Hadwin pulls out first PGA Tour victory

Adam Hadwin of Canada blew his four-stroke lead, falling into a tie for the lead with Patrick Cantlay by hitting his tee shot into the water and making a double-bogey 6 on the 16th hole in the final round of the Valspar Championship.

But when Cantlay stumbled with a bogey on the last hole, Hadwin claimed his first PGA Tour victory by getting up-and-down for par, sinking a two-foot putt to close out an even-par 71 and a one-stroke victory on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

“I was still in the golf tournament,” Hadwin said of his mind-set after the double-bogey. “I was tied for the lead with two holes to go. … You’re never quite sure when you’re going to get the job done.

“I just went there today and stuck to what I do best, just hit some quality golf shots and really made the game super easy outside of hole No. 16. I feel a little fortunate after that hole to be sitting here, but I’ll certainly take it, and I can’t wait for everything that comes with this win.”

Hadwin, who made huge birdie putts of 25 feet on the 11th hole and 55 feet on the 13th, finished with a 72-hole total of 14-under 270 and earned his first berth in the Masters.

Cantlay, the former UCLA star from Los Alamitos who was playing for only the second time in two years after overcoming a back injury, made two bogeys on the last four holes to close with a 68 after two straight 66s.

“It doesn’t really feel like much consolation at the moment,” said Cantlay, who hit into a greenside bunker on the final hole and missed a 15-foot putt that would have forced a playoff.

“I didn’t finish the deal. … I was just trying to catch him. And I caught him, and gave it to him in the end.”

Jim Herman, the first-round leader at 62, finished with a 68 and was two shots back in a tie for third with Dominic Bozzelli, who shot 67, while Tony Finau wound three behind in solo fifth after a bogey-free 64, and defending champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa was four down in sixth after a 68.

Rookie Wesley Bryan carded a 68 to place in the top 10 for his third straight start, finishing six shots behind in a tie for sixth with Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who had a 70.

John Huh of Alameda and Cal recorded his third 69 of the tournament and was seven behind in a tie for ninth with Russell Henley, who sank a nine-foot birdie putt at No. 18 for a 67.

 

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