Adam Hadwin shoots 67 to solidify Valspar lead

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 12, 2017 at 12:52 AM

Adam Hadwin put himself in position for first PGA Tour victory with a 4-under-par 67 on Saturday that gave him a four-shot lead after three rounds at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The Canadian is at 14-under 199 through 54 holes on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook. In second place at 10 under is Patrick Cantlay after posting a 66 in the third round.

"I was aggressive and hit good shots," Hadwin said. "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."

First-round leader Jim Herman, who opened the tournament with a 62, was third at 9 under after a second consecutive 71 and Dominic Bozzelli was next at 8 under after a 70.

British Open champion Henrik Stenson and J.J. Henry were tied for fifth at 7 under. Henry shot a 67 and Stenson duplicated the par 71 that he also had Friday.

Hadwin's round was highlighted by two long birdie putts on the back nine that helped extend his lead. He rolled in a 33-foot birdie putt on the par-4 12th hole and then topped that with a 55-footer on the par-3 15th hole.

The Canadian also had two birdies on the front nine and avoided a bogey during his steady round.

"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," Hadwin said.

In January, Hadwin was in similar position, leading by two shots going into the final round of the CareerBuilder Challenge but finished as the runner-up. In that tournament, he carded a 59.

Cantlay turned in the best round of the day with his 66, which he capped with a 31-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole.

The once-promising amateur had missed the past two years with a back injury. The 25-year-old is playing in just his second tournament this year.

"Try not to have much expectation," Cantlay said. "Just trying to stick to my game plan, and I know my game is good, and I've been able to prep how I want for the tournament. Just trying to do my own deal and see where it ends up."

Cantlay began the round with a birdie and added two more on the front nine to go with two birdies on the back. He will be playing in the final group on Sunday.

For the second day in a row, Herman failed to generate any momentum. After a birdie at No. 2, he had 12 straight pars until making consecutive bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 before getting back to par for the day by making a 16-foot birdie putt at the par-3 No. 17.

Bozzelli opened with nine straight pars before a birdie at No. 10. He added a birdie at No. 14 but bogeyed the par-4 No. 16 to slip back to 1 under for the day.

Henry's 67 included six birdies and two bogeys. Stenson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 6, was unable to make a move up the leaderboard in a round with two bogeys and two birdies.

"I was hanging in there," Stenson said. " ... But I'll try to finish with a strong round tomorrow."

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories