Adam Hadwin, right, is greeted by amateur Dominic Curio after Hadwin shot a 59 and took the third round lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge golf tournament at La Quinta Country Club, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Adam Hadwin Joins Elite Group

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

It took 14 years for somebody to break 60 on the PGA Tour after Al Geiberger broke the seal in 1977. It took nine days between the last two. It was so commonplace that nobody even questions the validity of the golfer accomplishing the feat.

Adam Hadwin has never won on the PGA Tour. His round on Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge was as surprising to casual golf fans as it was cathartic to a nation of Canadian golf lovers. Some of what was lost from the record round:

His 13 birdies matched the Tour record set by the second Mr. 59, Chip Beck, in 1991

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His round, at La Quinta Country Club, took place on a day where blustery conditions kept the scoring average at the other two courses in the tournament’s rotation right at Even Par

His subsequent solo second-place finish in the tournament was his best-ever finish on Tour, and only his seventh top 10 since earning his full-time card

The crowd of Canadians he brought to the final round grouping gave the tournament a Sunday buzz

He became the sixth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour in this decade alone

“It’s a small club to be a part of and I think, I was talking about it last night with family and I don’t think it had quite sunk in just yet what I accomplished and I think it will take a few weeks to really sink in,” Hadwin said. “I was just focused on trying to win a golf tournament.”

That last part is key. Breaking 60 is still a milestone for most players, but doing it is not a surprise. The depth of world-class play is so good that players embrace the moment more than shying away from the history. It’s become more valuable as a tool to win than as a ticket to immortality.

“I can’t help but be slightly disappointed,” Hadwin continued. “I really wanted to come out here and prove that [shooting 59] was a continuation of some good play, but I got beat.”

Maybe Adam Hadwin has arrived, but in his mind, he already had.

Adam Hadwin Joins Elite Group
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