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Loving the spotlight at RBC Canadian Open

Canadian golf star Adam Hadwin looks to ride wave of excitement at RBC Canadian Open
Canadian golf star Adam Hadwin looks to ride wave of excitement at RBC Canadian Open.

Throughout the season, Canadian golf stars Adam Hadwin, David Hearn and Graham DeLaet will check in with Globalnews.ca to provide readers with candid insights as they compete on the PGA Tour.

I’ve always performed well in high pressure situations—at least that’s what people tell me. It’s not something that I ever think about or take a lot of time to consider. It just ends up happening. Sometimes I think I just enjoy the drama of big events, or maybe I like to make things difficult for myself, like having to birdie the last hole to make the cut or something like that.

I enjoy being in those situations where you’re in contention and you may not have your best stuff, but you put your head down and grind it out and do the best you can with what you’ve got. Whether that’s striping a 7-iron and missing a 15-footer or not playing well the entire hole and making a 40-footer for par—it is just about getting the ball in the cup as quickly as you can, however you can. There’s more than one way to get the ball in the hole and I’m learning that each year I’m out here, and the more guys I play with I watch how they play and handle themselves.

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That said, I’ve seen the pressure of the national spotlight and the RBC Canadian Open a few times. In 2011, at Shaughnessy in Vancouver, I was right there till the end. And last year at the Canadian Open I played myself into a great spot in the final round. It was a great day for Canadian golf, with David Hearn in the final pairing. I came out of the gates pretty hot that day—I think five under through six to get maybe a shot or two back. After I started making a few birdies, I wanted to push that lead before David, Bubba Watson and Jason Day even teed off to show them that nothing’s safe. Unfortunately, I made a couple bogeys after that and cooled off. But it’s a ton of fun making a run at it, and learning from that, knowing that you can do it, and not be scared of putting yourself in that position. I want to get back to that.

As for my take on Glen Abbey, where the tournament is held, I’ll say I have mixed opinions. I missed the cut in my previous start, but I enjoy the Abbey mostly because the fans are so great. It’s definitely a great spectator course and it’s fun to play because we get so much support from the Canadian fans. However, I’m not a huge fan of the golf course itself. Last year it was in great shape—as good as it is going to get—but it’s still not my favourite that we’ve played for the Canadian Open. It’s almost like Golf Canada teased us a little bit by moving it around to places like St. George’s and Shaughnessy, two courses that set up nicely for me and that I really enjoy playing, and then moved it back to the Abbey.

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With that said, it is what it is. The tournament is at Glen Abbey for at least the next couple years, and I’ve had both successes and failures there. It’s truly just a matter of getting comfortable that week and hitting some good golf shots and making a few putts—just like any week on tour.

Adam Hadwin tees off at the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont. at 7:30 a.m., and 12:45 p.m. on Friday.