AUGUSTA, Ga. – It was a relatively boring day for Adam Hadwin until that is, he got to the 17th tee at Augusta National.
Having made one birdie and just one bogey up until that point, Hadwin was cruising along at 3-over-par, well inside the cutline.
He hit a poor drive on the par-4 17th, though, and tried to cut his approach through some trees. He knew as soon as he hit it he had made a bad choice, clipping a pine. He made a bit of a mess around the green and ended up with a double-bogey 6.
He rallied for a good par on the final hole of the day and his 5-over-par total was still enough to make the cut in his first Masters, although well back of the four-way tie at the top at 4-under.
“I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent with the golf swing but I was hitting some good shots early,” Hadwin said. “I was just cruising. I was comfortable. Nothing great, but boring out here is good and there were just two bad swings on 17 which is easy to do out there.
“Coming down the last couple of holes I was starting to think cutline. I was starting to think 10-shot rule. I had no idea where I was standing. You only see the leaders on the leaderboard. Obviously a difficult day. I knew guys would be struggling out there, but the mindset sort of changed from maybe make a couple birdies coming in to just get into the house.”
The last two days have been mentally taxing on the Masters rookie, and he said he was drained; looking forward to a good nights sleep this evening.
“This is fun, though, this is where we want to be,” he admitted. “This is what you want to do, week-in and week-out.”
It’s been a whirlwind 2017 for Hadwin who shot 59 earlier this year, won his first PGA Tour event, got married, and closed on his first home with his new bride last week.
But when asked what it was going to take to come down from all the highs, he was quick to respond.
“One double-bogey on 17 at Augusta,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a quick slap in the face right there when thing are going well. It’s been great. Life’s been great. Getting to walk Augusta two more times, playing the weekend in the first major of the year gives me a lot of confidence. But there’s still a lot of work out there.”
He’s the lone Canadian to see the weekend, as Mike Weir (11-over) and Mackenzie Hughes (15-over) both made early exits.
Hughes, who made his Masters debut this week alongside Hadwin, said he’s more motivated than ever to return. He admitted that this year’s conditions were an anomaly, and is champing at the bit to get back to this storied course.
“I can’t remember ever watching the Masters and seeing two days like this back-to-back with so much wind,” he stated.
He said, “next year” (with a smile) when he’s back again, that he’ll be much more comfortable, and will know his way around Augusta much more.
“It was a dream come true for me,” he said. “I certainly would have liked to have been here two more days, but it happens. A lot of guys have a hard time on their first time, especially on a day like these last two. I definitely have some unfinished business next year. I don’t know what other way to say it other than it was really hard and I just didn’t play great. If you don’t play well you’re going to look silly sometimes and that was the case with me.”
Weir, meanwhile, told reporters he’ll play about eight events on the European Tour this summer, since he has no PGA Tour status, and will likely return for the RBC Canadian Open in July.
He played a practice round with Hughes and Hadwin Tuesday, and was very happy to hear one of them made the cut, saying Hadwin should try to get out early – which he will – and shoot a good score.
“If he does that he’ll get right back in there. Adam is very capable of shooting low numbers, as we know, so hopefully he can do just that,” said the 2003 Masters champion.
Hadwin, with another smile, said making the cut has made missing out on his honeymoon with wife Jessica (it was supposed to be this week in Bora Bora) has been a little easier to swallow.
“I would have been disappointed to miss the cut obviously, especially the way I’ve been playing all year,” said Hadwin. “But, I’m happy I got two more days. I know I have a lot of work moving forward.”