Hadwin narrowly missed securing a TOUR card via the Web.com Tour in 2012. (Dunn/Getty Images)
By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Mark Baker and Adam Hadwin both carded 64s to earn medalist honors in the Farmers Insurance Open Monday qualifier at El Camino Country Club.
Michael McCabe and Brad Adamonis grabbed the other two spots, both shooting 66.
Baker, a 29-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native who has been playing mini tours, had an eagle and seven birdies with a single bogey, while Hadwin went 29-35 for his 64 with 11 birdies, one bogey and a double bogey.
Hadwin narrowly missed earning his PGA TOUR card last year, finishing just outside the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list despite a tie for third at the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch.
The 29-year-old McCabe, a Thousand Oaks, Calif., native, will be making his PGA TOUR debut. In 2008, he made his first Web.com Tour cut at the Albertsons Boise Open Presented by Kraft, where he finished 57th. He spent most of 2012 playing on the Canadian Tour.
Florida native Adamonis, who turned 40 on Jan. 16, played on the PGA TOUR in 2008 and 2009. He nearly became a PGA TOUR winner in 2008 when he reached a three-way playoff with Kenny Perry and Jay Williamson in the John Deere Classic (won by Perry on first sudden-death playoff hole). A former winner on the Web.com Tour (2007, WNB Golf Classic), the Miami (Ohio) University product returned to the Web.com Tour in 2012 and made 14 of 26 cuts with three top-25 finishes.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Q-school has plenty of pressure all on its own. Add in winds consistently in the 20-25 mph range -- with gusts as high as 50 -- and scoring has taken on a whole new meaning here in the second round. Case in point: As of this moment, only nine players have recorded rounds in the 60s. Seven more players failed to break 80, including Brendan Pappas, who shot 86 -- currently the highest score in the books Thursday.
As for the leaderboard, there’s still a long way to go here in the second of six rounds at PGA West. Matt Jones, however, was one of those players to break 70, carding a 68 on the Stadium Course to earn a share of the lead at 9 under. Harris English and Will Claxton are also 9 under, but they are still on the golf course.
Some other notable names in the top 25 on the leaderboard: Billy Hurley III, Vaughn Taylor, Jeff Maggert, Dean Wilson, Bob Estes, Troy Merritt, Adam Hadwin and Sam Saunders.
When the final 2011 PGA TOUR non-member money list was finalized, Canada native Adam Hadwin had earned $440,752, less than the $563,729 (No. 150 on 2010 PGA TOUR Money List) needed for Special Temporary Membership, but within the top 150 on the final 2011 PGA TOUR Money List.
After an internal review by the PGA TOUR Competitions Department, it was determined that the spirit of the regulation was to allow non-members earning money equal to or greater than No. 150 on the Money List an exemption into the Final Stage of the Qualifying Tournament, regardless of their status as a Special Temporary Member.
Consequently, Hadwin has been granted an exemption into the final stage of the 2011 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament, which begins Nov. 30 at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
Hadwin, the former All-American at the University of Louisville, played in five TOUR events in 2011 with two top-10 finishes (T4 at the RBC Canadian Open and T7 at the Frys.com Open).
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Adam Hadwin is certainly making the most of his limited opportunities on the PGA TOUR. Earlier this year, he tied for fourth at the RBC Canadian Open. After a course-record tying 64 Saturday at the Frys.com Open, he’s near the lead with just 18 holes to play.
Like a lot of other players here, Hadwin, who spent the last two years on the Canadian Tour and is in the field this week on a sponsor exemption, is hoping to avoid q-school. A win would take care of that. But even if he doesn’t win, he could earn enough to be exempt through to the final stage of q-school.
“ I'm very happy to have gotten a spot this week,” Hadwin said. “I felt like that's what I needed, just a couple more shots. The way I played at Shaughnessy [in the RBC Canadian Open], I could have at least moved inside the top 150 and get in the final stage, and if not get a card.”
While Hadwin’s experience on TOUR has been short, he’s certainly familiar with being in contention and even winning. The 23-year-old won his second Canadian Tour event earlier this year and at the RBC Canadian Open he entered the final round in second place just one shot off the lead before closing with a 72.
By finishing in the top 10 at Shaughnessy, he earned a spot in The Greenbrier Classic the following week and tied for 32nd there with a pair of 68s on the weekend.
Adam Hadwin’s tie for fourth Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open was bittersweet.
Trying to become the first Canadian in more than 50 years to win his country’s national championship, those hopes were quickly dashed when Hadwin made two bogeys and a double bogey in his first eight holes. Hadwin charged back, however, with three straight birdies on the back nine only to finish two strokes out of a playoff.
“I can't put words to it,” Hadwin said. “I felt like I was playing for my country out there. Got off to a rough start, and brought it back on the back side and gave them something to cheer about coming in.”
While Hadwin didn’t get the win, he did get into the field for next week’s Greenbrier Classic thanks to a top-10 finish. He also gave the fans plenty to cheer about after overcoming a four-putt on the eighth hole.
“I had basically one goal for the whole day and that was have fun,” Hadwin said. “I kept telling myself just enjoy it. Everybody's cheering for you. Just have fun out there, and things turned around there on the back nine.”
That turnaround also gives Hadwin, a two-timer winner on the Canadian Tour, the confidence that he can play with the best.
“This is my first final group on the PGA TOUR,” he said. “It was kind of exciting. Big crowds all day, lots of cheers. You know, to finish on the back nine like I did was something special.”
Bo Van Pelt is nearing the turn and still leading, but he now he has company in Kris Blanks, who just birdied the ninth hole to pull even with Van Pelt at 5 under. Van Pelt, meanwhile, has played his first eight holes in even par.
This isn’t a U.S. Open, but it’s sure played like one with a premium on par -- John Daly said Saturday the rough is similar to that of the U.S. Open and the greens similar to a PGA Championship.
As for who else is in contention, Sean O’Hair just made the turn in 2 under and is within one at 4 under for the week. After that there’s some separation with three others at 1 under -- John Daly and Geoff Ogilvy are among that group.
Meanwhile, Canadian Adam Hadwin’s hopes appear to be dashed. He’s 4 over through eight holes after two bogeys and a double bogey through eight holes. He’s now back to even par and five strokes back.
It’s early in the final round, but already Shaughnessy G&CC is showing some teeth. Of those currently in the top 10, only one player -- Rickie Fowler -- is under par in the final round.
As a result, Fowler, who is 2 under through his first eight holes, has climbed 16 spots into a tie for eighth. He’s still four shots off the lead, but the way things are going right now, who knows what will happen.
Right now there are 13 players within four shots of the lead of Bo Van Pelt, who dropped back to 4 under after a bogey on the opening hole. The good news for Van Pelt is that Adam Hadwin also bogeyed the first hole to stay one back.
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Adam Hadwin begins the final round just a stroke off the lead and trying to become just the fifth Canadian to win the RBC Canadian Open, a tournament with a storied history as the third-oldest championship in golf.
In a word, Sean Foley said that Hadwin’s swing is “pure.” He also said Hadwin is a “very accomplished” player, despite being just 23 years old.
This is just Hadwin’s third career start on the PGA TOUR, but he’s not exactly a strange to success. He’s won twice on the Canadian Tour, including earlier this year, and last year tied for 37th in this tournament. He also tied for 39th at the U.S. Open earlier this year.
A win would earn Hadwin the opportunity to become a PGA TOUR member and give him a two-year exemption on TOUR. A top-10 finish this week would earn him a spot in next week’s Greenbrier Classic.
The other Canadians to win their national Open are: Karl Keffer (1909, ’14), Albert Murray (1908, ’13), Charles Murray (1906, ’11) and Pat Fletcher (1954).
What will Hadwin do to try to add his name to that list? He’ll try to recall on the experience of his first career win a year ago, among other tournaments, like this year’s U.S. Open.
“Getting that first win end of last year was big, it was tight,” he said. “I needed to make some good shots, and I pulled the shots off when I needed to.”
It’s been more than a half-century since a Canadian has won the RBC Canadian Open. Adam Hadwin has a chance to change that after a 2-under 68 Saturday that leaves him one shot off the lead of Bo Van Pelt after three rounds.
But growing up Hadwin didn’t dream of winning this tournament, even though he' was a kid from Abbotsford.
“No offense to the Canadian Open, but my putts were to win the U.S. Open or the Masters,” he said. “I don't really find it surreal because I feel like I belong here. I just need my opportunity to get out here.
“I think I kind of proved that today. I think a lot of people may have been going he's tied for 5. He's had two good rounds. He kind of threw up on the weekend last year, whatever.”
A big part of the reason Hadwin, who was in contention going into the weekend of this tournament a year ago, didn’t, he said, was because his caddie kept him in his routine, despite having the crowd clearly focused on his every move.
“I feel like from a year ago I'm a thousand percent better player now than I was a year ago,” Hadwin said. “My missed shots are better, my putting is better, I'm getting it up-and-down when I need to, and those are the keys to playing well.”
Likewise so have the results. Hadwin has been on the Canadian Tour for two years and is arguably the best player from north of the border. In eight events this season, for example, Hadwin has a 7th, a T12 and a win, which came in March at the Pacific Colombia Tour Championship (a co-sanctioned event on the Latin America Tour).
Now he’ll try to keep the focus on everything but becoming the first Canadian to win this national Open since Pat Fletcher did it in 1954.
“I feel like I keep repeating myself, but it's the same thing over and over,” Hadwin said. “If I do the same things I need to do, if I hit the ball on the fairway, put it on the green, and give myself putts at it, I've got a chance to win the championship tomorrow. You know, that's my focus right now. That's it. I'm swinging great and I feel great over every shot.”