Colleagues say Hadwin always had the talent to win at the PGA level

Hadwin's rapid rise no surprise to colleagues

Adam Hadwin’s breakout season comes as no surprise to those who have followed the Canadian’s journey from golf obscurity to PGA Tour tournament champion. He had the talent, he just needed the momentum.

Hadwin continued his remarkable season Sunday, capturing his first Tour title at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla. That followed a runner-up finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, where he became the eighth player in Tour history to shoot a round of 59.

Hadwin has moved up to fourth in the FedEx Cup rankings and 51st in the world rankings, a rapid turnaround for a golfer who missed 12 cuts in his first PGA season. But ever since 2009, when he was making his pro start on the developmental Vancouver Golf Tour, Hadwin has been serving notice that he had the talent to make it on golf’s biggest stage.

“I learned pretty quickly he was a pretty confident guy. There was an air about him. I played with him in his second event, and he just whooped my (butt),” said Fraser Mulholland, who runs the Vancouver Golf Tour. “I hadn’t played with a guy who had hit it that far and that solid. I got off the course and said, ‘Wow, that looked different. That looked easy.’

“He was showing me then what a PGA Tour-calibre player was all about.”

Hadwin won four times on the VGT before moving on to the Canadian Tour (now called the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada) and Web.com Tour, where he was the overall money winner in 2014 with US$529,792 in earnings. He’s currently in his third season on the PGA Tour.

Nick Taylor, a PGA Tour tournament winner in 2014 who grew up playing junior golf with Hadwin in Abbotsford, B.C., said he knew success was going to happen for Hadwin once he got comfortable with his game.

“If you talk to anybody, anyone who has caddied for him or coached him, he’s got all the talent in the world, and then he was just able to piece it all together,” said Taylor, who was there to greet his friend after the 72nd hole on Sunday.

“Everyone has their comfort zone and this year it looks like he’s dialed it in. Once he got dialed in, and once he got out of his own way, he was going to succeed, there was no doubting that.”

Brad Fritsch, a PGA Tour regular from Ottawa, spent a lot of time with Hadwin on the Web.com Tour as they tried to get to the next level.

“I didn’t know anything about him, but he played on the Canadian Tour and started playing very well. That’s when I kind of figured he was pretty legit,” Fritsch said. “He’s very sure of his ability.

“He feeds a lot on momentum, and when his ‘good’ gets going, it gets really silly how good he can be.”

Hadwin, who was born in Moose Jaw, Sas., is the second Canadian to win on the PGA Tour this season after Hamilton’s Mackenzie Hughes captured the RSM Classic in November. The two will join former champion Mike Weir at the Masters this year, and it will be the first time three Canadians are in the field at the storied major tournament.

Jeff Monday, president of PGA Tour Canada where Hadwin played from 2010-11 and won two tournaments, thought Sunday’s win was a step the 29-year-old was going to take in his career eventually.

“The way he’s handled himself at each level is very impressive,” Monday said. “To be able to overcome some disappointments and keep working, keep going through the process, is impressive. For some people it happens quick, and for some people, they just keep building on their momentum.

“It’s tremendous to see. It’s incredible to me because the level of talent coming out of Canada is only going to be getting stronger.”

Back where it all began in British Columbia, Mulholland thinks more wins are in store for Hadwin.

“He’s got a very promising career ahead of him,” he said. “His golf swing is beautiful, and most importantly he knows how to putt. Now that he’s got his first win, I’m not going to say he’s going to win five times this year, but he could win five or 10 times in his career. Maybe more.”

Adam Stanley, The Canadian Press

Canadian Press

Just Posted

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Kelowna Fire Department. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Abandonded campfire results in Kelowna bushfire

The fire was measured at 20 feet by 20 feet in size and has been deemed not suspicious in nature

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read