Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin ended his first-ever trip to the Masters on a high note on Sunday.
The Ledgeview Golf and Country Club product shot a two-under par 70 on the final day of the tournament, which included seven birdies – four in a row at one point – and five bogeys.
And though he finished well back of tournament winner Sergio Garcia, who shot a nine-under par and beat Justin Rose in a playoff, Hadwin’s two-under score was impressive considering the Augusta, Ga. course is among the most challenging on the PGA Tour.
“Seven birdies is exciting, especially around this golf course,” he told reporters after his tournament wrapped.
“Take away a few mistakes and I would have had a really good round. It is a special place, obviously has a lot of tradition and those sort of things here, but it’s a place I’d like to be back to every first or second week of April.”
Hadwin opened the tournament with a round of 75, then followed that Friday with a two-over 74 to make the cut. On Saturday, he shot a 75 again. The Robert Bateman Secondary grad was the lone Canadian to make the cut and play on Saturday and Sunday. He placed tied for 36th overall at the event, shooting a combined 294 over the four days.
He said he hopes the tournament is the first step in an ongoing learning process at the Masters.
“It’s all about figuring out where you can go and where you can’t go. Unfortunately I still found a few places where you couldn’t go,” Hadwin said. “So I’ll mark that in the book for future years. You’re just constantly learning every day. I’m looking forward to other opportunities to get back [to the Masters] and hopefully take the game that I had today [Sunday] into all four days, and see what happens.”
Hadwin had Canadian golf fans following along all over the country, and Abbotsford was no different.
Over at his home course of Ledgeview, Adam’s father Gerry Hadwin welcomed hundreds into his newly-opened Northern 59 Bar and Grill over the four days of the Masters. Gerry said it was a surreal to watch his son compete at one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world.
“It took me two or three weeks to realize that my son had won on the PGA Tour (back in March), and now it’s going to be another week or two before I go, ‘Whoa, my kid played the Masters,’” he said.
“I talked to him on Friday night after he’d made the cut. I congratulated him on making the cut and his exact words were, ‘Dad, I didn’t come down here to make the cut.’ That just shows you that there was no way he was going to give up.”
Gerry said as his son becomes more familiar with Augusta he should begin to excel, like he did on Sunday.
“Him not having been there before, those greens are really tough,” he said. “They are very undulated and I think that might have caused him some problems this week.”
He said the interest in Adam had brought big business to Ledgeview all weekend.
“We’ll be full today [Sunday] and we finally have some sun – which I’m not sure people are used to,” he joked. “Everybody’s happy, there’s going to be a Canadian around the leaderboard every week, which is good for Canadian golf.”
Gerry said the challenge of Ledgeview played a big part in developing his son’s game.
“Augusta is just basically Ledgeview on steroids,” he said. “The greens, even though they’re smaller and not quite as undulated as Augusta, I think members who have been here 25 to 30 or more years that the greens here, even in the summer, drive them absolutely nuts. It’s helped him overall.”
Hadwin’s next PGA event will be this week’s RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C., and will be followed the next week by the Valero Texas Open. He has also already qualified for a second major tournament – the PGA Championship.
– with files from Nick Greenizan