Hadwin chases second TOUR title at Desert Classic
Adam Hadwin has finished no worse than sixth at this event in the past three years
January 19, 2019
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Adam Hadwin interview after Round 3 of Desert Classic
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Canadians flock to the California desert this time of year to escape the cold and snow.
Hadwin comes here to chase PGA TOUR titles. He’s in contention at the Desert Classic for a fourth consecutive year after shooting 65 on Saturday at PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course.
It continues an incredible stretch for Hadwin at this event. He has finished no worse than sixth at this event in the past three years.
He is 20 under par this week, matching his career-low with a 54-hole score of 196 (65-66-65). He was bogey-free Saturday after missing just two fairways and two greens.
“I don’t want to say ho-hum, because golf can never really quite be like that, but it was as stress-free as possible,” he said. “A couple putts went in on the back nine and here I am having a chance again on Sunday.”
Ever since the Desert Classic went to its current configuration of courses – PGA West’s Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament courses and La Quinta Country Club – in 2016, Hadwin has started the final round within three shots of the lead. He was the 54-hole leader in 2017 after shooting 59 at La Quinta Country Club but shot 72 in the final round, matching his highest score at this event.
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Phil Mickelson takes a lead into Sunday for just the second time since 2013.
The reigning Desert Classic champion starts the final round six shots off the lead.
Charlie Reiter carded eight birdies and an eagle to just miss the third round cut.
He is 79 under in his past 15 rounds at the Desert Classic. Ten of those rounds are 67 or lower.
On Saturday, Hadwin was just 1 under par for the first six holes, but birdied half of his remaining holes.
“I was playing one of the easier golf courses, so I knew I had to keep the pedal down,” Hadwin said. “And, again, it was kind of a slow-ish start, but I’ve done that the first three rounds now and then just kind of caught fire midway.”
He is seeking his second TOUR win and a second consecutive appearance in the Presidents Cup. He won the Valspar Championship in 2017 and played for the International Team later that year at Liberty National.
“When you get up into a position near the top of the leaderboard, nerves kick in and adrenaline an all that, so it’s just a matter of controlling that,” he said. “So far, through three rounds I’ve been doing a good job of it.”
Adam Hadwin birdies No. 15 at Desert Classic