Bay Hill Notebook: Adam Hadwin challenges again for the win
ORLANDO, Fla. — Adam Hadwin figures he’s already messed up his wedding plans so he might as well keep on winning.
The Canadian-born Hadwin’s 1-stroke victory last week at the Valspar Championship earned him his first PGA Tour triumph, $1,134,000 and entry into the Masters next month. It also meant he’d have to postpone a planned honeymoon trip to Tahiti for which he’s yet to negotiate a refund.
“We’re still working on that,” he said yesterday after a third round 69 left him 7-under at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, 4 shots behind co-leaders Charley Hoffman and Kevin Kisner. “When you go that far away, you kind of understand their cancellation policies.”
With his wedding plans altered after becoming only the third Canadian to qualify for this year’s Masters, Hadwin arrived at Bay Hill floating on a cloud. That lofty trip continued yesterday.
“I’ve hit it beautifully now for seven rounds in a row,” he said. “I’m still swinging it well, still hitting good putts and I’m right there.”
If Hadwin finds a way to win his second straight tour event, he’d be the first guy born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, to do so. He wasn’t sure if he’d also be the first Canadian but there was no question about his place in Moose Jaw history if he can pull off an unusual double that seems more than a possibility.
“Every round I play, every tournament I play each year, I’m starting to feel more comfortable out here,” Hadwin said. “Still kind of rolling from last week. Still on a bit of a high and obviously it’s kind of showing through my game. I just need to keep it going for one more day.”
Emiliano Grillo played the final 12 holes with one fewer club yesterday after casting an iron into the water in disgust. Grillo was for a time leading the tournament until he hit two balls into the water on the sixth hole with that club.
That quadruple bogey 9, coupled with three earlier bogeys, sent him sliding down the leaderboard. It also sent his club spinning into the lake, where it will likely remain for some time. With an 8-foot alligator among that lake’s residents, no one was volunteering to go in and try to fetch the club for him.
Hopkinton High alum Keegan Bradley shot his third straight round of 1-under 71 to move inside the top 20 line going into the final round. He was greatly aided by canning a 39-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 17th.
Bradley already has three top-10 finishes this season, including a fourth at the Farmers Insurance Open. …
Justin Rose needs to get up earlier or something. He bogeyed his first three holes on Friday and two of the first three yesterday. Somehow he’s still at 5-under for the tournament. Putting up an eagle and birdie on the fourth hole Friday and yesterday helped his cause. …
The international flavor of golf peppered the top of the leaderboard. Among the players in the top 20 were golfers from the United States, Australia, Scotland, England, Canada, Germany, Italy, Argentina and Northern Ireland.