Golf: Canadian Adam Hadwin hangs on for first PGA Tour title

Adam Hadwin will have to delay his honeymoon with wife Jessica, as it falls on the same week as the Masters, which he has qualified for.
Adam Hadwin will have to delay his honeymoon with wife Jessica, as it falls on the same week as the Masters, which he has qualified for.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MIAMI • Canadian golfer Adam Hadwin's victory at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbour, Florida, booked the 29-year-old a berth at next month's US Masters, right on the week he had scheduled a honeymoon with fiancee Jessica.

"Proud of myself the way I hung in there," he said after his win. "This course was going to be a grind the whole way through."

Hadwin captured his first US PGA title despite squandering a four-stroke lead, eventually making par on Sunday's final hole to win the tournament by one shot over American Patrick Cantlay.

A double bogey by Hadwin after finding water off the tee at the par-four 16th left the last-pair duo deadlocked, but Cantlay found a bunker at 18th and missed a par putt, allowing Hadwin's tap-in par to give him the victory.

"I fully expected Patrick to make that putt," Hadwin said. "I just wanted a chance to win on 18 and that's what I had. I thought it would take a birdie to win it. I'm just lucky that one footer wasn't 11/2 feet."

Hadwin fired a level-par 71 to finish 72 holes on 14-under 270, while Cantlay's final-round of 68 left him on 271, with Americans Jim Herman and Dominic Bozzelli sharing third on 272.

Despite the defeat, Cantlay's runner-up finish in only his second event in 28 months was worth US$680,000 (S$960,000) - enough for him to earn his tour card after playing this week on a major medical exemption.

Cantlay had been the world's top-ranked amateur in 2012, but suffered a stress fracture in a lower back vertebrae while warming up on a driving range in 2013. He has battled back and returned with a share of 48th at Pebble Beach last month.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2017, with the headline 'Hadwin hangs on for first PGA title'. Print Edition | Subscribe