Photographing cheque part of Hadwin's charm

Adam Hadwin is Canada's highest-ranked golfer at the moment and there is hope he'll play golf's big...

Adam Hadwin is Canada's highest-ranked golfer at the moment and there is hope he'll play golf's big guns more often next year. (QMI Agency/Mike Hensen)

RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:27 PM ET

EGMONDVILLE, ONT. - Adam ­Hadwin recently received the loot he earned for his thrilling fourth-place finish at last month’s Canadian Open.

The cheque was for $228,800.

“I took a couple of pictures of it first,” the 23-year-old golfer from Abbotsford, B.C. said with a grin, “before I put it in the bank.

“It’s not every day you get your hands on a cheque for six figures like that.”

It’s hard to envision Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson ever doing the same thing. But that’s part of the folksy allure of Hadwin, the new national swinging star who tees it up at the Seaforth Country Classic, the Canadian Tour stop which starts Thursday.

He shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for 39th at the U.S. Open in June, but that milestone, to him, didn’t hold a candle to his performance at the Shaughnessy Club in Vancouver last month.

“That was bigger for sure,” he said, “to be in Canada and in that last group and to be able to (represent) the red-and-white in your home country, it was really exciting.

“I couldn’t believe how many e-mails of support and encouragement I got that week.”

There is an understanding Hadwin is passing many of the checkpoints needed to become a productive professional. He was in the hunt at the national championship and finished strong at one of golf’s four biggies.

“It was nice to have a good fourth round in my first major at Congressional,” he said, “and it was unbelievable the number of people watching on the course. That was a new experience.

“I know when you’re playing well, people want to talk to you and it’s not a drain at all (talking to the media). I’m not at that point yet (like Woods, Mickelson and Mike Weir) where people want to talk to me even when I’m not doing well.”

But he’s on that cart path. Hadwin is Canada’s highest-ranked golfer at the moment and there is hope he’ll play the big guns more often next year.

He’s been hot — but this hardly feels like his best career run to date. After the U.S. Open, he didn’t finish the Canadian Tour event in Calgary and missed the cut in Saskatchewan last month.

“I didn’t really get going until the last round (a 64 in Winnipeg July 17),” the 2010 Canadian Tour top rookie said.

“I felt like I came out of the gate stronger last year (with the bulk of his rounds in the 60s). But since it was on the Canadian Tour, not as many people saw it and it wasn’t for as much money.”

The key thing in tournament golf, he knows, is take advantage of those times you’re feeling it.

“That’s how a lot of guys do it on the PGA Tour — they’ll win $500,000 in five weeks and then they might get $40,000 the next month,” he said. “When you feel good, you need to play.

“I took a week off after the Greenbrier . . . and now, we’re here and we’ll see how it affects me. ”

The week off didn’t diminish his fame.

Canadian Tour players, because of the smaller pay days, don’t usually hire full-time caddies. Hadwin already had a full slate of requests to carry his bag for the rest of his Tour season.

But while others foresee greatness, he’s just taking his time.

He wants to finish strong on the Canadian Tour.

And maybe one day, he’ll take some of that money out of the bank and buy himself something nice.

“Not yet,” he said. “I’ll probably just invest it. That’s the way I am. You’ve got to start thinking about retirement.”

And while the money sits, get out there swinging and keep the golf game growing.

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