Wrap-up: Hadwin wins Chile Classic with late birdies
March 09, 2014
By Joe Chemycz, PGATOUR.COM
- Adam Hadwin celebrates his win at the Chile Classic. (Photo from Chile Classic)
SANTIAGO, Chile – Canada’s Adam Hadwin birdied four of his final six holes, including the last two, to overtake Australian Alistair Presnell and win the Chile Classic, his first career title.
Hadwin, the 54-hole leader, polished off a 3-under 69 to finish at 16-under 272 at the Prince of Wales Country Club course, one better than Presnell, who chalked up three eagles on the day, including a dramatic 18-footer on the 18th to take the clubhouse lead at 15-under.
“I heard roars but I didn’t know what happened,” said Hadwin. “I knew it was going to be close. I said to my caddie on 17 tee that if I make two birdies they can’t catch us.”
The British Columbia resident got up-and-down from a greenside bunker on the reachable par-4, 17th – tees were moved up and it played only 308 yards – for birdie to tie Presnell as he approached the 529-yard, 18th.
A perfect drive put him down the right-center of the fairway, 230 yards from the pin on the par-5.
“It was an awkward number. I wanted to hit 5-iron and didn’t think I could clear the water if I missed it a little, so I went with 4,” said Hadwin, a graduate of the University of Louisville. “I guess I gave up on it a little and luckily it cleared the water. It was a fairly easy chip across the green and was able to get up and down for the victory.”
Hadwin stepped up and pitched to within four feet and holed the putt for the win.
“I don’t know what to say. I really don’t know to feel, what to think,” he said. “It’s amazing. I battled all day and to finish birdie-birdie and make the putts I did on the last two holes gives me so much confidence. I couldn’t be happier right now.”
The victory was in doubt during a perfect afternoon when the sun-baked, rock-hard greens kept the field from making a big chare.
“I kept an eye on the board,” said the 26-year old winner. “Nobody was taking off. Everyone was just holding around 13, 12-under and I was playing steady. I wasn’t in control like I was yesterday but I wasn’t worried about it.”
Hadwin’s one-stroke lead to start the day evaporated early on the back nine when several challengers joined the fray at 13-under and forced a five-way tie, however temporary.
Presnell snuck up on the board each time he rolled in an eagle putt. The 34-year-old Aussie didn’t make a birdie all day but took big jumps with big putts and finished with a 68. He made a 55-footer on No. 3 and then a 3-footer at No. 14 to get close to Hadwin. When he rolled in the final one, he forced Hadwin to step up, which he did with authority.
“We’re all in this battle, a year-long race to get onto the PGA TOUR and this just puts me one step closer to my goal,” said Hadwin, who picked up a check for $117,000 and moved to No. 1 on the money list, ahead of Germany’s Alex Cejka, winner of the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship two weeks ago.
NOTES & QUOTES:
• Sunday weather: Mostly sunny. Winds were calm in the morning and then S 5-10 through 4pm and then SW 8-15 mph. High of 83.
• The course record at the Prince of Wales Country Club is 11-under 61, set by 2013 tournament champion Kevin Kisner in the third round a year ago.
• The winning scores in the first two years of this event were 22-under by Paul Haley II in 2012 and 21-under by Kevin Kisner in 2013.
• Earns his first Web.com Tour win in his 49th career start. His previous best finishes were a pair of T3 efforts at the 2012 Cox Classic and the 2012 Tour Championship.
• Collects a check for $117,000.
• Wins at the age of 26 years, 4 months and 7 days.
• Becomes the 13th Canadian-born player to win on the Web.com Tour and the first since Chris Baryla won the 2009 Chattanooga Classic, a span of 111 tournaments.
• Joins other Canadian-born tournament winners: Jerry Anderson, Chris Baryla, Ahmad Bateman, Bryan DeCorso, David Hearn, Glen Hnatiuk (4), Ian Leggatt, Jon Mills (2), David Morland IV (2), Jim Rutledge, Rick Todd (2) and Richard Zokol.
• Becomes the first Canadian-born player to win outside of the United States since Jim Rutledge won the 2006 ING New Zealand PGA Championship in Christchurch, NZ.
• Joins Haley (2012) as players to earn their first career victory at the Chile Classic.
• Joins Haley (2012) and Kevin Kisner (2013) as third-round leaders who went on to victory at the Chile Classic.
• Joins Alex Cejka (Germany) as foreign-born winners to start the 2014 Web.com Tour season.
• Has made 7 cuts in 10 career starts on the PGA TOUR. His best finish is a T4 at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
• Alistair Presnell’s T2 finish was his best on Tour since he was solo second at the 2012 Miccosukee Championship.
• Presnell became the first player to register three eagles in a single round on Tour since Chris Smith had three at the 2013 Albertsons Boise Open.
• South Korea’s Sung Joon Park fired a 6-under 66 to wind up at 13-under 275 and T3. Park, 27, missed the cut at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship two weeks ago in his first career start on the Web.com Tour. Park spent the past four seasons on the Japan Golf Tour. He made the cut in 20 of 21 starts last year – withdrew in his other start – and had one victory and four runner-up finishes.
• Augusta State’s Henrik Norlander finished at 13-under 275 and tied for third. Norlander was a rookie on the PGA TOUR last year and made 13 cuts in 22 starts. His best finish was a T15 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
• Washington native Andrew Putnam is off to a solid start in 2014. Putnam bogeyed the final hole Sunday total to wind up at 12-under par and T6. He finished solo second two weeks ago at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship.
• Iowa State’s Chris Baker ran off a tournament-record seven birdies in a row midway through his round. Baker had seven straight on Nos. 8-14. The last player to reel off seven in a row was Nick Flanagan at the 2012 Mylan Classic. The Tour record is nine in a row by Omar Uresti at the 1994 Shreveport Open. Five other players have had streaks of eight straight.
• Chris Baker turned in an interesting round of 5-under 67 Sunday. His seven consecutive birdies (Nos. 8-14) were wrapped inside a streak of 14 straight holes without a par. Baker opened his day with par-par-birdie-par and then closed his day with nine birdies and five bogeys. He finished at 6-under for the tournament and T47.
• Players who posted bogey-free rounds:
R1 -- 64 – Garth Mulroy; 65 – Byron Smith; 67 – Andrew Putnam, Bhavik Patel, Brett Lederer, Jonathan Fricke; 68 – Guy Boros; 70 – Richard S. Johnson
R2 – 64 – Scott Harrington; 65 – Sebastian Pinzon; 66 – Tom Gillis; 67 – Daniel Berger, Nathan Tyler, Ryan Blaum, Kevin Kim; 68 – Andres Gonzales, Jeff Curl, Troy Kelly; 69 – Martin Ureta
R3 – 65 – Alistair Presnell, Fernando Mechereffe
R4 – 67 – Daniel Berger, Jeff Gove, Adam Crawford
• There were nine players from Chile in this week’s field:
- Christian Espinoza 72-70-71-70—283 T52
- Nicholas Geyger 67-74-73-70—284 T57
- Hugo Leon 70-70-75-70—285 T62
- Martin Ureta 70-69-69-70—278 T12
- Felipe Aguilar 71-73—144 E M/C
- Benjamin Alvarado 71-73—144 E M/C
- Juan Cerda 69-76—145 +1 M/C
- Santiago Russi 70-75—145 +1 M/C
- Mark Tullo 73-72—145 +1 M/C
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT CHILE
• 21.5% of the country’s surface is forest
• There are more than 2,900 volcanoes and 500 are geologically active
• There are 376 lakes, lagoons and reservoirs
• There are no poisonous snakes in the country