ORLANDO, Florida – When he walked off 18, Adam Hadwin put his arm around his fiancée for the walk back to the clubhouse. He stopped just steps from the door, and exhaled deeply.
Jessica Dawn Kippenberger had seen the look before. She didn’t need to hear what he had to say to know what he was feeling, but Hadwin spoke anyway.
“I’m wiped,” he told her. “Just completely drained.”
Understandably, when you consider the two-week run the Canadian has been on in Florida – one that began with an incredible final round at Innisbrook to win his first PGA Tour title last week, included a cancellation of their honeymoon not long after, and culminated with a sixth-place finish here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Sunday.
“I could feel an attitude shift a little bit, especially compared to last week,” Hadwin told Sportsnet after his final round.
While the short game was magic last week – the 25-foot birdie putt on 11, the incredible 55-footer on 13, “everything breezed by my shoulders,” he described it as – by the turn this Sunday, Hadwin couldn’t buy a break and admitted he was confused on the greens. Were they more grainy than he was used to? Was he not reading them right? He didn’t know.
On 15, when Hadwin chunked his chip off the green and had to take a double bogey there, he felt the weight of the last two weeks. “I took a little hard there,” he admitted.
You knew his luck was definitely up by the time 17 rolled around and Hadwin was robbed of a sure ace, when the ball ricocheted off the pin.
“From my angle, it had pretty good line,” he said. “I checked my phone (after) and, I had somebody text me, ‘Wait till you see the replay. You won’t believe it didn’t go in.’”
In many ways, this season has been hard to fathom. Fourth in the FedEx Cup standings coming out of Bay Hill; shooting 59 in January; the engagement; the tour stop win last week; the wedding next; Augusta National follows.
“I’m ready for a break. I’m ready for a rest. It’s been two busy weeks. It’s been a lot of fun, though,” he said. “I think next week will be the best week of the year, and then a couple weeks after that, hopefully it’s just as good of a week. Lots of good things happening so far in 2017, and just really looking forward to what the rest of the year holds.”