Just 48 hours after thinking Sergio Garcia had received the toughest break of the season at the US Open, he was quickly replaced in first place by Mackenzie Hughes’ ball bouncing off a cart path and staying between two twigs on a branch in a tree.

Hughes was starting on the difficult par-3 11th and was on course to clinch his first major title, but his hopes were quickly dashed when he sent a wandering tee shot crashing into the giant tree to the left of the green.

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With shouts of FORE and a clear signal to the left – with a club hit off the tee – Hughes’ ball plunged into the tree, bounced off the cart path, and climbed back up the tree.

Golfers around the tree couldn’t believe what they witnessed and camera phones – if they weren’t already – came out to take photos of the ball stuck high in the tree .

Despite cries of “SHAKE THAT TREE” as Hughes debated what to do with a USGA rules official, the Canadian was left with the difficult option of identifying his golf ball (thanks to a phone with a camera) and then drop under a penalty of one stroke. .

Hughes took his meds and threw his ball onto the green, but that would lead to a double bogey five at the end of the tournament, which would quickly be followed by three bogeys in the space of the next four holes to see him tumble like that. many other players in the final round.

He then finished 1 over par for the tournament tied for 15th place.