Adam Hadwin chips onto the first green during the final round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament on March 12, 2017. Hadwin is currently among the leaders at the Masters in Augusta, Ga. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mike Carlson photo)

Adam Hadwin aiming for Presidents Cup spot, return to major championships

Abbotsford, B.C., golfer competes at the Presidents Cup in Hawaii this weekend

With the Presidents Cup in his sights and high hopes to return to major championship fields, Adam Hadwin knows a strong start to 2019 is essential.

The Abbotsford, B.C., golfer is in the field this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii — the first full-field event of the 2019 portion of the PGA Tour season — alongside fellow Canadians Mackenzie Hughes, Ben Silverman, Roger Sloan, Adam Svensson, and Nick Taylor.

Hadwin, who notched two top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and represented Canada at the World Cup of Golf with Taylor (they tied for fourth) during the fall of 2018, said he’s excited to get back into the heat of competition again.

“I was excited to have some time off, but I was excited to get right back to it,” Hadwin said by phone from Phoenix. ”Hopefully that translates into another quick start this year.”

Hadwin finished 36th in the season-long FedEx Cup race and earned just over US$1.9 million last year.

He said he was committed to improving his ball striking in 2018 and was pleased to have done that. However, it came at the expense of his putting. The 31-year-old was 115th in putts per round last year, after being 20th in the same statistic the year before.

“I definitely lost in putting, and that was plainly obvious as the year went on,” he said. “That was a big thing heading into this year – I need to spend a little more time (on putting). I’ll spend a extra few minutes putting each day, dialling in the speed each day before rounds.”

With Hadwin’s first PGA Tour victory in 2017 he earned a spot into each of the majors and the limited-field, high-purse World Golf Championship events last year. With no victory in 2018, and with his world ranking not high enough, he has to fight to earn a spot into those tournaments this year.

The only Canadian who has a guaranteed spot in one of the four majors this year is Mike Weir at the Masters. His victory in 2003 affords him a lifetime exemption.

“Coming off a year where you got to plan everything, it was kind of nice. But now I’m right back to where I was before. It’s a goal (to get into the majors) but I need to get off to a good start,” Hadwin said. “That’s the top priority for the first part of the year.”

READ MORE: Adam Hadwin finishes tied for 24th at Masters

The PGA Tour’s schedule for 2019 underwent a big change and Hadwin says he’s already looking to gear up for The Players Championship and the PGA Championship (both tournaments have been moved to an earlier slot) along with the RBC Canadian Open in its new early-June date.

“I’ve seen a significant drop off in play from May to July so I’ve been taking a look at those months (and) trying to figure out a way to keep a consistent level of play throughout the entire year, not just the beginning and end,” he said.

Hadwin’s ultimate goal for 2019 is to guarantee himself a spot on the Presidents Cup team. He finished 0-2-1 in his debut for the International side versus the Americans in 2017 but is currently the highest-ranked Canadian in the standings.

There are eight Canadians with good status on the 2018-19 on the PGA Tour — the six playing this week plus David Hearn and Corey Conners — and Hadwin says it’s a great group to be part of.

“We’ve had some tremendous success as a nation these last few years,” said Hadwin, who, along with Taylor and Hughes have all won on the PGA Tour. Silverman and Svensson have also won on the Web.com Tour the last two years.

“We’re all proud to represent Canada when we play, and hopefully we’ll see all eight of us playing well and a couple of us in contention.”

CANADIANS TO WATCH IN 2019

MACKENZIE HUGHES — After becoming a first-time father in late 2017, Hughes, of Dundas, Ont., struggled to find the form that saw him win The RSM Classic in 2016. He’s looking to bounce back after settling into a nice routine at home.

COREY CONNERS — Conners, of Listowel, Ont., got married in the fall and is hopeful the good vibes of Canadian golfers who tie the knot (Hughes got married and won on the PGA Tour in the same year, same with Hadwin) follows him into 2019. Conners was in the final group on Sunday twice in 2018.

NICK TAYLOR – Talk about saving the best for last. Taylor, of Abbotsford, shot a 63, his best round of the year, in the final round of the PGA Tour’s regular season in 2018. He earned a spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs and fully exempt status for 2019 thanks to that result. He won the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship.

ADAM SVENSSON — Svensson won on the Web.com Tour in 2018 and earned a spot on the PGA Tour for the first time thanks to his money-list rank on the feeder Tour. The native of Surrey, B.C. made two cuts in the fall.

GRAHAM DELAET — DeLaet is on a major medical exemption for this year as he recovers from back surgery. DeLaet’s agent, Danny Fritz, told The Canadian Press by email the golfer was a “little sore” after hitting balls last week but “all-in-all he feels much better these days.” There is no exact day of return.

Adam Stanley, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Police recover $12,700 in stolen pet food from North Shuswap property

Chase RCMP execute third search of property where stolen vehicles, illegal firearms seized

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Okanagan society sends seniors, shut-ins on boat excursions

Okanagan Quality Life Society has been providing Okanagan Lake boat rides for nearly 30 years

Shuswap woman strikes gold at masters bowling nationals

Chase’s Helen Dalin won 15 of 21 matches on way to singles gold medal and third-place Team BC finish

Salmon Arm to stay the course on plastic bag ban

City’s mayor sees good news in BC Court of Appeal decision against Victoria bylaw

Kelowna’s Okanagan Regional Library may not look like the one you grew up with!

New technology and arts programming transforms library operations

Canada Forces Snowbirds making quick trip to South Okanagan

Planes will be touching down at the Penticton airport to refuel

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Okanagan woman heads up college foundation board

Gladys Fraser of Vernon brings experience to role as chair of Okanagan College Foundation board

Stolen car now returned to Summerland dealership

Vehicle was stolen on same day as attempted carjacking incident

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Rock the Lake music festival in Okanagan nears Saturday night sellout

Aug. 10th show is nearly sold out and three-day weekend passes are almost gone as well

Hergott: Medical cannabis and ICBC

ICBC might start reimbursing the expense of cannabis just like they do for prescription medications

Most Read