Golfers Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Svensson are fixtures on the PGA TOUR, but that didn’t happen overnight.
Both golfers worked their way up from the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and learned from playing in pressure-packed events like the Canada Life Championship. This year’s tournament goes down from Sept. 9-15 at the Highland Country Club in London, Ont., a spot Hughes and Svensson know well.
The pair are veterans of the Canada Life Championship and understand the challenges players will face this September. That said, they recall their experiences at Highland and say it’s a course where you have an opportunity to put up a good score.
“The tricky part about that course if you’re out of position, missing fairways or on the wrong side of fairways, it makes life very difficult,” Hughes says. “But if you’re hitting the ball in the fairways there you can shoot a good score. I think one round I shot 62. A couple of guys shot 60 or 61.”
“You need to have a lot of accuracy off the tee and approach shots,” Svensson adds. “It suits my game well because I hit it straight. It pretty much comes down to who has the best putter is going to win.”
The players at this year’s tournament will hope to follow a similar path as Hughes and Svensson, with the ultimate goal of making it to the PGA TOUR. Playing on the Mackenzie Tour gives golfers a chance to play in an environment similar to the PGA TOUR and prepares them to take that next step.
“You have practice rounds and Pro-Ams,” Hughes says. “Everything that you expect on the PGA TOUR you have to deal with on the Mackenzie Tour. That’s what I found was great about the Mackenzie Tour is that it has so many parallels to what you’re doing at the next level and the competition was incredible.”
Since the two tours are so comparable, Hughes feels the Canada Life Championship is a great opportunity for fans to see some quality golf and get a first look at the game’s future stars.
“If you’re going out there to watch the Canada Life Championship or any Mackenzie Tour event for that matter, you can expect to see a super-high level of play and you’re going to see guys that are going to be on the PGA TOUR in the next 3-5 years, some maybe sooner,” he says. “It’s one of the best tickets you can buy if you are a big fan of golf.”
Canada Life is not only a sponsor of two Mackenzie Tour events, but they also continue to support Hughes and Svensson as a partner even though they’ve moved on to the PGA TOUR. This has helped the pair focus their energy on the course, and not on the financial challenges that sometimes come with playing the sport.
“They’ve helped me on my journey since I’ve been a professional in 2015,” Svensson says. “They’re an amazing company to work with and they’ve just helped me focus on my golf, so I don’t have to worry about anything else. They’ve helped me reach my PGA TOUR goal.”
“Canada Life has been awesome, and they have been there from the very beginning,” Hughes notes. “It’s incredibly difficult to make it on your own. It’s a very expensive sport to be playing because you’re funding your own expenses. Without Canada Life I’m not able to do what I did those first couple of years. I’m forever grateful they were confident enough in me to sponsor me and help me out. It’s still a great partnership to this day."