PGA Tour Canadian Pro Criticizes ‘Money’ Obsession, Prefers Competition

The Memorial Tournament presented by Workday is just a week away. The hype around the event has already reached a very high level! After all,  the 7th Signature event of the 2024 PGA Tour calendar is hosted by Jack Nicklaus! Being an elevated one and boasting a prize purse of $20 million makes it all the more exciting for many. Mackenzie Hughes, however, doesn’t seem to agree.

A tweet was posted by NUCLR GOLF on their X handle (formerly Twitter), highlighting the views that the Canadian Pro shared on the substantial prize money that was being offered at the upcoming event. “The fans are just tired of hearing about it, tired of hearing about the money,” said the 33-year-old in an interview before adding, “I don’t think the money that’s going around is sustainable for golf.” The golfer was alluding to the talk of dollar bills that have been going around in the golf world for a while now. The $25 million prize pool of LIV Golf, the increase in PGA Tour’s elevated events, as well as the recent deal with SSG and the subsequent formation of the PGA TOUR Enterprise, all appear to have added to the situation.

“This is a big tournament for me,” confessed the pro while referring to the RBC Canadian Open. He even went ahead to dub it a much more important contest than the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday before resounding his determination to win the same; “I would say far bigger than the one next week, despite next week’s being worth 20 million dollars. I’m here to win this trophy, it wouldn’t matter if it was for a thousand bucks or a million bucks.” The ongoing event at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, meanwhile, boasts a prize purse of $9.4 million as opposed to the whopping $20 million at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted tournament.

It looks like Hughes is well set on making his words come true. The golfer has currently placed himself at T4, tied with two other athletes, Andrew Novak and David Skinns. The trio boasts figures of 7-under overall after two days of play, allowing them to easily make the cut. The Canadian, meanwhile, did so with the help of eight birdies, five bogeys, and two eagles, the last of which came at the par-4, 12th and the par-5, 4th.

A win at the current contest would earn him a cut of $1.693 million from the total prize pool. Moreover, it being the ‘third oldest continuously running tournament’ in the men’s circuit as well as the National Men’s Open Championship of Canada makes it all the more important for Hughes. He thus felt it was much bigger than the upcoming Memorial Tournament founded by Jack Nicklaus while highlighting how the Tour had “lost its soul.”

Mackenzie Hughes urges PGA Tour to focus on competition and charity“I feel like we’re shoving it down people’s throats,” mentioned the golfer in the same pre-tournament presser after urging the community not to talk about the breakaway league and its purses; “I would love for the game to kind of come back a little bit where it’s like we’re just, we’re talking about the golf now, we’re not talking about LIV, we’re not talking about the money and these purses and all that sort of stuff.”

The golfer had, earlier in the season, also mentioned the same thing while urging the circuit to stop chasing dollar signs and instead turn back to the local community and raise money for good causes. “The state of the game is not super healthy because of the things we’re focused on,” said the athlete before adding, “I was talking to some of the RBC people and, you know, I think that we, as a Tour, used to really strive for charity dollars, and that was a really big proponent of what we did. We donated more than all the other major sports leagues combined. I would like to see that become a priority again.” Well, it appears the golfer has had this in mind for quite a while. But will the Tour actually go back to what he strives it to be? – that is the question that needs answering. Hughes and his fans can only wait and see!