At the 2020 3M Open, Michael Thompson ended a seven-year drought with his second career victory. Adam Hadwin hopes to follow suit this weekend.
Hadwin collected win No. 1 at the 2017 Valspar Championship. He hasn’t won since, and hasn’t been in good form this season. The 33-year-old Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, native missed the cut in each of his past three events and six of his past nine. Since the November Masters in 2020, Hadwin has played in 21 events, and missed the cut in more than half of them (11). In that same span, he has finished inside the top 20 in just three events.
So you’re excused if you didn’t tab Hadwin as a favorite to contend this week. Yet on Friday, it was Hadwin who was making his way up the leader board. He shot a 6-under, 65, tying for the second-best score of the day, and is tied with Ryan Armour, who is fresh off a fifth-place finish at last week’s Barbasol Championship, for the 36-hole lead at 10-under 132 for the tournament. Armour also shot 65 on Friday.
“Just being in that position before, I know the feeling. It’s been a while, but I know the feeling, it’s still there,” Hadwin said. “I think more than anything now, just the game plan that we’ve had coming into this week, just again focusing on that process and less on the outcome and not worrying about FedExCup position, Playoffs, all that kind of stuff and just
focusing on the shot at hand. If I can do that, I’ll be in good shape.”
Hadwin has had success at TPC Twin Cities in the past. Locals remember the wild three-horse race between Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau down the backstretch in Blaine in 2019, but they might not recall Hadwin finished fourth that week.
“I had a chance to win a golf tournament that week, so I have good feelings at this golf course,” Hadwin said. “I’ve played well through 36 now, just got to keep it going.”
The top of the leader board is filled with surprises. Heading into the week, it was names like Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff and Tony Finau headlining the field.
Oosthuizen is the only one of those in the top 20, sitting four shots back of Hadwin. That’s thanks to an absurd 153 feet, five inches of made putts Friday.
The good news for the tournament is most of those big names made the cut — Reed, Garcia and Bubba Watson did so on the number at 2-under 140 — and will play the weekend. Johnson is the only truly notable name in this week’s field to miss the cut. But the top of the leader board is lacking marquee names. Many of those top guns struggled to get things going in Friday’s breezy conditions. Fowler started the day tied with Troy Merritt, Roger Sloan and Jhonnatan Vegas for the lead but shot a 2-over 73 on Friday to drop to five shots back.
“I really just struggled to get things going. I mean, as you guys could feel and see, it was a bit breezier this afternoon,” Fowler said. “It was a little gusty, it was tough to get numbers right or hit your lines in general, just struggled to get looks at birdie and make it as simple as it was yesterday.”
Instead, it’s a bunch of longshots leading the way.
Of the eight players at 8 under or better upon the completion of Round 2, Maverick McNealy is the highest in the Official World Golf Rankings at 105th. Hadwin is 117th. Armour is 223rd.
But none of that matters this weekend. If you don’t shoot a low score, you’re likely to get lapped.
“That’s what it is every week out here, right? That’s why we’re the best in the world. It’s really nothing new this week,” said Chez Reavie, who sits one back of the lead at 9 under. “In order to win golf tournaments out here, you’ve got to go to beat the best in the world, so I wouldn’t expect anything else.”