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Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin shoots 59, vaults into lead at CareerBuilder Challenge

Click to play video: 'Adam Hadwin shoots 13-under 59 for ninth sub-60 round in PGA Tour history' Adam Hadwin shoots 13-under 59 for ninth sub-60 round in PGA Tour history
WATCH ABOVE: Canada’s Adam Hadwin joins PGA Tour’s 59 club – Jan 21, 2017

Canadian golf star Adam Hadwin shot a magical 59 in the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., becoming only the 7th player in the history of the PGA Tour to break 60.

“Someone told me there are more people to walk on the moon than those that have shot 59,” Hadwin said in an interview with Global News after his round. “It sounds slightly ridiculous, but it is true.”

With his incredible round, Hadwin, 29, ties a record for the most birdies in a round in the history of the PGA Tour with 13 (a record he holds with Chip Beck, who also shot 59 in 1991), and had no bogeys on his card. Though Jim Furyk shot 58 last year, that was on a par 70 golf course, while Hadwin’s 59 came on a par 72 course. He’s the fourth player to shoot 59 on a par 72 course, and is the first Canadian to pull off golf’s equivalent of a perfect game. He had one putt on 13 holes and hit 15 of 18 greens.

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Hadwin’s round was indeed near perfect. He had six consecutive birdies on the front nine, and five in a row on the back nine. He had a good shot at 59 on the 16th hole, but his 12 foot putt narrowly missed finding the bottom of the cup. On the 17th hole he stuffed his approach to five feet left of the hole and easily rolled in the putt.

Hadwin found the fairway on the 18th hole, a 412-yard par four, but his approach went just long and left, leaving him a touchy ship across the green. He tapped in the three-foot putt for 59 and a spot in golf history. Hadwin’s 59 was four shots better than the next best score of the day.

The CareerBuilder has seen low scores in the past. In 1999 David Duval did it on PGA West’s Palmer Private course to win the tournament.

Standing over the short putt on 18, Hadwin was initially worried about what would happen should he miss it.

“I thought to myself that if you miss a straight three-foot putt uphill to shoot 59, you’ll never live it down,” Hadwin said. “Then I thought I had to forget that and focus on my routine.”

Thought he tried to make the putt routine, like one he’s made thousands of times, Hadwin was well aware it wasn’t.

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“In one way it isn’t like any other three-foot putt I’ve made, but in others it is exactly like every putt I’ve made in practice rounds or in another round of a tournament,” Hadwin said. “I just thought about what I always do and visualized the ball going in the hole.”

Hadwin admitted that the notion of going even lower on the day crossed his mind.

READ MORE: Adam Hadwin: Confidence is contagious

“I think what gives me the most confidence is that I knew exactly what I needed to do and through that whole process, if anything, I was thinking 58,” Hadwin said. “To be able to do it when I needed to, I know I was nervous, my putt barely went in on 17, and I only had six feet. So, I was happy to see the putt drop on 18.”

Hadwin says he’s shot 60 before at his home course in British Columbia, but had never flirted with the number on the PGA Tour, where his previous low round was 64.

Hadwin’s 13-under round also vaulted him from near the cutline to the top of the leaderboard at the California tournament. Hadwin has yet to win on the PGA Tour, though he had two victories during his breakthrough year on the Web.com Tour in 2014. He’s played the last two seasons on the PGA Tour, though his best finish came in 2011 when he made an improbable run at the RBC Canadian Open in Vancouver, finishing fourth.

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Hadwin said he’s now focused on winning the tournament, which he knows will be a challenge with the number of players only a shot or two behind. Last year Hadwin was in contention to win at the CareerBuilder, but a final round 72 dropped him to a tie for 6th. He wants to chance that tomorrow.

“If you told me at the start of the day that I’d put myself in a position to win, I’d be very happy,” he said. “I’ve got a good chance to win tomorrow, and that’s what I’m going to try to do. I know it won’t be easy.”

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