Adam Hadwin’s season on the PGA Tour just keeps getting better.
Just six weeks after the 29-year-old Abbotsford native – who calls South Surrey’s Morgan Creek Golf Course his home course – became the ninth golfer in tour history to card a round of 59, he added his first career win to his resume, taking top spot at the Valspar Championship Sunday in Palm Harbour, Fla.
Hadwin – who led by four strokes through three rounds – shot an even-par 71 to outlast second-place finisher Patrick Cantlay for the title.
The two golfers were tied heading to the par-4 18th hole; Hadwin saw a two-stroke lead evaporate late in the round when he double-bogeyed the 16th.
On the final hole, both golfers hit strong tee shots, but Cantlay’s second shot found the bunker just off the green, while Hadwin’s second shot landed on the fringe at the back of the putting surface. Cantlay’s shot from the bunker left him with a long putt, which he missed, while Hadwin’s third shot left him with a one-foot tap-in putt for par.
“I’m just lucky that one-footer wasn’t one-and-a-half feet,” Hadwin quipped on the television broadcast after the win.
After the short putt dropped, the Morgan Creek golfer pumped both fists in the air, and was quickly joined in celebration by his fiancée, Jessica; the two are to be married later this month in Arizona.
“I’m pretty much speechless at this point,” Hadwin said in his post-round press conference Sunday afternoon.
Honeymoon plans, however, will have to be altered – Hadwin had said they’d planned to visit French Polynesia – because the victory also earned the Canadian golfer a spot at The Masters in Augusta, Ga. in April.
Hadwin, still speaking to the press after the round, said he had to “refocus quickly” after the double-bogey on 16 so he could concentrate on the final two holes.
“I feel real fortunate to be sitting here with you, after that hole, but I’ll take it,” he said.
“I knew I was still in the golf tournament… I was tied for the lead with two holes to go.
“I would’ve loved to have kept that two-up lead with two holes to play, but I think I said yesterday that if I have a chance going down the last couple holes, that’s where I want to be.”
The Valspar Championship wasn’t the first time Hadwin was in contention to win an event in the final round. At the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, he finished second despite his record-setting 59, which he shot in the third round.
And though Hadwin’s Valspar victory didn’t include any rounds of 59, it was not without its highlights – perhaps none more impressive than the 53-foot putt he sank on the 13th hole Sunday.
Hadwin’s victory earned him praise from across not just the golf community, but the sports community as a whole.
Shortly after his win, the Morgan Creek Golf Course posted a message on its official Facebook page congratulating Hadwin.
“We knew this was your year,. Congrats on your first of many wins, Adam,” the message read.
Then, Monday morning, another post read, “We still cannot get over yesterday!”
Vancouver Canucks’ forward Bo Horvat and fellow Canadian pro golfer Mike Weir also took to social media to congratulate Hadwin, as did Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tweeted a congratulatory message on his official Twitter account on Sunday evening:
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 12, 2017