Hughes leads Villegas, Horschel through 54 at RSM


Mackenzie Hughes

Mackenzie Hughes took another step toward a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday at the RSM Classic, carding a 2-under 68 to hang on to the lead through 54 at Sea Island. Here’s how things stand with just one round to play:

Leaderboard: Mackenzie Hughes (-16), Camilo Villegas (-15), Billy Horschel (-15), Cheng Tsung Pan (-15), Chesson Hadley (-14), Patrick Rodgers (-13), Charles Howell III (-13), Blayne Barber (-13)

What it means: Hughes, a rookie from Canada, carded his worst round of the week (68) and broke his bogey-free streak with a triple-bogey 7 on the 11th hole. But he sandwiched the blemish between five birdies, including three on his final six holes. The 25-year-old, who won earlier this year on the Tour, will take a one-shot lead into the final day at Sea Island. There’s plenty of proven winners not far behind, most notably Villagas and Horschel, who sit a stroke off the lead.

Round of the day: It wasn’t quite the 61 that Hughes fired on Day 1, but Camilo Villegas carded a blistering 6-under 64, including an inward 30, on Moving Day to jump into a share of second place. Villegas, who doesn’t have a PGA Tour win since 2014, closed out his round with four straight birdies to give him nine on the day. A double-bogey 5 on the third hole and a bogey on 13 kept him from threatening a sub-60 round.

Best of the rest: Horschel shot a 5-under 65 despite the constant distraction of his Florida Gators facing the LSU Tigers on the gridiron. Horschel, who’s been searching for a win since claiming the the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup two years ago, didn’t drop a shot and rolled in his fifth birdie of the day to close out his round.

Biggest disappointment: On a day when a score in the 60s was not only out there for the taking but essential to stay within striking distance, Chad Campbell shot an even-par 70. Campbell, started the day three shots off the lead, but canceled out his lone birdie with a bogey and now sits five back as he looks for his first PGA Tour win since 2007.

Quote of the day: “It’s nice to have something distracting me in between shots. I’m a lot better when I can be distracted between shots and I’ve been doing a good job this week.” – Horschel, on getting on-course updates about the Florida Gators football game.