Golf - Hadwin
Adam Hadwin of Canada (right), at the ninth green alongside caddie Joseph Cruz, during round one of the US Open Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Image Credit: AFP

Brookline: Adam Hadwin may have entered uncharted territory by grabbing the first-round lead at the US Open on Thursday but remained a picture of calm throughout and credited his caddie for keeping him grounded on the big stage.

Hadwin, with Joe Cruz on his bag, fired a four-under-par 66 at The Country Club outside Boston which marked his lowest score in 63 career rounds in major championships.

For his efforts, Hadwin earned his first lead/co-lead after any round in a major and yet he looked as if he had been in that position many times before.

“I think Joe is so even-keel that looking at him you would never know if I was five-under or five-over, which is great. That’s what you want to have as a player,” the 34-year-old Canadian told reporters.

“Like I’ve mentioned, I’ve been trying to work on that myself. I’m trying to be a little bit more even-keel, maybe a little less emotional on the golf course even though it comes out at times.”

Whereas once there would have been fits and slammed clubs after missed shots, Hadwin was a picture of poise playing a tournament known as golf’s toughest test while on a layout that features tight fairways, lush rough and small greens.

After his first bogey of the day, at the par-four third, Hadwin kept a smile on his bearded face and went on to birdie five of the next six holes to surge up the leaderboard.

He also followed his only other bogey with a birdie even while dealing with the tougher afternoon conditions as the wind started to pick up.

“Not much better of a start to a US Open I don’t think that you can ask for,” said Hadwin. “I did a lot of good things. Got a nice run there midway through the front. I do think there’s a few more scorable holes as long as you hit good quality golf shots there.”