16 Jan 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Baddeley’s bonus for Sony Open top 10

by Australian Golf Media

Aaron Baddeley.

By Tony Webeck

A brilliant final round of five-under 65 has not only secured Aaron Baddeley a top-10 finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii but exemption into this week’s The American Express in California.

Playing with limited status on the PGA TOUR this season, Baddeley was not even in the field at the start of the week, receiving a late exemption to take his place in the field.

He made the most of the opportunity, posting consecutive 65s over the weekend to earn a share of seventh and the certainty of a start this week.

Admitting that the doubt around his schedule is harder on his family than it is on him, Baddeley was nonetheless grateful for a second top-10 finish on the season.

“The main goal (at the start of the week) was just to get a little bit better every day,” said the 41-year-old.

“Obviously I want to win. A win takes care of everything. That’s definitely the No.1 goal. Next goal would be top 10.

“Funnily, I’ve treated these a little bit like a Monday qualifier, just a four-day qualifier, and there’s 10 spots instead of four.

“I’ve felt like the game is there. I don’t feel like I’m trying to find anything.

“It’s just a matter of getting some starts, and I feel like my game will just take care of the rest. It’s in that spot.”

In a bogey-free final round, Baddeley hit 85.71 per cent of fairways and 83.33 per cent of greens in regulation, crediting his connection with Florida-based instructor Mike Adams for a much-needed injection of confidence in his ball-striking.

“I’ve hit it pretty crooked for a lot of my career,” admitted Baddeley, whose most recent PGA TOUR win was the 2015 Barbasol Championship.

“To be able to stand up and just trust that I can just hit the shot and be comfortable with that, I feel like it really only comes with hitting the shot and having that positive feedback.

“You can try and think as positive as you want and do that, but to actually see it and know it’s going to go where it needs to go, that’s the reinforcement that I can stand there and just swing away.”

It was shaping as a dual top-10 finish for the Aussies until a late stumble by Adam Scott.

Sparking his tournament to life with three straight birdies to close out Round 1, Scott followed it up with rounds of 66-67-67 to finish tied for 21st.

Scott sat inside the top 10 when he converted from just outside six feet at the par-4 14th but a bogey at the par-3 17th and par at the par-5 18th resulted in a drop down the leaderboard.

“I liked some of the things that I worked on throughout the week and felt like it’s in a goodspot going forward, that’s for sure,” said Scott, who will now spend a month back in Australia.

“If I was super critical of my game, I’d say I’m underprepared at the moment and need practice in all areas to lift it up to a better level.

“But the fact of the matter is I’m really only interested in a few weeks a year.

“As long as I’m ready for them, the rest is just ticking boxes.”

Sydney’s Cam Davis closed out his first tournament of 2023 with a three-under 67 to finish tied for 32nd.

Victorian Tom Power Horan topped Section E of Asian Tour Qualifying School as seven Aussies advanced to Final Stage starting Wednesday while Curtis Luck (68, T16) is the best-placed Australian after the opening round of the Korn Ferry Tour event in the Bahamas.


PGA TOUR Sony Open in Hawaii Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii 1            Si Woo Kim        67-67-64-64—262           $US1.422m T7          Aaron Baddeley 67-70-65-65—267           $231,865 T21        Adam Scott        69-66-67-67—269           $77,025 T32        Cam Davis          66-70-68-67—271           $41,387 T48        Danny Lee (NZ)  69-68-67-69—273           $20,250 MC        Harrison Endycott           77-69—146

Asian Tour Qualifying School Section E Springfield Royal Country Club, Thailand 1            Tom Power Horan          70-66-68-68—272 7            James Hydes (a, NZ)        66-71-71-70—278 T12        John Lyras          76-66-69-69—280 T12        Doug Klein          70-70-68-72—280 T19        Charlie Dann     75-73-65-70—283 T19        Dylan Perry        70-68-71-74—283 Failed to qualify T29        Jeongwoo Ha     72-76-69-68—285 T29        Ed Donoghue    71-69-73-72—285 T35        Darcy Brereton 72-71-71-72—286 T39        Matias Sanchez 71-68-73-75—287 T42        Aiden Didone    75-71-69-73—288 T58        Ben Eccles          72-74-73-74—293 T62        Blake Collyer     74-68-78—220 T69        Brett Rankin      75-70-77—222 T90        Scott Adams (NZ)            77-75-75—227 T90        Chris Crabtree   81-73-73—227 T92        Jeremy Fuchs     80-75-73—228 T95        Lachlan Armour 74-82-73—229 T105      Darshan Shivalkar           79-78-76—233

Section D Thana City Country Club, Thailand T11        Nick Voke (NZ)  70-71-71-64—276 T16        Aaron Wilkin      70-74-66-68—278 T21        Doeun An           72-70-66-71—279 Failed to qualify T26        Peter Wilson      69-69-72-70—280 T48        Andre Lautee     70-69-70-77—286 T62        James Marchesani          71-70-74—215 T68        Nathan Buzimkic             72-72-72—216 T86        Mark Hutson (NZ)           78-69-72—219 T113      Bond Chan (a)   75-77-74—226

Korn Ferry Tour The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club, Great Exhuma, Bahamas Round 1 1            Jeremy Paul       65 T16        Curtis Luck         70 T28        Brett Drewitt     71 T121      Rhein Gibson     78

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