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Honeymoon on hold if Canadian golf star Adam Hadwin wins Valspar Championship

Adam Hadwin follows through on a drive on the 11th hole during the third round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament Saturday, March 11, 2017, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. AP Photo/Mike Carlson

Canadian golf star Adam Hadwin  faces a problem — if he wins the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship tomorrow, he’ll be in the field at the Masters in April. But the week the green jacket is placed on someone’s shoulders at Augusta, Hadwin is supposed to wrapping up his honeymoon.

It turns out his fiancé, Jessica, appreciates the situation. If the Masters turns out to be in Hadwin’s future, the honeymoon will have to wait.

“Jess and I have talked about it,” Hadwin said in an interview with Global News following his third round at the Valspar. “Either I win and I’m in the Masters, or I go on my honeymoon. There are worse problems to have.”

Hadwin shot 4-under par in his third round and now leads the Florida tournament by four shots heading into the final round on Sunday. Hadwin, from Abbotsford, B.C., has never won on the PGA Tour, though he finished second in January. Currently ranked 98th in the world, Hadwin would vault into golf’s spotlight with a victory here. PGA Tour rookie Mackenzie Hughes was the last Canadian to win, taking the RSM Classic last year.

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While he didn’t strike the ball as well as he did on Friday when he shot 7-under par 64, Hadwin was pleased with Saturday’s result.

“I don’t think I hit it quite as well as I did in the third round, but I did exactly what I needed to do — I kept it together and rolled a few putts in and put myself in a good spot,” Hadwin said.

Hadwin credited his fiancé with helping him focus on the course and deal with the inevitable frustration that comes with playing on the PGA Tour.

“She can pick up on little things like that, not being a golfer, and she’s not as focused on the outcomes of the shots, just sort of watching me and watching body language a little bit,” Hadwin said. “And so I can remember last year at this event, kind of talking to her a little bit. I think I missed the cut. But just talking to her about some of the attitude stuff, well, she’s a pretty good calming influence, as well.”

It is always a challenge for a golfer to play with a significant lead. Hadwin is currently being chased by Patrick Cantlay, who was once heralded as golf’s next big thing, but has seen his career limited by injuries. Cantlay, who has struggled with issues relating to his back, didn’t play at all last year and is only making his second start this season.

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Hadwin said he’s learned from the experience of playing with the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge in California in January, where he finished second to winner Hudson Swafford.

“What I took away from the CareerBuilder is that I didn’t have my best stuff, and you have to keep grinding away,” Hadwin said. “If I can put myself in a good position off the tee and give myself looks on the greens, then it is just a matter of closing this out.”

Hadwin said while he hasn’t held a significant lead heading into the final round on the PGA Tour, he’s closed out tournaments in similar positions earlier in his career. In those experiences, he learned he had to continue with the same approach that had led to success in the first three rounds.

“I feel really calm, just like I did when I started on Thursday,” Hadwin said. “My mindset isn’t going to change at all. You approach each shot individually and then you’re just chasing a little white ball around and you hit it again.”

 

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