Fore Things: Hadwin proving a snake charmer

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Adam Hadwin opened up a four-shot lead Saturday at the Valspar Championship. Here are Fore Things to take away from the third round at Innisbrook:

1. Hadwin is making the notoriously difficult Copperhead course look easy. Innisbrook never surrenders many birdies, but the Canadian has made 11 of them and zero bogeys over his last 36 holes. He leads the field in strokes gained-tee to green.

2. It’s Hadwin’s second 54-hole lead in the past seven weeks. The first was at the CareerBuilder in late January, when a third-round 59 rocketed him into the lead. He closed with 70, but Hudson Swafford birdied three of the last four holes to overtake him by one. “Being in contention a couple of times and failing and learning, I think it sort of set me up for tomorrow,” he said.

3. Patrick Cantlay has a chance to win Sunday – remarkably. After a back injury and the death of his best friend, the former phenom has played only two events in the past 28 months. Playing on a sponsor exemption, and needing $607,000 in nine events to keep his card, he shot a second consecutive 66 to move into the final group.

4. It hasn’t been Henrik Stenson’s week, but he’s still encouraged. He hit only seven greens during another 71 that left him well off the pace, seven shots back heading into the final round. “Not my A-game, I know that much” he said, “but I’m still there and thereabouts.”