TaylorMade adidas Championship decided in a Playoff

7/13/2016

After Day 1 of the PGA of Ontario Taylormade adidas Championship, that saw twenty two players even par or better, the stage was set for a dramatic second day.  Ron Kenesky (Twenty Valley Golf Club) came sprinting out of the gate birdying his first four holes and again on his seventh.  Kenesky’s 4-under 68 was good enough to slingshot him up the leaderboard into a tie for seventh.  
 
The day was dominated by the shuffle at the top of the board.  Gord Burns started the day in top spot, but with so many players within reach it was difficult to hold.  Brian Hadley (Thames Valley Golf Club), already a two-time champion, started the day three back of Burns and with a double bogey on the fifth, he made the turn at 2-over for the day.  It didn’t take long for him to turn things around though, as he eagled the tenth hole for the second day in a row.  Hadley said, “The eagle on ten really got me going.  I wasn’t playing bad, other than the double, I was just making pars.  Bringing it back to even for the day let me hit the reset button and start getting aggressive.”  Hadley, Mr. 59, always has the ability to put up a really low number and he was showing that on the back nine adding four more birdies to his eagle.  He had the club house lead with only one group behind them, but Steve Rodriguez was in that group.  “I didn’t put my clubs away,” Hadley laughed after the round.  “I could see Steve on the live scoring in the clubhouse and he was making a ton of birdies.”  
 
Steve Rodriguez (GolfTEC Markham), who calls Whitevale Golf Club home, has been having a great year thus far and is always a threat to win.  Rodriguez was three back of the lead standing on the fifteenth tee.  After three consecutive birdies he was tied with Hadley with one to play.  A strong drive caught the right of the rough, and his second shot clipped a bunker rake beside the green and ricocheted almost into the garden beside the first tee.  Rodriguez made a very impressive up-and-down to force Hadley to a playoff.  
 
On the second playoff hole, Rodriguez and Hadley both smashed their driver at the 350 yard par-4 green.  Hadley finding himself with a difficult shot over a tree and Rodriguez was 30 yards short of the front.  Hadley managed to find the green on his second but wasn’t close to the hole.  Rodriguez, on the other hand, laid in a perfect chip shot, landing it beside the hole.  After a Hadley miss, and as Rodriguez stood over his ball, the gusting winds picked up, forcing him to step off.  The winds quickly died and with spectators looking on Rodriguez uncharacteristically missed his winning putt, giving Hadley life.  The third playoff hole settled nothing, and it was starting to look like neither player was going to break.  Both drives were centre cut on the fourth playoff hole, but Hadley was inside Rodriguez on their second shots.  After Rodriguez missed his long birdie try Hadley made no mistake and drained his for the win, making him a three-time champion.  “I was done on the second playoff hole,” Hadley confessed after the win. “Steve had me and he gave me a gift.  I just wanted to make sure I didn’t give any gifts back” Hadley finished the tournament with seven birdies and two eagles, at 7-under 135.  
 
Not only did Hadley take home his share of the $36,500 purse but he also “punched his ticket” to the 2017 TaylorMade adidas PGA Championship of Canada.  Big thanks to TaylorMade adidas Golf, St. Catharines Golf and Country Club, and congratulations to all of the players who competed hard and made this week a success. 
 
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