RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico — Chesson Hadley dreamed about a day like this as a child –other than the tossing and turning in bed and queasy stomach.
“I was so nervous,” Hadley said Sunday after winning the Puerto Rico Open for his first PGA Tour victory. “I did not eat well last night. I did not eat well this morning.”
The former Georgia Tech golfer held off Danny Lee by two strokes in wind gusting to 25 mph at Trump International.
“I wasn’t vomiting or anything, but there were a couple of times where I felt nauseous out on the course,” Hadley said. “I went to bed. I watched maybe three minutes of the Duke-Carolina game. I fell right asleep and I woke up ready to go about 5:30, 6, and I never really went back to sleep, just kind of tossed and turned. “
Making his 13th PGA Tour start, the 26-year-old Hadley birdied the final two holes for a 5-under 67. He’s the first rookie winner since Jordan Spieth in July in the John Deere Classic.
“It’s incredible. It’s a dream come true,” Hadley said. “This is what you dream of as a 6-year-old out in the bunker, hitting bunker shots on the range.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’ll be nice to sleep on it and wake up in the morning knowing I’m a PGA Tour champion and nobody can ever take that away from me.”
Hadley finished at 21-under 267 and earned $630,000, a two-year tour exemption and spots in The Players Championship, PGA Championship and Tournament of Champions. He will move into the mid-60s in the world ranking, giving him a chance to get into the Masters Tournament if he can crack the top 50 at the end of the Texas Open.
“It opens up a lot of doors,” Hadley said. “It guarantees me a major. I’ve never played in a major before.”
Hadley won twice last year on the Web.com Tour, taking the Rex Hospital Open in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., and the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.
WEB.COM TOUR: In Santiago, Chile, Adam Hadwin won the Chile Classic on Sunday for first title, birdieing the final two holes for a one-stroke victory overAlistair Presnell.
Hadwin shot a 3-under 69 at Prince of Wales Country Club for a 16-under 272 total. He earned $117,000.
Presnell eagled the par-5 18th for 68.
Former Augusta State star Henrik Norlander tied for third after 69.
It was his best finish as a pro.
Sung Joon Park, and American Kyle Reifers also tied for third. Park shot 66, Norlander had 69, and Reifers 71.