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March 7, 2018

Adam Hadwin

Palm Harbor, Florida

MARK WILLIAMS: We'd like to welcome into the Interview Room, the defending champion, Adam Hadwin to the Valspar Championship. You've been playing particularly well leading into it. Just your expectation trying to defend your title.

ADAM HADWIN: Trying not to put too many expectations on it. Obviously we got a tremendous field here for the championship and I think one of the keys to the success is trying not to do too many good things.

Go out there and play golf and let it happen. Obviously a lot of good memories here. Played extremely well last year and feel comfortable on the course. I think it's a great golf course, I think it suits my game. A matter of going out there and having some fun and executing.

MARK WILLIAMS: What in particular do you think about this golf course suits your game? I was just looking at some stats in the last couple of weeks, you've led proximity to the hole on approach shots.

That's a pretty key area, hitting greens and close.

ADAM HADWIN: Nice to have that clicking coming in here for sure, yeah. I think this place as well if you can avoid mistakes -- I think the big key around this place, which I think I do very well, I don't make a lot of big numbers and just kind of calm, steady golf is what I like to do and I think that fits very well here for the Copperhead Course.

MARK WILLIAMS: I talked to you at the Genesis Open, you just made the cut on the numbers. You told me you packed your bags and ready to go. Cut went out and having a superb weekend.

Has that kind of got you over the line and given you some confidence?

ADAM HADWIN: Potentially more than anything, Genesis, I just wanted two more days because I was playing really well. I took four shots to get out of bunker on 10 on Friday. I kind of thought I blew my chance at the weekend.

Got the second opportunity and took full advantage. Played well last week in Mexico as well. Just a matter of I guess maybe just getting comfortable little bit more -- little bit earlier in the week.

Other than that I played some extremely good golf these last couple months. Just a matter of a few putts going in or hitting another extra fairway or something like that.

MARK WILLIAMS: Let's take some questions.

Q. You already asked three of them, Mark.
Adam, since we saw you at Media Day a few weeks back, you played really well. What have you worked on since then and leading into future tournaments coming up?

ADAM HADWIN: To be honest, I haven't done anything different. I honestly felt really good since CareerBuilder. I didn't get a lot out of my game in Torrey Pines or Phoenix. I hit some good shots, just didn't make the putts when I needed to, kind of lost momentum and from there -- but, like I said, played really well at Genesis and Mexico as well. For some reason the putts fell on the weekend and they didn't fall the first couple days.

Just keep doing what I'm doing, keep working hard. I've done a really good job so far this week of hitting it a little bit better, little bit more consistent over this first couple of months, which is nice. And then, you know, the putting will come.

The putting I'm the least worried about since I putted so well the last few years. Just a matter of maybe putting in a few more minutes on the speed control on the greens.

Q. Adam, if you could think back, what did you imagine as you left here a year ago what the best part about winning was and, as you return a year later and you think backwards, was that the best part of winning?
It's a weird question, I realize.

ADAM HADWIN: That's a good question. That's a thinker.

Q. We got all day.
ADAM HADWIN: Obviously the first thing comes to mind is getting in the Masters. That's huge, especially so close to it. I didn't have a lot of time outside of, you know, to crack the Top 50 or something like that.

So, you know, being able to set a schedule was huge as well knowing you're in all these events. If I was to -- I would say that's probably still the best thing is the win set me up for the Tour Championship which then set me up for being able to set a schedule.

That's so nice at the start of the year and block off the Major, block off the WGCs and say I'm in those and then fill a schedule around that. You know, you know where you're going to play and all that, which is nice.

Q. When you knew that this win sets you in Majors and everything, you do have more passion for golf, work harder or --
ADAM HADWIN: No, you're never comfortable out here. You see what Justin is doing and, you know, Dustin and all these, Jordan, all these top guys of how, you know, they always seem to be there, they always seem to win and that gets annoying sometimes for the rest of us.

It also makes us work a little bit harder. There's no resting on your merits in this game. You start doing that a little bit and you can go south pretty quickly.

This game is pretty cruel sometimes and it owes you nothing and it will give you nothing. Keep the head down and keep working hard and see where that heads me up.

Q. So the uniqueness of being a Canadian, if you were on the road, whether it's perhaps Mexico or here, being sort of one of only a few, being a Canadian, what is it like for you as you travel from place the place?
You're getting lots of fanfare and things where if you're playing in a group with Sergio Garcia a there's not many Spaniards out watching but lot of Canadians, especially snowbirds and so on.

ADAM HADWIN: It's been great. I talked at length of that throughout the four years. Canadians travel so well. They seem to be everywhere we go. You know, running into them in Mexico City last week.

So, the support is great. It's great to be a part of kind of a special group, like you said. I think there's six, seven of us out here full-time now.

It keeps getting bigger and it's great to be a part of that group, yeah.

Q. Also since your win, has there been bigger galleries for you than perhaps this time last year?
ADAM HADWIN: Certainly I'm being recognized a little bit more on the golf course and there's a few more cheers here and there and stuff. I try not to pay attention to too much of that stuff and just focus on what's going on inside the ropes but, you know, that's a fun part of I guess what we do, the recognition but it's not why we do it.

Q. Also, being a hockey fan, Vancouver Canucks, you've been dropping pucks at games. Which games have you been at?
ADAM HADWIN: I haven't dropped a puck since preseason three years ago.

Q. I wanted to go back to hard work for a minute. Another probably daft question but can you give me an example of when you're working hard and can you give me an example of what it's like when someone is not working hard? I hear it all the time. I'm not sure I know what it means.
ADAM HADWIN: It's different for everybody, too. I'm not the kind of guy that can -- Tiger talks about what he used to do and up at 6:00 a.m. and lifting and the range. I just can't. My body won't allow me.

Q. Mine, neither.
ADAM HADWIN: It takes a special human being and Tiger was, he still is, what he's doing.

For me, it's about quality practice. You know, I have an idea of what I want to accomplish when I go on to the putting green or when I go on to the short game area or on the range and I want to get in there and I want to get my work done and get out, really, so I can enjoy life.

Q. It's an efficient --
A I want to make it as efficient as possible. I'm the kind of guy be there two, three hours, get my work done and get out, rather than spending five, six hours but I'm chatting for 30 minutes and wandering off or checking Twitter or something like that. I want to get there, get my work done and get out.

Q. So you've had moments I'm sure where you're not working as hard?
ADAM HADWIN: Of course.

Q. I'm sure it shows in your game. What are you doing, not going to the practice range or your mind scattered or what?
ADAM HADWIN: Yeah. I mean if your mind is not into it sometimes practice can be more hurtful than beneficial. If you're hitting some bad shots and you're not thinking correctly or really your mind into figuring out what's going on, then you just sort of feel bad habits or something like that.

I can look at this year, my putting stats aren't as good and that's probably because I've been focusing more on hitting it solid. I didn't hit it very solid the last couple of years.

I wanted to hit a few more greens this year. I spent a little bit more time hitting the golf ball and working on some things on the range. Not enough time maybe practicing the speed control on the greens and making those short putts like I used to.

I came in here this week knowing -- knowing kind of the stats and where they stood and I spent about an hour and a half on Tuesday morning putting.

Q. Did you check Twitter when you were putting or not, just putting?
ADAM HADWIN: I tried to focus on the putting.

Q. Adam, apart from taking home the trophy last year, what other souvenirs or momentos did you keep from last year's win?
ADAM HADWIN: I got a framed flag and the ball that I putted out with. Actually my good old manager saved it all for me, framed it up nicely for me and sent it to me. I've got there.

The Tour did a great job, they framed up the official scorecards and a picture of my Valspar win with the trophy as well. I actually got some really cool gifts as well from some other people. I think I still have a bottle of champagne with the scribbling on it and I got a nice stick from True Temper as well.

So, like I said, I got --

Q. No paint?
ADAM HADWIN: It was offered (laughter). If we ever need to paint our house the offer still stands.

Q. One last question. Over those four days they were to put a plaque down on the course for any one of your shots in the victory last year, where would you choose to put the plaque down?
ADAM HADWIN: Certainly not the tee on 16. Probably -- I mean it would ruin play but probably on the green on 13. Nice little 48, 50-footer there.

Right after Cantlay stuck it. That was a huge part as far as momentum to show them I was still in it.

Q. When we spoke a few weeks ago you talked about your game specifically and how you like to work the ball as opposed to lot of players, other than maybe Bubba, and you described it's old school.

Q. You played at Riviera pretty well, played Mexico pretty well. You're here this week as defending champion.
Do you see that as an advantage or disadvantage or maybe just what your game is and maybe neither, and what other courses other than here and those two really cater to your style of play?

ADAM HADWIN: I wouldn't say it's an advantage. I would say it's just different golf. All the guys out there have adjusted to how they want to play golf.

I don't hit it long enough to hit it high and straight. I got to figure out a way to manufacture around the golf courses still. As far as other golf courses, I played Colonial well before. You don't have to be long there. You just have to get it in play and putt well.

Q. Do you play Harbour Town?
ADAM HADWIN: I love Harbour Town. A great golf course. Same thing, you got to work it both ways, don't have to be that long off the tees. Any sort of those kind of older tracts.

I love Torrey Pines but it sucks for my game. I just don't hit it quite far enough to really compete around there. I played well there but I really have to be on top of my game in order to compete at Torrey Pines and if I'm just a little bit off I'll have trouble.

Q. How would you compare your outlook going to Augusta this year compared to last year? I know you only had probably what a month or so with the marriage and things like that? Having been there the first year, how do you feel going back?
ADAM HADWIN: I had a lot of stuff going in that month, too, before heading to Augusta. It was busy.

Anytime you go back to a course you've already played, especially Augusta, knowing some of the nuances, some of the slopes and all that, it can take a few years to really understand how to play a golf course and I'm excited to go back.

You know, it's on the longer end of those old school golf courses but I still think it's a golf course that fits my game. You have to be able to work it both ways and, you know, you've got to have a lot of imagination around the greens and put yourself in the right spots out there.

I think, I believe that's my game. So, excited to get back and try and hopefully I can take the same form I have now into Augusta.

Q. Maybe it's different as a private club but Rory mentioned, what was that world he used, Bernie, wasn't it intimidating a little bit not just the course the first time but just being at the club knowing where to go?
Did you sense any of that at all?

ADAM HADWIN: I can see that. It's not just Augusta. It's any new -- it's going to Mexico last week. I don't know where the locker room is, I don't know where the range.

Q. That was your first time?
ADAM HADWIN: Yes. Not wandering around a little bit but you feel awkward having to ask somebody like, hey, where is the range? Where is the first tee, you know, that type of thing.

Certainly Augusta has it's aura about it, the clubhouse and a lot of rules and you got to make sure that you follow and as a rookie you're not quite sure what to do sometimes.

Q. Did you break any last year?
ADAM HADWIN: I don't think so. Nobody came up and told me I did. Must be a good sign (laughter).

MARK WILLIAMS: Do you think that comment you just made about getting more comfortable is a reason that you're kind of, I guess, trending in the FedExCup, like the last three years you've improved every year?

Do you think that's just because you're getting more and more comfortable with the venues?

ADAM HADWIN: I think so for sure. You're more comfortable. You know what to expect out at the golf courses. Coming into a week like this you know if you shoot one or 2-under a day you got a chance to win the golf tournament, which puts your mind at ease because sometimes when you come off the Web.com shooting 26-under each week and you play PGA TOUR golf courses you start to think sometimes, hey, I got to go low and you try and do that too many times on a tough golf course like this, you shoot 80 once and there goes confidence.

Golf courses, travel, where the eat, where to stay, all that stuff plays into it. It makes things a lot easier.

Q. So proximity to the hole is a very important aspect. If you're using the exam there, would you attribute that to your boyhood's course such as Abbotsford? I kind of remember it as being smaller greens.
ADAM HADWIN: It helps. It's obviously super short. It's tight and narrow. You got to work it both ways, difficult, slopey, small greens. You're playing off different lies and all that sort of stuff.

Q. So last year I wrote a summary of your week and I noticed there was a lot of deuces on your card. We talked about a plaque. You mentioned -- I saw that big putter go in on the 13th. I saw some of the other holes but like 17, for instance, and various holes the par-3s, your balls were -- I had -- they went right over the edge of the cups and making deuces coming down the stretch.
ADAM HADWIN: Part of that is luck.

Q. At Arnold Palmer you were making 2s on 17.
ADAM HADWIN: That's just playing good golf.

Q. Have you always felt that you've been a great iron player, have you noticed that?
ADAM HADWIN: I was a really good ball-striker as a junior and amateur. I was a really poor striker when I came out on Tour.

Q. Why is that?
ADAM HADWIN: I stopped practicing my long game and needed to work on my putting. You talk about -- go back to the hard working stuff, I put a lot of hard work into my short game and that made leaps and bounds in progression and my long game suffered.

I didn't drive as well, I didn't hit my irons as well.

Q. As a yardstick growing up in British Columbia, we had a 4-time Canadian amateur championship, Doug Roxburgh. Did you play some rounds with him?
ADAM HADWIN: I did. I actually can remember a BC Amateur I played with him the first two days. I struck it beautifully. I think I might have even been at Morningstar. I struck it beautifully for two days.

Maybe three, four, 5-under, something like that. And I can remember Doug talking to the papers afterwards and he said man if I could have just putted for him we would have been 18-under for those two days.

You live and learn and grow up and now I'm at a point where my putting is solid still but I'm hitting more greens, I'm hitting it closer and giving myself more chances.

Q. You have to balance both game --
ADAM HADWIN: Yes. Hundred percent. If you start taking time away from one aspect of the game, the other is going to suffer unless you add more time. That's simply put.

If I was going to keep my putter at tiptop shape like it was and wanted to get better, I have to add hours to my practice in order to do that and, unfortunately, I just didn't do that.

I'm learning. You know, I'm learning everyday I play this game and every week we play and just trying to keep getting better.

Q. Do you know "Sham" McKenzie from Canada? He talk a lot about how you balance your game.
ADAM HADWIN: What's his name?

THE WITNESS: "Sham" McKenzie.

MARK WILLIAMS: Couple weeks ago you did a Media Day and that was your first experience as the defending champion.

What was that experience like for you and what were some of the things you did?

ADAM HADWIN: Very weird to come and drive on to the property and see my face on a few posters, kind of I guess be representing this tournament kind of the rest of the year and come back and play and as it's defending champion.

It's the first time on a major professional Tour that I've had a chance to defend so it's very exciting. It's very nice, like I said, to have that recognition coming into the week and, just like I said, it's a great field this week.

Obviously it's going to be very difficult to defend. I'm excited to have the opportunity to be on a great golf course and hopefully the game shows up.

MARK WILLIAMS: Okay. We appreciate you coming.

Q. First time you appeared as a cardboard cutout?

Q. First time you as a cardboard cutout?
ADAM HADWIN: Had to take a picture on Media Day.

MARK WILLIAMS: Thank you, Adam.

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