Adam Hadwin credits Canadian fans after joining golf's exclusive 59 club
Abbotsford, B.C., golfer misses 1st Tour win by 1 stroke on Sunday
Adam Hadwin's blitzing of the La Quinta Country Club at a PGA Tour tournament in the California desert on Saturday is another example of the talent that exists beneath the top rung of the world's best golfers.
A Sunday 70 on the more difficult Stadium course gave Hadwin a solo-second showing, his best on the PGA Tour, but also a result that also ensures he remains winless, the Saturday 59 aside.
Hudson Swafford, a player eight weeks older than Hadwin who joined the PGA Tour the same year as the 29-year-old Canadian, won the tournament with a finishing stretch that included birdies on six of his final holes.
Swafford, playing in the final group with Hadwin, shot five-under-par 67 to win by a shot over Hadwin.
Hadwin, of Abbotsford, B.C., started the day in the lead by a single shot and gave the large Canadian contingent in attendance in the California desert hope that there could be a second Canuck PGA Tour winner after Mackenzie Hughes won the RSM Classic in November.
Hadwin has been a full-time PGA Tour player since 2014. Before becoming a member, he nearly won the RBC Canadian Open when it was last played in Vancouver in 2011. He tied for fourth, finishing just two shots outside of a playoff that was eventually won by the United States' Sean O'Hair at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.
Overlooked no longer
Previous to this week, that showing remained Hadwin's top PGA Tour result.
In remarks that seem prophetic now, Hadwin discussed last summer how difficult it can be to win on the PGA Tour.
"It's hard to describe, you almost have to be perfect to win a tournament," he said, during the lead-up to the 2016 RBC Canadian Open. "You literally cannot make a single mistake…and then sometimes that's not even enough. It can come down to something as small as whether you get an uphill or downhill lie."
On Saturday, and with a large gallery forming and the American network broadcast finally picking up on Hadwin's charge, he recovered from a poor tee shot on 18 to make par that solidified his 13-under round of 59. In total, he made 13 birdies, tying a PGA Tour record set by Chip Beck, who also shot 59 during that round.
It was Hadwin's lowest round even in recreational golf, his previous best was a 61 playing his home course in Abbotsford.
Feeding off Canadian support
After his round on Saturday, Hadwin credited the Canadians in the crowd and the support he received as he reeled off six consecutive birdies on the front side to make the turn in 29, then five in a row on the back.
Hadwin has always maintained that Canadians in the crowd, particularly early in the season, have helped him throughout his PGA Tour career.
"Canadian fans travel very well," he said. "You see them everywhere, to start the season in places like the west coast and Scottsdale, it's almost like we get that opportunity to see Canadians cheer us on every week in a small way like what you see every year at the Canadian Open."
In a quirky coincidence, Saturday's historic 59 took place not far from where Hadwin had his first win at as a professional. He won an old Canadian Tour event at Desert Dunes in the fall of 2010.
"Again, that was in front of a bunch of Canadians," he recalled.