Canada’s Hadwin stays ahead in search of first PGA win

Author: AFPSun, 2017-03-12ID: 1489322684786547700MIAMI: Canada’s Adam Hadwin fired a bogey-free four-under par 67 Saturday to seize a four-stroke lead over American Patrick Cantlay after the third round of the US PGA Valspar Championship.The 29-year-old from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan — seeking his first PGA crown — stood on 14-under 199 after 54 holes over Innisbrook’s Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida.“I’ve been really proud of myself grinding things out. I just have to come out and do the same thing tomorrow,” Hadwin said.“I’m going to play well tomorrow if I give myself a chance to win on 18 — if I’ve got to be 5-over or 2-under, I just want a chance to win.”Cantlay, also seeking his first PGA title, roared into second with the day’s low round, a 66, to reach Sunday’s final pairing on 203, one ahead of compatriot Jim Herman, who led Thursday after an opening 62, and two better than American Dominic Bozzelli.“I’m not going to worry about anything else, fairways and greens and make as many putts as I can,” Cantlay said of his Sunday strategy.“Try not to have too many expectations, try to stick to my program, hit fairways and greens, try to stick to my deal and not have a whole lot of doubts.”British Open champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden and American J.J. Henry shared fifth on 206.Hadwin eased his nerves with an opening birdie, finding the fringe with his second shot and two-putting from there.“I felt really good on the golf course,” Hadwin said. “A little nervous on the putting green. Got over that pretty quickly, made a good drive, a good swing and two putts for a birdie. That relaxed me really quick.”Hadwin added a six-foot birdie putt at the seventh, then dropped a 33-foot birdie putt at the par-4 12th thanks to some help from being able to read a similar putt from playing partner Herman.“He putted right on that line just before me,” Hadwin said. “I had a good look at it and judged the speed right.”The Canadian followed with a 55-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th and sank a testy six-foot par putt at the 18th to keep his four-stroke advantage.“It was huge,” Hadwin said. “To end on that, a ton of momentum coming into tomorrow.“With this ball striking coming around, the sky is the limit. I have to stay patient and just keep playing my game.”Cantlay birdied the par-5 first, fifth and 11th holes as well as the par-3 eighth but the 30-foot birdie putt he sank on the par-4 18th to close a bogey-free round brought an extra-special smile.“It was nice to see that one go in, a little bonus,” he said.Herman stumbled with bogeys at 15 and 16 before sinking a 16-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th and closing with a par to finish on 71. His lone PGA victory came at last year’s Houston Open, a title he defends in three weeks.
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