British Columbia's Adam Hadwin Claims the Inaugural Desert Dunes Classic
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CA (November 7, 2010) – After several agonizing near-misses, Canadian Adam Hadwin closed the deal at last for his Canadian Tour win Sunday at the season-ending Desert Dunes Classic.
But it didn’t come without drama.
The rookie from Abbotsford, BC held off Richard Lee, another Canadian rising star, on the first playoff hole for his maiden victory.
Hadwin and Lee both came in with a final-day 2-under 70 to finish deadlocked at 19-under 269 for four trips around Desert Dunes GC.
Ryan Yip posted a 71 to miss the playoff by one stroke.
Jim Rutledge fired a final-round 68 to grab a share of fourth with Americans Will Strickler and Andres Gonzales.
Hadwin let a three-shot lead get away Saturday and went into the final round tied for top spot with Yip and Lee.
For the 22-year-old, stepping into the winner’s circle for the first time must seem like a long time coming after a year of close calls. Hadwin, the low Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open this past summer, finished inside the top 10 five times in just seven Canadian Tour starts prior to this week, including back-to-back runner-up showings.
None of the three co-leaders were able to get anything going early Sunday, and the trio made the turn still neck and neck. A birdie on the par-4 13th gave Hadwin the lead until a bogey on the 72nd hold forced a playoff.
“I had been making so many of those four and five footers all day, I knew I was going to be due to miss one,” said Hadwin with a laugh.
“I do have a flair for the dramatic.”
On the first extra hole, Hadwin blocked his tee shot into the right rough and, standing 203 yards from the pin, tape-measured a hybrid to ten feet before two-putting for par. Lee, hitting his approach from the middle of the fairway, couldn’t convert a nine-foot par putt to extend overtime.
“I had come close so many times this year, it’s pretty special to be able to get this one,” Hadwin added. “I put myself in position again to win this golf tournament and if you can do that enough times, you have to think it is going to happen. It’s said that the first one is the hardest, and that certainly proved true for me.”
Next up for both Lee and Hadwin is the second stage challenge at PGA Tour Qualifying School. Both will look to move on to the third and final phase, which would ensure at least Nationwide Tour status for 2011.
For now, Hadwin is going to savour his first triumph.
“I’ve been playing some really solid golf lately, but this should give me even more momentum heading into second stage,” said Hadwin.
“It certainly isn’t going to hurt. To know I can get it done under the pressure should give me a big confidence boost.”
Courtesy of Canadian Tour Communications