OAKVILLE, Ont. — In 2012, Adam Hadwin was one stroke away from the biggest step in his golf career.
At the Web.com Tour Championship in October 2012, Hadwin needed a second-place finish in order to earn a PGA Tour card for 2013. He finished third, one shot back of the runner-up. The near-miss forced him to learn a little patience sooner than he expected.
“I kind of had to take a step back and say, ‘All right, I’ve got to earn my wings here. I’ve got to go through the ranks,’” he said Wednesday at Glen Abbey Golf Club, site of the 2013 RBC Canadian Open.
“I’ve got to prove to, I guess, the rankings and the money list and go through the proper channels to get to the Tour and I was painstakingly close in 2012 to doing that. It’s a challenge but it’s a lot of fun doing it.”
It was only a year earlier that the Abbotsford, B.C., native put himself on the map after playing in five PGA Tour events, including a 39th-place finish at the U.S. Open and a fourth-place finish at the Canadian Open in his home province.
His success in 2011 appeared to followed by an implosion of sorts. He missed 12 cuts in 25 Web.com Tour events with only four top 10s in 2012.
We all mature and everything happens for a reason at different times in our careers, but I think Adam’s got a real bright future ahead of him.
The patience he’s developed over a disastrous season could be the cause of his calm demeanour. It hasn’t quite helped his play however.
In another full-time swing on the Web.com Tour, he has two top-10 finishes and has missed six cuts through the first 14 events — identical figures to 2012.
“The Web.com is a challenging tour with great players and it’s a great place to kind of hone my skills so that when I do reach the PGA Tour I’m going to be out there for years to come,” he said. “I’m just going to keep plugging away and doing what I can do and maturing every year and getting better every year and hopefully it comes sooner than later.”
Mike Weir, the elder statesmen of Canadian golf, said he reminds younger players that he didn’t get onto the Tour until he was 28 and that Hadwin is not on a wrong path by any means.
“We all mature and everything happens for a reason at different times in our careers, but I think Adam’s got a real bright future ahead of him,” Weir said.
With new representation from SportBox Entertainment Group — the same agency that represents Weir and top-ranked Canadians Graham DeLaet and David Hearn — Hadwin’s immediate future is all about Canada’s premier golf event beginning Thursday. With 19 Canadians set to tee off, it could be the country’s best chance to end a 58-year drought. The tournament was last won by Pat Fletcher in 1954.
“This tournament means a lot. I think you ask pretty much every Canadian, it’s our fifth major and it probably ranks above some of the other majors for some of us,” he said. “Whoever does break through and win it will not be forgotten for many years.”