When Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes of Hamilton goes flag-hunting this week in the SBS Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua track in Hawaii, he’s going in locked and loaded with the Ping Golf arsenal of clubs that propelled him to victory in last fall’s RSM Classic. The PGA Tour rookie won his ninth start on the tour in a wire-to-wire performance at Davis Love III’s event at Sea Island, GA, with Ping’s S55 4-9 and pitching wedge irons, the company’s Glide 52SS, 56WS, 60WS wedges, a Rapture driving iron, a G LS Tec 9-degree driver, a G25 15-degree 3-wood and a Scottsdale TR Piper C putter.

He outlasted fellow competitors

Hughes earned the $1,008,000 first place money when he outlasted fellow competitors Blayne Barber of the U.S., Henrik Norlander of Sweden and Camilo Villegas of Colombia after they all missed putts of less than 10 feet in length. Hughes had dropped his knee-knocker par putt of 18-feet from off the green to put the pressure on the trio. The Canuck’s victory made him the first tour rookie in two decades to lead a tournament from start to finish. His final total was a crisp 17-under 265 on rounds of 61, 67, 68 and 69. The triumph landed him automatic entry into not only the SBS Tournament of Champions, but also The Masters and the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, NC, where he lives with his new wife Jenna.

Hughes placed fourth in FedEXCup standings

Heading into the SBS Tournament of Champions, Hughes is placed fourth in the FedEXCup standings, 268 points behind Hideki Matsuyama of Japan. Hughes' record in the fall section of the wraparound schedule included a T13 at the Safeway Open, a T26 at the Sanderson Farms Championship, a T68 at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open, and an MC at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

He’ll be going up against a stellar field this week that includes defending champ Jordan Spieth of the U.S., world No. 1 Jason Day of Australia, Bubba Watson of the U.S., Justin Thomas of the U.S., Daniel Berger of the U.S., Dustin Johnson of the U.S., Patrick Reed of the U.S., Jimmy Walker of the U.S., and Matsuyama.