Dad Duty On PGA TOUR For Hadwin And Taylor At Waste Management Open

Abbotsford, BC's Adam Hadwin (L) And Nick Taylor (R) Are Family Men On The Road At The PGA TOUR's Waste Management Phoenix Open - Image Courtesy Golf Canada

By Alfie Lau

As recent first-time fathers, Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin are learning about parenting on the fly. Hadwin and wife Jessica had their first-born, a daughter, earlier this month and the Waste Management is Hadwin’s first event in 2020. He opened with a (-2) round of 69, which included an eagle on the 13th hole.

“With the life changes that have taken place, I’m not sure there is anywhere but Phoenix where I would be playing,” said Hadwin of playing tournament golf just three weeks after his daughter’s birth. “I played pretty well today. I hit it very well today. Before the eagle putt at 13, I had 4 or 5 good looks at birdie. It was a pretty stress free two-under today.”

Hadwin also had birdies at the 15th and 17th holes, while he gave strokes back at the 1st and 18th holes with bogeys.

Taylor and wife Andie became parents in late 2019 and have adjusted nicely, utilizing the PGA TOUR’s daycare service and adjusting their schedules. Taylor played in Palm Springs before skipping San Diego and opened his Phoenix campaign with a (-1) round in Scottsdale. “I’m happy with the round,” said Taylor. “It’s always different here because it’s a home game and it’s definitely different this year.”

Andie, who is known for walking almost every hole with her husband, said being a parent has changed that, as she missed the first couple of holes because the daycare wasn’t open by Taylor’s 7:30 a.m. tee time. One benefit is that the daycare cares for the child for six hours, so after Taylor’s round, the couple had time to get lunch without hurrying.

Taylor started on the back 9 and was in the second group going through the iconic par-3 16th hole. He was coming off a birdie at the par-5 15th, but could only make par at 16 before a birdie at 1 and bogey at 4. “Not too crazy at 16,” said Taylor. “It probably will be a lot different later today.”

It certainly was crazy late on Thursday afternoon when the group of Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau came through 16. Fowler, sporting a military camouflage design shirt to honour the military, received his fair share of boos when he put his tee shot in the front right sand and then couldn’t get up and down for par.

Finau got the biggest cheers after he donned a Kobe Bryant jersey to match the yellow and purple Nike sneakers he wore throughout his entire round. He would make a routine two-putt par en route to a (-2) 69, while DeChambeau also made par en route to a (-1) 70.

There was certainly a lot of star power in the group following this group inside the ropes. Olympian Michael Phelps was with the group and almost got bigger cheers than the players. Phelps, who played in Wednesday’s pro-am, was also thankful for Hadwin, who helped Phelps and the other amateurs in their group with a triple breaking read on the 17th hole Wednesday in which the third attempt fell right into the heart of the cup.

Taylor had local Vancouver golf professionals Kevin Stinson, Luke Bogdan, Jason Cordes and Seann Harlingten following him for most of the round, with Stinson doing double duty to watch both Hadwin and Taylor, former roommates of his.  Both Taylor and Hadwin will play the next two weeks, with Hadwin leaving his wife and baby at home, while the Taylor’s will continue utilizing the travelling daycare service provided through the PGA TOUR.

Other Canadian scores on Thursday included Corey Conners finishing at even par 71, Merritt’s Roger Sloan at (+2) 73 and Mackenzie Hughes at (+3) 74. As for the top of the leaderboard, players blitzed the TPC Scottsdale tournament course, with the afternoon wave producing both leader Wyndham Clark (-10) 61 and second-place Billy Horschel (-8) 63. The best of the morning starters was J.B. Holmes (-7) 64, with another four players at (-6) 65 and another handful at (-5) 66.

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