07/09/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/09/2020 17:40
DUBLIN, Ohio - It's safe to say the members at Ledgeview Golf and Country Club in Abbotsford, British Columbia, have quite the rooting interest in this week's Workday Charity Open.
Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor - who played their junior golf at Ledgeview - have put themselves squarely in the mix with rounds of 66 and 67, respectively, on Thursday. They're chasing Collin Morikawa, who leads the tournament after a bogey-free 65 in the first round at Muirfield Village.
The 32-year-old Canadians - Taylor is the elder by six months - often roomed together on the road during their early years on the PGA TOUR. Each is married now, and both became fathers in the last year: Taylor's son was born last October while Hadwin's daughter arrived in January.
For Hadwin, who tied for fourth at last week's Rocket Mortgage Classic, Thursday's round was his eighth straight in the 60s and tied his lowest at Muirfield Village, a course that hasn't been very kind to him in the past. He's played here five times previously and finished in the top 20 just once.
'Obviously had a good week last week and kind of took that momentum into the round,' said Hadwin, who bogeyed his first hole Thursday but more than made amends with seven birdies. 'Staying patient. It's a golf course where you get too aggressive, it'll sneak up on you pretty quick.
'Even with softer conditions than what we're used to, things aren't running through fairways and greens are spinning and holding. You can be aggressive, but you get yourself on the wrong side of the hole, even though it's sort of a tamer Muirfield Village than we may be used to, still a lot of slope on those greens. Just hitting good shots, quality shots to the right side.'
Hadwin said his solid play has been building for a while even though he didn't finish higher than a tie for 41st in his first two starts. Last week at Detroit Golf Club, he didn't make the kind of rusty mistakes - balls hit out of bounds or in the water - that had marked his first two weeks back in action.
'I felt like there were times where last week where I probably could have gotten a few more shots, but I really didn't have any risk,' Hadwin said. 'It was kind of a free-flowing, easy-type round and just not a lot of stress. When you can do that through multiple weeks, it helps a lot.'
Hadwin's buddy Taylor, though, didn't know quite what to expect when he teed it up at Jack Nicklaus' signature layout. He's only played Muirfield Village twice and broken par just twice in six rounds.
More to the point, though, the Workday Charity Open, which was essentially organized in a month after the John Deere Classic was canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, marks Taylor's first start since the TOUR resumed competition five weeks ago.
'Obviously the break was great timing for a lot of reasons but have a bit of a cushion, take some more time off, I just really enjoyed being home,' said Taylor, who was grateful for the extra time with young Charlie. '... Yeah, I'm excited to get back out here and play, but it was nice to be home.'
Taylor had picked up his second PGA TOUR win prior to the COVID-19 break, going wire-to-wire at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. He played twice more and got in one round at THE PLAYERS Championship before the TOUR's showcase event - and the season - was shut down.