Adam Hadwin has another chance at PGA Tour card

Adam Hadwin watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the Canadian Open at...

Adam Hadwin watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ont., July 26, 2012. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)

IAN HUTCHINSON, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:05 PM ET

You would think after 26 tournaments combined on the PGA and Web.com Tours, not to mention practice rounds and other events, Adam Hadwin might find a different way than golf to spend some downtime.

“Fortunately, this hasn’t turned into too much of a job just yet for me, so I’m able to kind of relax and enjoy the off-time rounds with friends and just ride around in the cart and not really care how the ball’s hit,” Hadwin said of a recent trip to Palm Springs.

Golf gets more serious this week with Hadwin in La Quinta, Calif., for the final stage of PGA Tour qualifying school, which begins Wednesday.

While Hadwin, 25, still approaches his profession with the enthusiasm of youth, he has experienced a dose of reality, which wasn’t a bitter pill, just one that is administered to many developing players, even those with enormous potential.

The RBC Canadian Open was a perfect example of the year that was for Hadwin, who shot a spectacular 66 in the opening round, but came back with a 74 to miss the cut.

So went his entire season on the Web.com Tour. He’d contend one week, then miss consecutive cuts. When the roller-coaster ended, he had only made 13 of 25 cuts, but four were top-10 finishes.

That got him into the Tour Championship. Needing at least a second-place finish to place in the top 25 on the money list who receive their cards, Hadwin finished third when James Hahn birdied the final hole.

Hadwin came so close, but finished 30th on the money list. Graduating to the PGA Tour, he admits, would have been a surprising finish to the wild ride.

“I just had a feeling that I might have competed a little bit more than I did, instead of three or four events, maybe 10 events that I would have a legitimate shot to win,” Hadwin said.

“At the same time, I didn’t think I was going to miss that many cuts. I felt my game was good enough that even if I wasn’t playing that well that week, I’d be able to scrape it around and make a cut and finish 30th or 40th,” he added.

“I played a few tournaments where I didn’t play great. I didn’t play horrible, just kind of average golf and I still missed the cut and I didn’t think that was going to be the case,” he said.

“Call it underestimation of the talent out there, call it whatever you want, call it egotistical or whatever,” Hadwin said.

Delusion from the previous year is more likely. Canadians recall Hadwin at the 2011 Canadian Open, where he threatened to become the first home boy to win the national championship since 1954.

He tied for fourth and in five PGA Tour events last year — including the U.S. Open — Hadwin didn’t miss a cut and tied for seventh at the Frys.com Open.

“I was able to compete not only on the Canadian Tour stage, but on the PGA stage, as well, so in my limited experience on the PGA Tour, up until this year’s Canadian Open, I hadn’t missed a cut,” he said, adding things change when you’re out there every week.

“I thought this year was a huge learning curve for me as far as the travel, where to stay, how to manage my time and all that sort of thing. I’m not used to traveling that much,” Hadwin said.

Even if he didn’t quite get it done at the Tour Championship, he has another chance at Q-school and Hadwin says he feels no pressure.

He already has status on the Web.com Tour and he says when he does make the PGA Tour, he wants to stay there, so if that takes another year of development, so be it. He will, however, remember recent lessons going into the final stage.

“It’s not just more of a respect for everybody else, but it’s also respect for the Q-school process itself now,” said Hadwin, who tied for 100th in the final stage last year.

“Having been through final stage last year, I know what to expect again this year and I know how much of a roller-coaster it really is as far as emotions go.

“I’ve experienced that this year over the course of the year, the ups and downs, finishing third one week and then missing the cut the next. I’ve just continued to level out the emotions as I’ve grown,” he said.

SETTING UP Q-SCHOOL

Seven Canadians will be at final stage, including Hadwin and Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont., who has his card, but is looking to upgrade his status. Other Canadians include Roger Sloan (Merritt, B.C.), Mitch Evanecz (Red Deer, Alta.), Matt Hill (Sarnia, Ont.), Richard Scott (Kingsville, Ont.) and Ryan Yip (Calgary) ... Toronto’s Rebecca Lee-Bentham and Barrie’s Stephanie Sherlock won consecutive events on the Suncoast Series at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., where they’ll be starting LPGA Tour Q-school Wednesday. Other Canadians include Seema Sadekar (Toronto), Ashley Sholer (Hamilton), Izzy Beisiegel (St. Hilaire, Que.), Kirby Dreher (Fort St. John, B.C.), Sue Kim (Langley, B.C.) and Samantha Richdale (Kelowna, B.C.) ... Sherlock had a hole in one, using a four iron into the wind on the 160-yard par three third at on the Champions Course at LPGA International.


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