Hadwin continues strong play at Desert Classic
January 17, 2019
By Sean Martin , PGATOUR.COM
Adam Hadwin holes out for eagle at Desert Classic
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Adam Hadwin used superb ball-striking to shoot the lowest score on the treacherous Stadium Course and continue his strong play in the Desert Classic.
Hadwin hit all 18 greens in regulation Thursday en route to a 7-under 65. He made five birdies and holed a 60-yard pitch for eagle on the par-5 16th.
Hadwin called it “probably my longest hole-out in like three years.” His only bogey was a three-putt from 48 feet on the par-3 sixth hole. He played his final six holes in 5 under par.
The Stadium Course is traditionally the toughest of the three courses in use this week, and that was true again Thursday. It played to a 70.9 scoring average, while the field averaged 69.4 strokes at La Quinta Country Club and 69.7 at PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course.
“I basically have to shoot probably another three 7-unders to even have a chance,” Hadwin said.
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Phil Mickelson became the first player in the ShotLink era to record three rounds of 60 or better.
Justin Rose made his 2019 debut with six birdies after hitting 9 of 14 fairways and 13 greens.
Jon Rahm fought off a lingering flu and uncharacteristic weather to shoot a 6-under 66 in La Quinta.
He’s had no trouble going low at this event, finishing no worse than sixth in the past three Desert Classics. He’s 66 under par in his last 13 rounds at this event, including a 59 at La Quinta Country Club in 2017. Phil Mickelson flirted with Hadwin’s mark on Thursday, but came up one shot short.
“I'm five back after shooting 7 under,” Hadwin said. “I was actually watching the leaderboard, thinking he’s going to try and pass my course record over there. That would be a Phil Mickelson thing to do.”
Hadwin is 51st in the FedExCup standings thanks to two top-10s in five starts this season. He’s also seeking a spot in his second consecutive Presidents Cup. This year’s Presidents Cup will be played Dec. 12-15 at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Golf Club.