Adam Hadwin's excellent adventure continued Saturday at St. George's, maybe not so excellent and maybe not so much of an adventure, but he's still having a blast.
Hadwin, a 22-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., and a rookie on the Canadian Tour, continues to share the lead among native sons at the Canadian Open, though the best he could manage in the third round was an even-par round of 70. He goes into the final round tied at six-under-par with Jon Mills and four shots ahead of Stephen Ames.
Mills shot 66 Saturday, while Ames slid to a 73.
Hadwin's enthusiasm has been infectious in his inaugural Canadian Open and he's been feeding off the atmosphere all week.
"It was awesome," he said. "That cheer at No. 1 when they announced my name was big; the birdie on 1, the eagle on 9, I've never had so many people following me before. That 25-footer for eagle, it sent shivers down my back.
"You only play with so many people watching on the Canadian Tour, maybe 20-30 people and mostly family and friends, that kind of stuff. But to be out there with hundreds of people or thousands of people ... it's a lot of fun and I hope I never lose that perspective because I think some guys can."
While Mills and Hadwin are not realistic contenders for the title Sunday, they'll both be shooting for a top-10 finish that will earn them a start in next week's PGA event in West Virginia. Right now they are three shots outside that elite group.
Hadwin's approach is to control what he can control.
"Have fun, play well," he said. "I can't really control what the top 10 number is. I can only do what I've got to do. I'm still top 30 right now, so I'm still right there. I'm hitting it well and if just a few more putts go in, it could be lights out."
He's gotten some TV air time and his status as the top Canadian going into the weekend has been playing well back home in Abbotsford.
"I couldn't ask for anything more, the support I'm getting from back home," he said. "I hope they're enjoying it as much as I am because it's just as much theirs as it is mine. Being Canadian and playing in this championship is the greatest feeling there is, besides winning it."
Ames has been making some swing changes and just didn't have it Saturday.
"There are some weeks you're going to play well and there are others you're not going to play well," he said. "This is obviously one of them and you go on from there."
Ames was also disappointed that St. George's hasn't been able to show its true mettle because of rain soaked fairways and greens that invite birdies.
"If the weather was fair, lots of sunshine and dried out, I think it would be a different animal," he said.