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Adam Hadwin - Post 3rd Round Interview 2017 Valspar Championship
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March 11, 2017
7:29 pm
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VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP

 

March 11, 2017

 

Adam Hadwin

Palm Harbor, Florida

NICK PARKER: Got Adam Hadwin here in the media room, 54-hole leader. Run us through kind of the 67, overall thoughts on the day.

ADAM HADWIN: Yeah, it was a great day, I played really solid, a lot of fairways, a lot of greens again. Made a couple bombs that probably shouldn't have gone in, but good speed and was able to pick the right line and just real solid golf tee-to-green.

Every time I got off-line, I got myself back in position and when I was able to be aggressive, I was aggressive and hit good shots. Just striking it real solid right now, which is what you need it do around this Copperhead golf course. You know, just stay patient, keep playing my game tomorrow, and if I keep playing like this, I'll have a chance coming up 18.

Q. So you're getting married in two weeks?
ADAM HADWIN: Two weeks, yeah.

Q. Not doing all of the wedding planning or are you leaving that to someone else?
ADAM HADWIN: No, fortunately I've got a pretty good fiancée. She did everything, and I put my opinion in when it was necessary, and just a few things, but you know, she's telling me where to be and what to wear and I'll show up on time.

Q. What's her name?
ADAM HADWIN: Jessica.

Q. Get used to it.
ADAM HADWIN: Happy wife, happy life.

Q. She's American?
ADAM HADWIN: She is, yeah. She's from Wichita. It was the only way I could get a grown card. I'm just kidding.

Q. How did you meet her?
ADAM HADWIN: I was actually playing a Web.com event in Wichita. We met there and 2 1/2 years later, here we are.

Q. Please don't challenge my math on this, but what is the difference between a two-shot lead and a four-shot lead?
ADAM HADWIN: I guess the simple answer would be two shots.

You know, on this golf course, it can be everything. It could be everything; it could be nothing. You get going sideways on this golf course, it's tough enough that it will punish you and you can run up a tally pretty quickly. But the other side of things is that guys are going to have to shot a good score to catch you.

If I can keep playing solid golf, I mean, you know, to go bogey-free today, I mean, I'd love to do that again tomorrow. I think somebody would have to play an extremely good rounds of golf to catch me. Really make some pars and make guys come and get you.

Q. You've won enough on other tours, that another two shots is pretty much nothing going into the last round. Are you pleased at all with the fact that you were right there at the end?
ADAM HADWIN: Yeah.

Q. First TOUR chance, if you will.
ADAM HADWIN: Yeah, for sure. I'm more pleased that that putt went in on 18. Three shots is much easier to come back from than four shots is. That extra shot could be everything tomorrow. That was a big putt for me, I think mentally going into tomorrow.

Q. It looked like there was a real familiarity with Jim. In fact, you guys were so deep in conversation going down 1, he wasn't even going over to see what kind of a shot he had after his drive. What were you talking about?
ADAM HADWIN: Yeah, it's funny, I noticed that. I was going to tell him, maybe start walking left.

You know, honestly, I can't remember what we were talking about, but as you guys know, Jim is just one of the great guys out here. I've got a lot of respect for him and what he's done and what he's gone through to get to where he is, and we enjoyed the day. We get along and it was, like you said, it was a familiar pairing. It was nice. It was very comfortable out there.

Q. You ever meet Patrick Cantlay?
ADAM HADWIN: I know Patrick. I don't think we've ever played together or not but you know, we both have jobs to go out there tomorrow, and we're just going to go out and get it done.

Q. Every time they show you, you're always smiling and laughing and nothing seems it bother you. Where do you get that disposition from? Where does it come from?
ADAM HADWIN: It's been a long time coming that I figured that out; that smiling and enjoying life seems to lead to better golf. So it wasn't that long ago that I was breaking clubs and hawking things.

Actually, if you guys really want a story, last year, I broke a 7-iron here on the second hole. So I've improved. I tossed it into a free.

Q. How hard?
ADAM HADWIN: Pretty hard. Hard enough to break it. I've just learned. I've really learned to calm down and stay patient. Understand that the shot that I'm hitting is not the most important thing in life right now, and you know, it's funny which came first: Me enjoying life and playing better golf, or playing better golf and enjoying life. It's hard to say but the two go hand in hand.

You know, I've had so much confidence over the last sort of year and a half, as well, which also helps. But just a matter of just, you know, I'm going to hit bad shots, but the next shot is the important one and I've been doing a good job of that.

Q. How did you become a Kentucky Colonel?
ADAM HADWIN: I'm still unsure of that.

Q. Is that before or after the 59?
ADAM HADWIN: Before. I think there was three of us from the university, maybe four or five of us from the University of Louisville. We had one of the boosters of the program, I think was friends with one of the congressmen or senators, or some leader within the City of Louisville, or the state, and as a graduation gift, sort of our like senior year, him and his wife kind of presented that to us and I think everybody that's a Kentucky Colonel is still trying to figure out what it actually is.

It's a cool honor. I think Tiger is a Kentucky Colonel. I think they kind of gave it to him when he won the PGA there at Valhalla.

Q. Do you think Tiger knows that?
ADAM HADWIN: If he does he probably doesn't know what it is, either. (Laughs).

Q. Going back to the four-shot lead, does it change the way you play at all tomorrow? Do you stay aggressive?
ADAM HADWIN: No, it's not going to change anything. And that's what's been so great about the way I've played over the last little bit is that it doesn't matter whether I'm seven behind, 17 behind or 17 ahead. It's just I'm still going to play the same way. If it calls for it to be aggressive, then I'll be aggressive. If it calls for it to be -- you know, I've got to take my medicine, then I'll take my medicine.

You know, being in the final group, having a one-shot lead at the Career Builder earlier this year I think is going to help a lot for tomorrow. That was an example of just, I didn't have any best stuff on Sunday but I kept just doing my thing and just kind of grinding away and giving myself chances, and I had a chance to win coming up 18. And that's my goal. That's my goal going into every week. If I can have a chance to win on Sunday, coming up the last couple holes, then I've been playing some good golf, and that's my focus tomorrow is just to have a chance.

Q. I think back to 2011, the Canadian Open when you burst on the scene, proved you could play out here. Did you think, though, that you would still be looking for that first win?
ADAM HADWIN: I mean, it's tough to answer. Yes and no. I knew -- you know, I knew I could play, and sort of that week showed that I could play at the highest level. But I knew I had to earn it. I had to prove myself. I went through three years on the Web.com and that really prepared me for out here.

You know, being in contention a couple times and failing and learning and all that, I think is sort of setting me up for tomorrow a little bit. It's so difficult to win out here. There's so many good players. It doesn't matter whether you're talking majors or opposite-field events. You've got to play some good golf to win out here.

I'm in a good spot right now. I'm getting married in a couple weeks, and playing some incredible golf, and you know, just life's good. So we'll go out and enjoy tomorrow and have some fun and hopefully hit it straight.

Q. Where is the honeymoon and do you have a backup plan?
ADAM HADWIN: The honeymoon right now is booked for French Polynesia. We get married on Friday the 24th and we leave the 26th. But she knows that we'll cancel if all things go well tomorrow.

Q. The wedding?
ADAM HADWIN: No. (Laughter) no, no, the wedding will happen. But we'll take a few days to get prepared for the greenest place on earth at Augusta if all goes well.

Q. How did you set the wedding date, as a golfer?
ADAM HADWIN: Well, you know, we basically, she found a venue she liked. We asked what dates they had available, and we guessed, basically. Kind of based on last year's schedule, and we just picked a day and hope it -- it was either going it fall kind of Puerto Rico, Houston area, and it fell in Puerto Rico.

Got a little bit lucky, I would say, in that. But it will be a good day.

Q. You played Augusta before?
ADAM HADWIN: I have not, no. And I was never going to go until I made it there.

Q. I heard you say on TV that the long putt on 15 is atonement for a missed chance on 14. But still to make two long putts like that on the back nine, what are you thinking when the one on 15 goes in?
ADAM HADWIN: Luck. Not really thinking at all I guess. Those putts, both of them, you're just trying to get the speed right. You're just trying to have tap-ins.

That's it. If anybody tells you they are trying to make that, they are high on gas. It just doesn't -- you're not trying to make it from 55 feet. You're picking a line, you're picking a speed and you hope you got it right. And that one, I got it right. I've been seeing the reads really good on these greens. My speed's been excellent, and just really confident when I got a chance to putt.

Q. In those few days after the Career Builder, how did you handle the balance of knowing how well you played, but also knowing that one shot, you could have been holding the trophy at the end?
ADAM HADWIN: I wasn't disappointed at all with the finish at Career Builder. Like I said, I didn't have my best stuff on Sunday, which is going to happen out here and I fought tooth-and-nail to have a chance coming up the last couple, and you know, I birdied 16, 17, and you know, when I looked back at Career Builder, the only thing I wished, could have hit a couple better shot on 18 to maybe put a little more pressure on Hudson. But he went out and golfed his ball that day. I wasn't disappointed at all. I got beat, fair and square, and you know, it was just moving on to the next tournament. Moving on to Torrey Pines at that point.

Q. Do you have anyone in your team that help you to shift anger energy, turning it to something better?
ADAM HADWIN: Probably the biggest person would be my fiancée. You know, she has zero golf background. She has zero interest in playing golf, and zero interest in picking it up.

The interesting thing talking with her is that she can just how I walk around the golf course and she can pick up on little things like that, not being a golfer, and she's not as focused on the outcomes of the shots and just sort of watching me and watching body language a little bit. And so I can remember this last year, at this event, kind of talking to her a little bit. Of course I was -- I honestly I can't remember, I think I missed the cut. But just talking to her about some of the attitude stuff and all that, and she's a pretty good calming influence, as well. Pretty even-keeled girl, as well. It helps.

Q. Was she out there on 2, last year?
ADAM HADWIN: Yeah, she witnessed the whole thing, yeah.

Q. What happened on that shot? Where did it go?
ADAM HADWIN: You want the full story? (Laughter) I hit hybrid off the tee. I hit it left. I only had a gap wedge and I had a tree on the left. I had to go around it and ended up pulling it and hitting it and it kicked left into the trees. And then I had a shot through the trees to kind of punch it up near the front of the green, and I kind of duffed a 7-iron coming through or something like that, and that's when 7-iron met tree.

It's not something I'm proud of. It's something that I've dealt with my whole life. It's not just golf. I've dealt with this through soccer, through baseball, through basketball when I played. Every sport, I've had my issues being too competitive and wanting to win too much, and not -- you know, just really being a poor loser, accepting that.

I think the biggest reason that I'm sitting here today and playing so well last three or four months is really learning, really figuring that out, and understanding that it has a huge impact on how I play. It's certainly taken my game to another level, just understanding that it's just golf. The end of the day, it's not life or death.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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