Hadwin wins first PGA Tour title at Valspar Championship


Seven weeks after he shot a 59, Adam Hadwin claimed his first PGA Tour title after a tense battle with Patrick Cantlay at the Valspar Championship in Flordia.

Hadwin threw away a two-shot advantage by finding the water with his drive on the 16th, gifting Cantlay a share of the lead with two to play.

They remained on level footing with pars on the 17th, but it was Cantlay who made the mistake on the final hole. He wasn't able to get up and down from the green-side bunker, and Hadwin's wedge shot from the fringe left him with a tap in to secure his first invitation to the Masters next month.  

"You're never quite sure when you're going to get the job done," Hadwin said following his win.

"I just went there today and stuck to what I do best, just hit some quality golf shots and really made the game super easy outside of hole No. 16. I feel a little fortunate after that hole to be sitting here, but I'll certainly take it, and I can't wait for everything that comes with this win."

In addition to qualifying for his first Masters, Hadwin moved up to fourth in the FedExCup standings and became just the second player to win on the PGA TOUR, the Mackenzie Tour—PGA TOUR Canada, and the Web.com Tour. 

The only downside to his victory is that the new World No.51 won't be making the WGC Dell Match Play - as he's getting married that week. He'll also have to postpone the honeymoon he and his future wife were planning to get ready for the Masters. 

Cantlay was understandably disappointed that he wasn't able to close the deal, but there is a slight consellation for the former World No.1 amateur - his runner-up finish earned him enough money to secure his full PGA Tour status for the rest of the year. 

Patrick Cantlay is the feel-good story of 2017 so far

"It doesn't really feel like much consolation at the moment," Cantlay said. "I didn't finish the deal."

It may not feel it just now, but it certainly will do soon. Cantlay was a sponsor invite this week, playing in what was just his second PGA Tour start since November of 2014.

He has certainly become one of the incredible feel-good stories of 2017 so far. After overcoming a lot of back pain in 2013, he then suffered with a personal tragedy that contributed a lot to his mental state. In February 2016 his friend and caddie, Chris Roth, was hit and killed by a car in a hit and run while Cantlay was with him. 

"It still bothers me every day," Cantlay told The Orange County Register in an interview last month. "For a while, I couldn't care less about everything. Not just golf. Everything that happened in my life for a couple months didn't feel important."

But with his second-place finish at the Valspar Championship to Adam Hadwin, Cantlay's golf looks like it is back on track.

“My game's good, you know. I'm excited to be playing tournament golf and I'm going to try to win the next one.”

Adam Hadwin: In the bag of the Valspar Champion

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ 70X shaft), 10.5 degrees

3-wood: Callaway GBB Epic (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ 72X shaft), 13.5 degrees

Hybrid: Callaway X Hot Pro (Matrix Ozik Altus Hybrid shaft), 18 degrees

Utility iron: Callaway Apex UT (3-iron; True Temper Project X 7.0 shaft),

Irons: Callaway MB1 (5-PW; True Temper Project X 7.0 shafts)

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind (52-10, 56-10 and 60-09 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue shafts)

Putter: Odyssey Tank Cruiser V Line

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X