Chesson Hadley surprises at Palmetto Championship at Congaree
Halfway leader had missed 10 cuts in last 12 starts, including five straight
June 11, 2021
By Cameron Morfit , PGATOUR.COM
- Chesson Hadley is off to a torrid pace with opening rounds of 65-66 at Congaree. (Mike Wolfe/PGA TOUR)
RIDGELAND, S.C. – Don’t despair if you didn’t have Chesson Hadley in your fantasy lineup for the Palmetto Championship at Congaree this week.
Even Hadley isn't sure he wouldn't have picked himself.
“No, I definitely didn't see this coming,” he said after signing for a second-round 66 that got him to 11 under and atop the leaderboard. “… I missed all those cuts in a row, and thank goodness I had three weeks off just to kind of hit the reset switch, get out on the boat, and just kind of forget about some things and spend some time with some family.”
Although he has won on the PGA TOUR (2014 Puerto Rico Open), Hadley has struggled mightily this season, twice going five straight starts without seeing the weekend. He came into this week 192th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, 151st in the FedExCup, 320th in the world.
Only his putting, in which he ranked 14th on TOUR, seemed to be keeping him afloat.
Two things have happened at Congaree. That alacrity with the flatstick has gone into overdrive – he made nearly 137 feet of putts Friday – and he’s rediscovered his tee-to-green game. With the afternoon wave still on the course he was gaining 8-plus strokes on the field from tee to green.
“It’s nice to be relevant again,” he said after racking up 14 birdies through the first two rounds.
Fortunes can change quickly in this game, and Hadley mentioned a long-ago lunch with James Hahn, who had missed eight straight cuts before winning the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship.
For Hadley to author his own rags-to-riches story, he’ll have to keep it going on the weekend.
“You know, last night I'm getting texts from everybody,” he said, “like, ‘Great playing.’ I appreciate that, and it does make me feel good that I have that type of support, but let's – I got a lot of golf to be played.
“I'm very thankful to be in the spot I'm at and not have to sweat out a cut line,” he added.