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Hadwin overcomes nerves, wins Chiquita Classic

DAVIDSON – Adam Hadwin admitted that he always feels a certain amount of pressure when playing for the win on the Web.com Tour.

But Hadwin didn’t let that pressure affect his game during Sunday’s final round in the Chiquita Classic, pulling away for a two-stroke victory over John Peterson at River Run Country Club,

The 26-year-old Canadian pro shot a 4-under-par 68 on Sunday, and finished the four-day tournament at 18-under 270 to win his second career title on the PGA’s developmental tour.

“I was nervous the whole day,” said Hadwin, who won $180,000 and climbed to second on the Web.com Tour in season earnings with $473,667. “If you don’t get nerves, then you’re doing the wrong things.

“Regardless of my position coming into today, I had a tournament to win. I played really solid golf today. I was nervous, and I was feeling it, but I just trusted my golf swing. I trusted my shots, and I stayed aggressive.”

Hadwin began the day one shot behind third-round leader Greg Chalmers of Australia, but moved atop the leaderboard quickly by opening with back-to-back birdies on No. 1 and No. 2.

Meanwhile, Chalmers – playing in his first lead group since winning the Australian Open in December 2011 – struggled out of the gate. He double-bogeyed No. 5 to fall three strokes behind Hadwin, and added two more bogeys on the front nine to fall out of contention.

“I got a couple of birdies early, and got ahead of Greg in the first two holes,” Hadwin said. “But John was also playing well. He was right there, and the two of us battled it out.”

Peterson, who began the day two shots out of the lead, stayed within a stroke of Hadwin until No. 12, when Hadwin came away with a birdie on the par-4 hole while Peterson settled for a par. Peterson finished the round at 3-under 69, and 16-under 272 for the tournament.

“I hit good shots down the stretch, but I just didn't make birdies,” said Peterson, who finished in a tie for third in last year’s Chiquita Classic. “But with the year I’ve had and missing five straight cuts coming into the (Web.com Tour Finals), people were kinda counting me out. I’m glad I’m going to be back out there (on the PGA Tour) next year.”

While Hadwin and Johnson were at the top of the leader board, they did face an early challenge from Carlos Sainz Jr., playing two groups ahead of the leaders.

Sainz opened with the tournament’s first hole-in-one, on No. 4, and four more birdies to tie Hadwin for the lead at 16-under. But he quickly fell out of contention with bogeys on four of the next five holes, including three straight on Nos. 7-9, and finished at even-par 72.

Tom Hoge (68) was one shot behind Peterson at 15-under 274, with Mooresville resident Kyle Reifers (70) among four players tying for fourth at 13-under 275 and Chalmers tied for eighth at 12-under 276.