HADWIN STAYS AHEAD
Canadian eyes first PGA Tour win
CANADA’S Adam Hadwin fired a bogey-free four-under par 67 to seize a four-stroke lead over American Patrick Cantlay after the third round of the US PGA Valspar Championship on Saturday.
The 29-year-old from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan — seeking his first PGA crown — stood on 14under 199 after 54 holes over Innisbrook’s Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida.
“I’ve been really proud of myself grinding things out. I just have to come out and do the same thing tomorrow,” Hadwin said.
“I’m going to play well tomorrow (late yesterday) if I give myself a chance to win on 18 — if I’ve got to be five-over or two-under, I just want a chance to win.”
Cantlay, also seeking his first PGA title, roared into second with the day’s low round, a 66, to reach late yesterday’s final pairing on 203, one ahead of compatriot Jim Herman, who led on Thursday after an opening 62, and two better than American Dominic Bozzelli.
“I’m not going to worry about anything else, fairways and greens and make as many putts as I can,” Cantlay said of his strategy.
“Try not to have too many expectations, try to stick to my program, hit fairways and greens, try to stick to my deal and not have a whole lot of doubts.”
British Open champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden and American J.J. Henry shared fifth on 206.
Hadwin eased his nerves with an opening birdie, finding the fringe with his second shot and two-putting from there.
“I felt really good on the golf course,” Hadwin said. “A little nervous on the putting green. Got over that pretty quickly, made a good drive, a good swing and two putts for a birdie. That relaxed me really quick.”
Hadwin added a six-foot birdie putt at the seventh, then dropped a 33-foot birdie putt at the par-4 12th thanks to some help from being able to read a similar putt from playing partner Herman.
“He putted right on that line just before me,” Hadwin said. “I had a good look at it and judged the speed right.”
The Canadian followed with a 55-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th and sank a testy six-foot par putt at the 18th to keep his fourstroke advantage.
“It was huge,” Hadwin said. “To end on that, a ton of momentum coming into tomorrow.
“With this ball striking coming around, the sky is the limit. I have to stay patient and just keep playing my game.”