Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin has been named Canada’s top male golfer for 2014, edging out fellow Ledgeview alum Nick Taylor and Graham DeLaet.
Hadwin finished last year as the money leader on the Web.com Tour – the golf circuit one level below the PGA Tour – and won two tournaments.
He and Taylor earned PGA Tour cards this year and are in the field at the Sony Open in Hawaii, which teed off Thursday (first-round scores were not available at press time).
In a conference call with reporters Wednesday from Hawaii, where he sat poolside in shorts and a T-shirt, Hadwin reflected on his award-winning year.
“Obviously, there’s nothing too bad to say about starting the year off in Hawaii,” he said. “I’m looking forward to teeing it up with the best players in the world week in and week out and having the opportunity to play with five other Canadians.
“It’s an exciting time in Canadian golf and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Hadwin also praised the Vancouver Golf Tour, where he played when he turned pro in 2009, as a training ground that helped prepare him and develop his game.
“These guys can play,” he said. “That really helped prepare me for the following year when I got Canadian Tour status.”
Meanwhile, Taylor will head into the Sony Open with one 2015 PGA event already completed. On Monday, he finished tied for 29th, 15 shots back of the winner at last weekend’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Taylor, who earned a trip to the exclusive event by winning the Sanderson Farms stop on the PGA tour last year, took home a cheque for $58,000 and saw his world ranking climb to 191st in the world. (Hadwin is ranked 177th.)
Taylor started strong, making birdies on four of his first seven holes and finishing his opening round at four-under.
But although he cooled off through the next three rounds, he made one of the best shots of the tournament – a 66-foot chip in from a difficult position on the 11th hole during Sunday’s third round.