Canada’s Adam Hadwin is getting married in two weeks and was planning on a romantic Tahiti honeymoon. The South Pacific will have to wait as the PGA Tour’s newest winner is heading for the Masters.
Hadwin captured his first PGA Tour title at the Valspar Championship and, as a result, gets an invite to compete for the first time in The Masters, which starts in Augusta on April 6.
While the wedding will go ahead, Tahiti will be put on hold so Hadwin can join two fellow Canadians – Mackenzie Hughes and past champion, Mike Weir – in the Masters field.
But the 29-year-old, it must be said, did his best to throw away the Masters opportunity and not disrupt the honeymoon plans.
Leading by two shots with three holes to play, Hadwin hit his tee shot into the water beside the 16th fairway and stumbled a double bogey six, which had him sharing the lead with American Patrick Cantlay.
But Hadwin remained calm and parred his closing two holes for an even par 71 and a 14 under total, which proved to be good enough as Cantlay bogied the 72nd hole to fall out of a tie for the lead.
Hadwin said the double bogey didn’t put him out the tournament and he had to stay patient to get the win.
“I was still in the golf tournament. I was tied for the lead with two holes to go,” he said. “You know, I would have loved to have kept that two-up lead with two to play.
“If I have a chance going down the last couple holes, that's right where we want to be. That's why we practice, to win golf tournaments in those situations.
“I didn't get the cleanest of strikes on 17, but it hung in there. The wind kind of held it up a little bit and I had a decent look at birdie. I hit two real quality golf shots on 18. Just kind of ran through the back edge. But lagged it up there and put the pressure on him.”
The first time winner said he was speechless about the prospect of playing the Masters, despite putting the honeymoon on hold.
“It's just such a whirlwind of emotions,” he said. “You're on the golf course and you're focusing so hard, the next shot, the next shot, the next shot. And when it's finally over and you're holding the trophy, you're not sure what to think at this point. Your mind is almost going, 'I have to play well tomorrow,' and there is no tomorrow at this point.
“But at the same time, I'm going to enjoy it, but I've got another tournament next week and I'm looking forward to the challenges that Bay Hill is going to bring. Hopefully jumping into contention again, and you know I'd love to say I get to sit back and relish a little bit the week of my wedding, but I think I'll be more focused on that that week.
“I think it will truly hit me when I first make that first drive down Magnolia Lane … and that is actually happening.”
VIDEO: FINAL ROUND HIGHLIGHTS
For Cantlay, his runner-up prize cheque of $680,400 assures him playing full time on the PGA Tour for the rest of the season. It signals a terrific comeback for the former World No.1 amateur, who has only played twice since 2014 due to a stress fracture in his back.
, more than enough for him to secure full status for the rest of the year. The former No. 1 amateur was playing for only the second time since 2014 because of a stress fracture in his back
Queenslanders Rod Pampling (69) and Cameron Smith (72) were the only two Australians to make the cut at Innisbrook Resort, finishing T41 and T49 respectively.