Hughes in contention again in Punta Cana: I like 'being by the ocean'
Andy Lyons / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Mackenzie Hughes is in contention again at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship after posting a 5-under 67 in Round 2.

The Canadian, who finished as a runner-up during last year's event in the Dominican Republic, sits three shots behind leader Hudson Swafford heading into the weekend.

"(The course) just sets up well for me," Hughes said Friday. "(I) like the relaxed nature of being by the ocean here. Yeah, a great place to be."

Last year, Hughes was ranked 360th in the world prior to shooting 66-66 on the weekend to finish one shot behind winner Graeme McDowell. It was his best PGA Tour result since winning the 2016 RSM Classic.

But with a fantastic 2020 season, during which he racked up multiple top-10 results, Hughes qualified for the Tour Championship for the first time in his career and climbed to No. 54 in the world. His confidence is at an all-time high, and he knows exactly what is needed to win his second Tour title.

"More of the same, lots of birdies," Hughes said. "Something around 20-under's probably going to win, so you just keep marching forward. ... Nothing really changes, just knowing that you're going to have to make birdies to stay near the lead, stay aggressive, and have some fun."

Hughes, who was one of the betting favorites entering the week, will play in the third-last pairing alongside Adam Long on Saturday.

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Hughes in contention again in Punta Cana: I like 'being by the ocean'
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