Brian Hadley has the personality of a guy who remains chill even in the most furious conditions. So it was no surprise to see him leading the PGA Club Professional Championship of Canada presented by Titleist & FootJoy after a blustery first round at the Port Royal Golf Club in Bermuda.
Hadley, the head golf professional at Thames Valley Golf Club in London, Ont., posted a remarkable 1-over-par 72 in sustained 40km/h winds.
“Other than the double I made on the seventh hole, I played pretty solidly out there today,” Hadley said about this first round that featured three birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey. “My game plan today was to just get it in play off the tee, hit a lot of greens and shoot somewhere around even-par.”
Scott Allred of Elbow Springs Golf Club in Alberta and the Outback Golf Academy & Golf Show’s Craig Hocknull sit two-shots back of Hadley in a share of second place after matching 74’s on Tuesday. Last year’s champion Danny King of The Performance Academy at Magna, Victoria Golf Club’s Lindsay Bernakevitch and 2004 winner Ian Doig are T4 at 3-over-par.
While he’s never won on the national stage before, Hadley is no stranger to playing well in big events. Earlier this season he won the PGA of Ontario Championship for the third time since 2012. He also played in the 2013 RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour (after winning the Ontario qualifier) and shot a 59 (13-under-par) in the first round of the 2013 PGA of Ontario Championship.
But even with a history of playing well when it counts, the 35-year-old says he’s not about to get ahead of himself this week at Port Royal.
“There’s still a lot of golf to played out here this week,” he said. “I don’t think the wind is going anywhere, so I’ve just got to keep doing the same things that worked for me today and avoid the big number.”
“But, this is a PGA of Canada national championship so it would be pretty fun to be in contention later this week.”