SAN DIEGO -- When Canada's Mackenzie Hughes reached his tee shot on the par-3 11th hole in the final round of the 121st U.S. Open on Sunday, he couldn't believe what he saw.

His ball was lodged between two twigs on the branch of a tree and never came down.

"I mean, it's like one-in-a-million break," Hughes said. "I've played golf my entire life. I've never had a ball stuck in a tree. For it to happen on the back nine of a U.S. Open ..."

For more than two hours on Sunday, the back nine of the South Course at Torrey Pines chewed up many of the world's best golfers and knocked most of them out of contention. In Hughes' case, it didn't even spit him out.

Before the leaders made the turn on Sunday, it seemed like one of the greatest final rounds in U.S. Open history was about to play out on the California coast. After six holes, four players -- Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau, Russell Henley and Rory McIlroy -- were tied for the lead at 4 under. Six more players, including Hughes, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm, were just 1 shot behind.

More in category

Washington signing former Bears, XFL defensive end Bunmi Rotimi
July 27, 2021MSN
Washington signing former Bears, XFL defensive end Bunmi Rotimi
19-year-old duo proves US swimming factory still in business
July 27, 2021MSN
19-year-old duo proves US swimming factory still in business
2 World-Record, 4 Other Olympic-Best Finals: Day 6 Rowing Roundup
July 27, 2021NBC
2 World-Record, 4 Other Olympic-Best Finals: Day 6 Rowing Roundup
How to watch Tokyo Olympics on Peacock: Streaming schedule, live events, times, dates
July 27, 2021MSN
How to watch Tokyo Olympics on Peacock: Streaming schedule, live events, times, dates
NHL free agency tracker 2021: Live updates, analysis on news, rumors, signings and trades
July 27, 2021MSN
NHL free agency tracker 2021: Live updates, analysis on news, rumors, signings and trades
Katie Ledecky Demolishes Field to Win First Olympic Women's 1500 Gold Medal
July 27, 2021NBC
Katie Ledecky Demolishes Field to Win First Olympic Women's 1500 Gold Medal
Relive Team USA's Performance in the Women's Gymnastics Team Final
July 27, 2021NBC
Relive Team USA's Performance in the Women's Gymnastics Team Final
Daniel Jones on pressure: We’re all expected to perform and play at a high level
July 27, 2021MSN
Daniel Jones on pressure: We’re all expected to perform and play at a high level
Pac-12 Leaders Suggest Realignment Response as SEC Growth May Compromise CFP Expansion
July 27, 2021MSN
Pac-12 Leaders Suggest Realignment Response as SEC Growth May Compromise CFP Expansion
Kristof Milak Breaks Olympic Record for 200m Butterfly Gold
July 27, 2021NBC
Kristof Milak Breaks Olympic Record for 200m Butterfly Gold
Olympic Volleyball Day 5: Canada's Men Sweep Iran
July 27, 2021NBC
Olympic Volleyball Day 5: Canada's Men Sweep Iran
‘The Fighting 4': Nickname for U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team Revealed?
July 27, 2021NBC
‘The Fighting 4': Nickname for U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team Revealed?
Tropical Storm Dumps Rain on Northern Japan, Spares Olympics
July 27, 2021NBC
Tropical Storm Dumps Rain on Northern Japan, Spares Olympics
Swimming Day 4 Roundup: Katie Ledecky Doubles Up
July 27, 2021NBC
Swimming Day 4 Roundup: Katie Ledecky Doubles Up
Washington State football coach stands by decision not to get vaccinated, but says he's not 'against' vaccines
July 27, 2021MSN
Washington State football coach stands by decision not to get vaccinated, but says he's not 'against' vaccines
Simone Biles Withdrew From The Women’s Gymnastics Team Final, So Here At 20 Photos To Remind You Why She’s Still The GOAT
July 27, 2021BuzzFeed
Simone Biles Withdrew From The Women’s Gymnastics Team Final, So Here At 20 Photos To Remind You Why She’s Still The GOAT
NBA will keep play-in tournament for 1st full season since COVID-19 pandemic
July 27, 2021MSN
NBA will keep play-in tournament for 1st full season since COVID-19 pandemic
16-year-old Capsey looking to build on 'surreal' week
July 27, 2021SkySports
16-year-old Capsey looking to build on 'surreal' week
Carlin Isles scores twice as USA rugby sinks Canada | Tokyo Olympics | NBC Sports
July 27, 2021NBC
Carlin Isles scores twice as USA rugby sinks Canada | Tokyo Olympics | NBC Sports
Olympics 2021 live updates: Katie Ledecky takes gold in 1,500 free, U.S. men's hoops looks to bounce back, plus more from Tokyo
July 27, 2021ESPN
Olympics 2021 live updates: Katie Ledecky takes gold in 1,500 free, U.S. men's hoops looks to bounce back, plus more from Tokyo
Dolphins cornerback Howard requests trade
July 27, 2021SkySports
Dolphins cornerback Howard requests trade