After playing his way into contention on the back nine, Mackenzie Hughes’ chances at the U.S. Open title took an unfortunate bounce Sunday afternoon -- straight into the branches of a tree. Hughes, who was 4 under and two shots behind fellow competitor Louis Oosthuizen, severely pulled his tee shot at the par-3 11th. The ball slammed onto the cart path and took a high bounce into a tree .. and never came out.
After cameras identified the ball as belonging to Hughes, he was forced to take a drop directly underneath where the ball was lodged. He incurred a one-stroke penalty under the rules for a lost ball. The drop came to rest on a cart path, which led to Hughes getting free relief from the path, lying three.
He wedged his third shot onto the green and nearly made about a 25-footer for bogey. The double-bogey 5 dropped Hughes to 2-under for the championship and three behind Oosthuizen, who made bogey on the 11th to fall to 5-under.
Hughes made three more bogeys coming home and tied for 15th place in the tournament.
More Final-Round Coverage From 2021 U.S. Open:
- Rahm wins U.S. Open for First Major Title, by Gary Van Sickle
- How Rahm Finally Learned to Keep His Cool, by Michael Rosenberg
- Daily Question: Which Contender Should Feel Worst About Missed Opportunity?
- How Much Did Luck Play a Role on Sunday? by Alex Miceli
- Phil Mickelson Slumps on Weekend, Now 0-for-30 at U.S. Open, by Mike Purkey
- Mackenzie Hughes Gets Bad Bounce, Worse Break, by Mike Purkey
- Sights and Scenes From Final Round
- Olympic Qualifying Complete, but Top Players Mixed on Participation