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Partnership paying off for Hadwin, Taylor

Nick Taylor Adam Hadwin Nick Taylor Adam Hadwin - Getty Images

Although it was a bumpier ride in the alternate-shot format and there were a few too many squares on the scorecard than they liked, Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor are up near the top of the leaderboard at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

The Canadian duo posted a round of three-under 69 that was made up of seven birdies and four bogeys, one of which came at their last hole, the ninth. That didn’t seem to diminish the positivity the two players seemed to carry as they came off the course after a blustery day at TPC Louisiana.

“We got off to a really nice start, which I think was pretty key in the wind,” said Taylor. I expected bogeys out there with the difficulty of the wind.

“I felt like we took advantage of a lot of the wedge holes, and we had those shots in and rolled some nice putts in. Overall, it was a really good day.”

The round left them one shot off the lead at that time.

The pair started the day on the right note, making birdies on the first two holes. They fell back with a bogey at the 12th (their third hole) but made two more birdies to finish the opening nine. Three birdies and three bogeys balanced off the second nine to leave the two at 12 under.

Taylor and Hadwin have known each other since they were 12, growing up in Abbotsford, B.C., and playing golf at Ledgeview Golf Club. While they have played in competition together before, notably the 2018 World Cup, last year was the first occasion they teed it up in this tournament. It certainly worked as they ended up second, two shot behind winners Nick Davis and Davis Riley.

“I think that Nick and I play very similar games,” stated Hadwin. “Keep it in play, hit lots of greens. We're both very good putters. In best-ball format we have usually two balls in play and two chances for birdie every hole, which I think takes pressure off one guy. Then in this alternate-shot format, again, we keep it in play, nothing too crazy, limit mistakes.”

There’s a good chance the partnership could continue later this year. Both are in position to represent Canada in this summer’s Olympics in Paris in August, although that is an individual competition. They are also likely to be on the International Team for September’s Presidents Cup in Montreal.

Both those are down the road a bit in terms of preparation. For now, the focus will be on Saturday’s round which returns to the better-ball format use on Thursday. Stronger winds are expected for both days of the weekend.

Of course, as good Canadian boys, they will also have something else on their minds before the next tee time.

“We'll meet tonight, but I don't think we'll be concerned with what happens tomorrow,” said Hadwin.” We'll watch the hockey game tonight, hang out, have some fun.”

Both players are loyal Canucks fans and will be trying to give them a lift in the third game of their playoff series with Nashville.