Canada's Hadwin named to Presidents Cup for second time; Conners just misses out

The Canadian Press

The last time Adam Hadwin played in a Presidents Cup, he went home disappointed. But next month, he's getting another shot at winning the international team event.

Hadwin, from Abbotsford, B.C., made his Presidents Cup debut two years ago when the international team lost 19-11 to the United States at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. South Africa's Ernie Els made Hadwin one of his four captain's picks on Wednesday night, along with Australia's Jason Day, Chile's Joaquin Niemann and South Korea's Sungjae Im.

"It was pretty deflating, to be honest," said Hadwin of the loss in 2017. "It was such a high being there and being a part of the team and being around some of the best players in the world was an experience that I'm never going to forget. But certainly we left a lot to be desired on the golf course.

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"With this Presidents Cup approaching and me starting to play some good golf again, I was just hungry for a second chance. That's not how I'd would like my contribution to the Presidents Cup to be remembered."

Hadwin gets his second crack at Presidents Cup success from Dec. 9-15 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.

The 32-year-old's strong start to the 2020 PGA Tour season caught Els's eye. 

Hadwin shot a 16-under overall to finish second at the Safeway Open and then fired a 20-under overall to tie for fourth at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open. Since then, he tied for 41st at the ZOZO Championship with a 1-under score and tied for 46th at World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions at even par.

Those four results has Hadwin ranked 44th in the world and 11th on the FedExCup rankings.

"I'm going to be prepared to play the best golf that I can play and try and win holes. Do little things right all week," said Hadwin. "Try and put as much pressure on their game as I can, which includes just not being out of the hole. Making them earn the holes that they win.

"I'm going to try and do my small part to help us win. I think that if all of us take care of the little things that we know how to do, if we can do that, then I think we can secure another Presidents Cup."

Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer, Haotong Li, Cameron Smith and C.T. Pan round out the rest of the international team. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., was strongly considered by Els to join the team but just missed the final cut.

"Between (Hadwin) and Corey Conners, it was a very, very tight race," said Els. "One of the difficult calls I had to make was to Corey. He was very gracious and he wished us good luck heading into these matches.

"But Adam, I love his game. He's just very solid all around. There's not really any weakness there."

Conners missed the cut at the Sanderson Farms Championship but then tied for 13th at the Safeway Open, tied for 12th at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, tied for sixth at the ZOZO Championship and tied for 20th at the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions. He's ranked 55th in the world — one spot below Niemann — and 24th on the FedExCup rankings.

Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay will represent the United States. Tiger Woods will announce his four captain's picks — potentially including himself — on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2019.

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Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

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