PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Adam Hadwin held on to win Sunday at the Valspar Championship. Here are Fore Things to know from the final round at Innisbrook:
1. Hadwin escaped with a victory. He surrendered a four-shot lead, partly because of a red-hot Patrick Cantlay, but also because of an ill-timed tee shot into the pond on 16. Hadwin was solid on the last two holes, but even he admitted that he was “fortunate” to hold the trophy.
2. These are high times for Canadian golf. Nick Taylor won a few years ago. Mackenzie Hughes won earlier this season at Sea Island. And now Hadwin, the best of the bunch, broke through here in Tampa. “Golf in Canada is in good hands,” said Graham DeLaet.
3. Cantlay had a heck of a welcome-back week. Playing just his second event in the past 28 months, he was sharp with his ball-striking all week, but poor bunker shots on the last two holes (he was 1 of 6 for the week) cost him the victory. Now that his status is secure for the rest of the season, he’ll continue to be a threat.
4. Tony Finau’s closing 64 could have been even better. He shot 31 on the inward nine, but the big hitter didn’t birdie the par-5 14th and he left his birdie putt on the final hole an inch short. He finished solo fifth, and it was costly – he is now No. 70 in the world, and unlikely to qualify for the Match Play barring a few more dropouts.