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June 5, 2019

Adam Hadwin

Oakville, Ontario, Canada

MARK WILLIAMS: Like to welcome Adam Hadwin into the interview room here at the 2019 RBC Canadian Open. You've a had a couple of Top-10s in the Canadian Open, played at Hamilton before. What was that experience like and what do you remember, and just give us a rundown of your thoughts on the golf course.

ADAM HADWIN: Been a while since I played Hamilton in 2012. I was a mere young lad just getting started on Tour that year. So life has changed a lot since 2012. A little bit different feelings coming in here.

Certainly not as intimidated as I probably was last time coming into Hamilton. Everything was new. All the top players were guys that we were sort of aiming to be, and now we play against them every week.

So I think this golf course is going to present a great test. We're going to see what all this shower does to the golf course and the greens. The eight holes that I played this morning, it was great. Really cool -- really fun golf course to play, really. A little bit of everything. You've got to hit driver, irons off tees, doglegs, you have to put yourself in right positions on the greens. Obviously very difficult if you get out of position.

And the rough is up. Ball is sitting down. It's going to be wet now, too. So it's going to be tough to get through.

Premium on biking and putting yourself in the right position on the greens.

MARK WILLIAMS: What's it like for you as one of the premiere Canadian players to come back play your National Open? How different is it from playing a TOUR event somewhere else?

ADAM HADWIN: It's a lot of fun coming back home. I've said in a lot of my interviews, Canadian fans travel so well. We're very well represented on Tour now, and we're very well represented in the number of fans we see week-in and week-out. They seem to pop up all over the world.

They show great support for us there, and you know, getting to come home and having an entire tournament filled with Canadian fans is extra special, and I think one that we all enjoy, and just looking forward to a good week. Hopefully kind of put all the pieces together and play well in front of them.

Q. What kind of vibe are you getting with the date change?
ADAM HADWIN: I think it's only, you know, good things for the event. There is still a portion of the season where guys still want to play golf.

Kind of late July, everybody was sort of taking it easy. Outside of obviously you had a major and WGC, but guys kind of stop playing around that time to get ready for Playoffs and kind of a push at the end of that.

I think it's a time of year where guys are still playing. We're coming off a major a few weeks ago, and a lot of guys want to get ready for next week, and they haven't played since then. It's a good opportunity for them to come out and kind of refresh everything and get ready for the U.S. Open next week. I'm looking forward to seeing how this continues.

Q. Regardless of the new date before the U.S. Open, how do you think the Canadian Open should set itself up as a test? It seemed like it's struggled with its identity. In Vancouver, the rough was high but guys were complaining. Glen Abbey, they set it up as a birdie-fest coming home. How would you like to see this tournament setup as a National Open?
ADAM HADWIN: I guess selfishly as a National Open, you'd like to see it played close to U.S. Open standards, like Shaughnessy did, 4-under, 3-under. I think anything single digits is a pretty fair test of golf. You don't see many tournaments that 8- , 9-under wins anymore, and the ones that do, everybody talks about how difficult the conditions or challenging the golf course can be.

You know, a golf course that, for me, I kind of judge golf courses based on who is on the leaderboard and who can win and how many guys have a chance. I think Glen Abbey really sets up for the bombers. I think this place does not. I think this brings more people into play. I think there's a little bit more premium on some accuracy. Obviously distance is always going to be an advantage, but you know, I think that's why Pebble next week will be a great event because you don't have to hit it that long to win there.

But I think Hamilton is going to provide a great test of golf this week. I think if we can continue sort of this standard moving forward, I think that's what they should shoot for. You know, 2-, 3-under, 4-under around here is going to go a long ways. You've got to hit fairways. Like I say, you've got to put yourself in the right position on the greens. There's certainly a lot of birdies to be made and if you play well you can shoot a number.

But if you're not hitting fairways and you're out of position, it's going to make for a longer day. That's why I loved Muirfield last week. You can shoot 67 just as easy as you can shoot 77 there and I love golf courses that way. If you play well, you can create separation. Yeah, you know, I mean, certainly we're not the U.S. Open. I don't think Golf Canada ever wants a reputation that the USGA has for messing places up.

Just a fair test of golf that heading into next week, maybe give them a little taste of it, but not too much. I don't think anybody wants to get punished two weeks in a row. Mentally, it's a lot.

Q. Where does this week rank compared to other big events on your schedule and how hard is it not to want to press a little harder here than maybe a regular tournament?
ADAM HADWIN: It's certainly right up there. It's one that being Canadian would mean a lot to win. You could almost make an argument that it might be more valuable than even a PGA to a Canadian. And not to say that -- it will be a little different now that the PGA is the second major. They were kind of the forgotten major a little bit.

Certainly might be more valuable than a WGC event for sure. Yeah, we all -- I've been in here probably four, five, six years in a row now, and all we've talked about is 1954. Until one of us does that, I think it's going to hold a lot of value for us.

Q. When Brooke won the CP, you got an actual look at what it would be like to see a Canadian win at home.
ADAM HADWIN: That was cool. That was fun to watch.

Q. Did that make it more, not a reality, but you saw what it would mean for a Canadian to win?
ADAM HADWIN: Yeah, I think so. It certainly brought home I think the emotion a little bit more, seeing it happen, and understanding what it means.

You know, she's done incredible things for golf in Canada, not just on the women's side, but golf in general. She was a rock star. It was a lot of fun to watch. You know, all of the emotion, the fans and all that. That's pretty cool. You know, I can envision walking up 18 here and having something similar happen. That would be exciting.

Q. You mentioned a little previous about the rough. Just how would you assess how penal the rough is here?
ADAM HADWIN: Yeah, it's hit and miss. You're going to get some shots and you're going to see some shots where guys will make it look really easy, and then you're going to see some shots where it's going to make guys look silly. It really depends how it sits down in the rough. There's a number of lies that will probably go with the grain and you will be able to get a 6- and 7-iron up to the green, no problem.

There's probably going to be some shots where it's going to sit down and you can't get much more than a sand wedge or gap wedge out of it. It's really going to depend. There's going to be certain holes that you're going to have to hit the fairway on. Otherwise you're going to have difficulty getting to the green.

But you know, I think in today's day and age, where we certainly need the rough where it is, with how short this golf course is by comparison standards; only at 7,000 yards, most guys will be hitting driver off every hole. Even ones that are 420,430, they are just not long enough to be able to force guys to lay up, a la Bethpage a few weeks ago.

When you start getting 505 and you're in the rough, 3-irons out of the rough are a little bit harder than 8-irons. But you're going to see a mix of everything. It's going to make it really hard to control the ball going into greens.

Q. Between the pressure of a Canadian to win this tournament, and the demands of your time every year you come here, is this arguably the hardest tournament for to you win on Tour?
ADAM HADWIN: Potentially, yeah. I mean, you could certainly make a case for it. Not to mention with the new date change, if you want to try and qualify for the U.S. Open, you're kind of even more pooched.

I went back and forth about qualifying, and I don't want to say I lost sleep over it, but I changed my mind every two hours about whether or not I should qualify or whether I should rest and come in here more refreshed, ready to play, and trying to win here.

It will be an interesting dilemma moving forward and just play my way into the Top-50 and don't have to worry about it. That's the goal. I mean, yeah, I flew in Monday. I had an off-site Pro-Am Tuesday and nine holes Pro-Am today and get ready.

No, it's not a normal event. But, I've always said in the past, it gives you a taste of what the top guys go through every week. So you know, they do media every week. They have some sponsor obligations. They might do some other things off-course. If I want to be in that position at some point in my career, I'm going to have to learn how to deal with it. So what better place to do it than here?

MARK WILLIAMS: Adam, we appreciate your time. Good luck this week.

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