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.”