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Adam Hadwin: Dealing with the challenges of success heading into Masters

Adam Hadwin chips onto the first green during the final round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 12, 2017, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Adam Hadwin chips onto the first green during the final round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 12, 2017, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mike Carlson

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

There’s no question my life has been a whirlwind since winning the Valspar Championship less than a month ago for my first win on the PGA Tour. If I let myself think about it, it can be a bit overwhelming. After winning, I did a lot of media, and then suddenly found myself at Bay Hill trying to win another golf tournament. I left there and got married. No question it has been a busy stretch. Now it’s over and I can let my mind drift to the Masters, though it has been really hectic and I’m trying to relax a bit heading into the tournament.

READ MORE: Canada’s Adam Hadwin claims first PGA tour title at Valspar Championship

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The win at the Valspar brought a lot of media attention and I had a bit of an issue going to Bay Hill as I was also trying to find time to work on my game. But I also found the whole process to be a learning experience. It was great for me to see what the Top 10 players go through on a regular basis. We’re talking about Jason Day, Jordan Spieth—the guys who have to deal with that degree of attention daily. It is startling to get a glimpse of what these golfers go through whether they play well or play badly. To be thrown into that and have to handle that was a challenge, and then to go out and play well at Bay Hill demonstrated to me that I could handle it.

WATCH: Canada’s Adam Hadwin says he just wanted a chance to win

Click to play video: 'Canada’s Adam Hadwin says he just wanted a chance to win' Canada’s Adam Hadwin says he just wanted a chance to win
Canada’s Adam Hadwin says he just wanted a chance to win – Mar 12, 2017

Aside from the 15th hole in the final round, which I made a mess of, I was in the right spot on the leaderboard on Sunday and that provided a lot of confidence. Now I know I can play at that level, even with all the demands that come from suddenly being thrust into the limelight. It was a learning curve, and something that I haven’t had to deal with. In the past when I played well, the media was interested, but most of the time it wasn’t an issue. If anything, the experience taught me to manage my time more effectively, so I can get the work in I need, spend time with my wife, and enjoy myself.

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

From Bay Hill I flew home to Arizona for my wedding to Jessica, which was amazing. It was Jessica who handled the planning. She told me when and where to show up—and what she needed me to do. It was a great wedding and her vision for it came across perfectly, and that let me focus on golf in the weeks heading into it. Now we’re trying to find a date for our honeymoon that works. As a lot of people know, our honeymoon was supposed to cut into the Masters, so we had to tell the hotel about our circumstance. They were great about it—and now we have to find time to get back.

I’m heading to Augusta on Saturday, essentially one day earlier than I’d normally show up at a tournament. I’ve had friends who said the first time they walked onto the property they kneeled down and kissed the ground. But I’m trying not to make too much about it. I’ve seen the course so much on TV, and played it on video games. That said, I’m just looking forward to being there, walking the grounds and trying to figure out the course. I’m not treating it differently from any other course or tournament. You want to find the best way to play it, and hope your preparations are set for Thursday.

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