Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Adam Hadwin wins PGA's Valspar Championship

PALM HARBOR — Adam Hadwin is getting married next week. There will be no honeymoon, and that's just fine with him and his fiancee, Jessica Kippenberger.

Hadwin picked up the first PGA Tour win of his eight-year professional career Sunday, beating Patrick Cantlay by one shot in the final round of the Valspar Championship on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course. Along with the win comes a spot in the Masters on April 6-9.

Augusta trumps a honeymoon to French Polynesia.

"I'm just hoping I get my deposit back," Hadwin said. "I understand I won a nice (Valspar) check ($1,134,000), but I don't like to throw money away."

Hadwin shot a final-round par 71 to finish at 14-under 270. He won on the 18th hole with a par putt that followed a bogey by Cantlay, who shot 68.

First-round leader Jim Herman (68) and Dominic Bozzelli (67) tied for third at 12 under.

Hadwin, 29, almost threw away the four-shot lead he had over Cantlay to start the day. He played the front nine safely, with a birdie and a bogey, and had a three-shot lead at the turn. But Cantlay was heating up.

He birdied the ninth, 10th and 11th holes to get within two shots. Both players birdied No. 13, Hadwin on a 40-foot putt. On the par-5 14th hole, Cantlay birdied to get within one. But he gave that shot back with a bogey on 15.

Hadwin was at 16 under and two shots in the clear on the 16th tee.

His drive on the par-4 16th hole faded into the lake. He eventually double bogeyed while Cantlay parred to tie Hadwin at 14 under. It was Hadwin's only double bogey of the tournament.

"I just wiped a 3-wood," Hadwin said. "I needed to hit it solid, but I didn't hit it solid enough. Splash."

Both players parred 17. Both drives on the par-4 18th hole were in the middle of the fairway. But Cantlay sprayed his 7-iron into the right bunker. Hadwin's settled in the back fringe of the green.

Cantlay's sand shot came up 18 feet short of the hole.

"I didn't hit the greatest bunker shots," Cantlay said. "It was a skinny lie, not much sand in there. It was tough. But you shouldn't hit it in the bunker to begin with."

With Cantlay far from the hole, Hadwin chipped his third shot to within a foot. When Cantlay missed his par putt, Hadwin tapped in for the win. And a few fist pumps.

"You're never quite sure when you're going to get the job done," Hadwin said. "I've been playing some great golf this year, and I just stuck to what I do best. I made some quality golf shots and really made the game super easy, outside of hole No. 16. After that hole, I feel fortunate to be here."

Before the Valspar, Cantlay, who turns 25 on Friday, had played only two PGA tournaments in the past three years due to a back injury. Playing on a sponsor's exemption at the Valspar, he recorded his highest finish since turning pro in 2012.

"I didn't feel like there was much rust," said Cantlay, whose only other tournament this year was the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. "I felt good. I was ready to go. My game feels really good right now."

The last time Hadwin had a lead after the third round was at January's CareerBuilder Challenge, where he shot 59 in that round. He lost by a shot. He talked about wanting another shot on the 18th hole this week.

"If I have a chance on the last couple holes, that's right where I want to be," Hadwin said.

Adam Hadwin wins PGA's Valspar Championship 03/12/17 [Last modified: Sunday, March 12, 2017 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    The 10 strikeouts look flashy, but RHP Chris Archer was not his sharpest Thursday. He allowed three runs on seven hits, including three straight in the two-run second and a Gary Sanchez homer in the third, and lasted only six innings, throwing 102 pitches.

  2. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  3. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  4. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years

    Bucs

    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.
  5. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Friday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.