Mackenzie Hughes is ready to go back to work.
After a successful rookie season on the PGA Tour, Hughes took some time to rest and recharge the batteries for his sophomore campaign. Now, Hughes is ready to get back on tour after nearly two months away from competitive golf.
"It's been refreshing," Hughes told theScore. "I'm at the point now where I'm really excited to get going again. I'm itching to get back on the course and compete. The idea has been to get fit, get healthy, and kind of get that itch to go out there and play, and that's kind of what this break has been."
The Dundas, Ontario native will resume his season next week in Honolulu for the Sony Open, which begins an active stretch for the golfer in hopes of qualifying for the 82nd Masters in early April.
"I'm going to start at the Sony Open, and then I'll play the next five (events) all the way through the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am," added Hughes. "Hopefully I can have a great first few months there, and who knows, maybe get myself back into the Masters. I'm not in there as of right now, but something I'd love to be able to play in."
After a win at the RSM Classic in November 2016, Hughes played a heavy schedule when the 2016-17 season restarted. That decision would take a toll on his body midway through the summer, which factored into determining his 2018 agenda.
"I'm still learning. I'm still only in my second year now. I'll figure out after this year for sure about what works and where I like to play. So, hard choices to make ... I'm trying to listen to my body and make sure I'm fresh for mid-summer, and when the (FedEx Cup) playoffs start."
(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
Augusta National is certainly a target for the 27-year-old, but while an early victory is needed to make the drive down Magnolia Lane in April, Hughes understands the season isn't a sprint, but a marathon.
"I have goals that I have set for this season," said Hughes. "But I don't want to push anything right out of the gate, and get myself feeling impatient, and that things aren't happening right away. It's a long year, I've got a lot of tournaments that I'm playing, and try to get in some good rhythm and hopefully have some good results."
As far as what a successful 2018 would look like when it's all said and done, the two-time Canadian Amateur champ says it pretty simple.
"I'd really love to make East Lake."
While Hughes didn't touch the clubs much during his recess, he was certainly keen on watching Tiger Woods return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge.
"I'm a very curious spectator when he's playing," added Hughes. "It's just fun to see him back out there, and it was cool to see him have some great form. To play as well as he did with the time he's had off ... is incredible. I don't think anyone else on the planet can do what he does."