Adam Hadwin of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan beat the world’s number one, Dustin Johnson of the United States in pool play action at the 2018 World Match Play Golf Championships in Austin, Texas on Friday.The Canadian is playing at the World Match Play Golf Championships for the first time in his golf career.
Hadwin beat Johnson 4 & 3 to improve to a record of one win and one tie. On Wednesday, he tied American Kevin Kisner to open the event.
In Hadwin’s win over Johnson (who has a Canadian connection because he is engaged to Paulina Gretzky, daughter of the greatest Canadian hockey player ever in Wayne Gretzky), he went two up on the ninth hole with a birdie, and then expanded his lead to three with a birdie on the 11th. Hadwin then went four up when Johnson conceded the 13th hole.
Hadwin, who is currently the 38th ranked player in the world, is tied for the lead with Kisner in Group 1. Kisner beat Bernd Wiesberger of Austria 5 & 4 on Thursday. Like Hadwin, Wiesberger also beat Johnson at the 2018 World Match Play Golf Championships, as he knocked Johnson off 3 & 1 on Wednesday.
If Hadwin and Kisner both win on Friday, then a sudden death stroke play playoff will be required to determine who plays in the round of 16. Hadwin plays Wiesberger on Friday and Kisner plays Johnson.
Hadwin is the first Canadian since Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Saskatchewan to play in the World Match Play Championships. Four years ago the format was different as it was single elimination rather than pool play and DeLaet lost by one to Patrick Reed of the United States in the first round in Tucson, Arizona.