lot here in England. It's been quite a rager. No, just kidding.
Really have done nothing. I've sat in my hotel room every night, have taken some food to go from the course, and yeah, eating in my room, watch TV. There's really been nothing to do.
Yeah, just kind of bubbled up in the hotel, and I've been here at the golf course and at my hotel, so those are the only two places I've seen. It is what it is, and we'll make it work this week.
Q. Are you watching the golf when you're in your room?
MACKENZIE HUGHES: Yeah, so I watched a lot this morning. I watched a fair bit of Corey's round. I just wanted to see how the course was playing and some of the pins, so that was helpful, and I learned a little bit watching that.
Q. I'm just wondering, before you went over you said you were looking forward to the challenge of links golf. You said it was going to be the kind of golf you were excited to go play because of the creativity. Where are you at mentally right now? Has it been a grind the last two days or how are you feeling on the mental side of things?
MACKENZIE HUGHES: No, I feel pretty good. I had a week off last week so I feel like I came in here pretty fresh. Minus a little bit of jetlag, I felt pretty good. I think yesterday I was in complete control of my swing and the golf ball, and yesterday I was, I'd say, pretty low stress.
Today I felt like I wasn't quite on top of it. At times I was grinding a bit harder but felt like I was in control of what I was doing and my emotions. That part of it felt under control.
No, I feel good. I'm in a good state of mind, and I'm excited for the challenge ahead.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports