Golf-Hadley on Palmetto collapse: 'freakin' awful'

Jun 13, 2021; Ridgeland, South Carolina, USA; Chesson Hadley on the second tee during the final round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Chesson Hadley was on the cusp of his first PGA Tour win in seven years on Sunday until a disastrous finish at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree where he bogeyed the final three holes to finish one shot back.

Hadley, who missed the cut in 10 of his last 12 events, started the final round with a four-shot lead but fell apart in spectacular fashion as he carded a four-over-par 75 at Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, South Carolina.

That left Hadley, who hit just four greens in regulation during the final round, at 10 under on the week and in a six-way share of second place.

"I can only imagine what it looked like on TV because it looked freakin' awful from my view," said Hadley, whose sole PGA Tour win came at the 2014 Puerto Rico Open. "I mean, I could barely keep it on the planet."

Hadley had a tough lie in a fairway bunker at the par-four 16th where he went on to make the first of three consecutive bogeys and then missed the green with both of his approach shots on the last two holes.

The poor finish made Hadley the first player to fail to convert a 54-hole lead of four strokes or more on the PGA Tour since Justin Thomas, currently ranked number two in the world, squandered the same cushion at the 2019 Genesis Invitational.

"I hate the word choked. That's not the right word because that's a very negative word, but I didn't handle it the way I needed to handle it," said Hadley. "So we'll go get them next time."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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