Canada’s Adam Hadwin survived a late scare to secure a one shot victory over Patrick Cantlay of the USA in the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort.
Adam Hadwin claimed the win in the Valspar Championship but he made the job considerably harder than it might have been when he found the water on the 16th and carded a double bogey.
Tied for the lead with Patrick Cantlay after that error, the Canadian composed himself and made par at the final two holes to win the tournament by a single stroke.
Cantlay’s approach to the last came up short in a bunker. He failed to get up-and-down and, when Hadwin managed to save his par from off the back edge, the title was his.
“I just wanted a chance to win coming up the last, and I had that chance,” he said.
Hadwin had led by four with 10 holes to play but former Amateur World Number 1 Cantlay piled on the pressure with three straight birdies around the turn. At that stage, Hadwin’s lead was two and he did well to keep it at that with birdies of his own at the 11th and the 13th, the latter coming courtesy of a monster putt.
The lead was still two when Hadwin found the water on the 16th. But, he responded to that well and closed out the win, leaving Cantlay to rue his final dropped shot.
“I didn’t finish the deal,” Cantlay said afterwards.
Jim Herman and Dominic Bozzelli finished the week tied third while Tony Finau climbed the leaderboard with a final round of 64 to finish alone in fifth.
3 Talking points from the Valspar Championship
1 – This victory secures Adam Hadwin a start in the U.S. Masters – his first trip. It would also give him a start in the WGC-Matchplay but his wedding is scheduled for the Friday. The honeymoon is planned for Masters week but Hadwin has said he might just have to postpone it for a week.
2 – Although disappointed not to have got the win, it was a big week for Patrick Cantlay. He came into the event on a medical exemption, meaning he had 10 events in which to accrue $624,726 to make him fully exempt. With this finish he achieved that and will now play the remainder of the season. He was the World’s Number 1 amateur back in 2011 but he has endured a long spell of uncertainty because of a misdiagnosed back injury.
“My game is good,” he said. “I’m excited to be playing tournament golf and will try to win the next one.”
3 – Tony Finau did all he could on Sunday to secure a start in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He started the week 77th on the World Rankings and, despite a final round 64 he only moved up to 70th place. That will probably leave him just outside the qualifiers (the top 64 available will play.) It was better news for Jason Dufner who closed with a 67 to claim 11th spot and move to 65th – almost certainly enough to get in.
Jason Dufner swing sequence:
Copperhead Course, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor, Florida
Purse: $6,300,000 Par: 71
1 Adam Hadwin (Can) 68 64 67 71 270 $1,134,000
2 Patrick Cantlay (USA) 71 66 66 68 271 $680,400
T3 Dominic Bozzelli (USA) 67 68 70 67 272 $365,400
T3 Jim Herman (USA) 62 71 71 68 272 $365,400
5 Tony Finau (USA) 67 72 70 64 273 $252,000
6 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 70 70 67 68 275 $226,800
T7 Wesley Bryan (USA) 68 68 72 68 276 $203,175
T7 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 64 71 71 70 276 $203,175
T9 Russell Henley (USA) 64 71 75 67 277 $176,400
T9 John Huh (USA) 69 70 69 69 277 $176,400
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage