From California to Colombia, golf professionals from the Web.com Tour have gotten around.
But this week’s Nova Scotia Open marks the PGA development tour’s only stop north of the border, and Canadian contenders such as Adam Hadwin are stoked to be teeing off on home soil.
“We play a bunch of events down in South America. My Spanish isn’t very good, so I like coming back up to Canada,” fan favourite Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., joked Wednesday.
“The fans up in Canada are very golf hungry,” he added, after running a short skills clinic at Ashburn Golf Club’s old course in Halifax, alongside local pro Eric Banks of Truro as part of this week’s GOLFest Nova Scotia.
“It’s a bit of a shorter season out here, way out east, but I know that everybody gets out and plays as much as they can.”
Hadwin is one of 156 golfers playing at Ashburn Golf Club’s new course in Windsor Junction for the four-day Nova Scotia Open. Round 1 starts Thursday with the 72-hole event scheduled to go until Sunday.
Hadwin is a rising star on the Web.com Tour. He won his first-ever tour event in March at the Chile Classic, and is in good position to earn his PGA Tour card. He sits No. 6 in the tour money list with over $201,000 in earnings.
The top-25 players on the money list at the end of the season get their PGA Tour card for 2015.
He and Banks, who is also playing this week, drew fans young and old alike after showing off their swings Wednesday evening in Halifax.
That included 13-year-old Seamus Stears and 11-year-old William Nickerson, who played a round themselves before getting autographs from the pros.
“It’s just cool to see, especially Adam Hadwin, … teach you about golf,” Nickerson said.
Hadwin said the greens on Ashburn’s new course will “pose a very difficult test” for Nova Scotia Open players.
“If we do get some rain, it’ll soften it up, maybe make it slightly easier.”
In typical Canadian fashion, there could be more than a little rain later this week, with Environment Canada forecasts showing Tropical Storm Arthur moving towards Atlantic Canada, potentially developing into a hurricane.
“We don’t like playing in the rain; we’re divas like that some times,” Hadwin said with a chuckle. “(But) it’s just part of the job.”