Golf Australia

Rushed Badds feels golf's wrath

Aaron Baddeley USGA
(Photo courtesy USGA/JD Cuban)

There are always hard-luck stories in major championships – and today it was Aaron Baddeley’s turn to feel the wrath of the unscrupulous golfing gods.

The Australian was all but broken after a double-bogey up the last hole left him to contemplate a 74, a five-over total and an early flight home to his Arizona base.

But the final-hole heartache was just the tip of the iceberg, leaving the dual Australian Open champion to ponder the game’s ruthless methods of dispensing justice.

“I’m just gutted,” the Victorian said before a long pause.

“Golf is a brutal game. It tests you like nothing else. It’s so frustrating. You work so hard and … it just doesn’t take much to not be around on the weekend.”


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The cause of his angst was not so much the inglorious finale, but, he claimed the rush with which he was forced to attempt it.

“We got put on the clock and it threw me off a little bit,” Baddeley said of the final five-hole stretch during which he also endured two bogeys after sitting well inside the cut line for much of his round.

“We got two really long rulings and those things happen … but the official … literally had the rule book out (to help make the decision).

“So I said to (another) official who ended up timing us, `Come on, you can’t’. And he said they still felt like we should be timed. That’s just not right.

“That was on 12 and then on 13, Andrew (Putnam) just had a bad hole and it just took longer (than normal) and then on 14 we got put on the clock and we just had to rush and it’s just frustrating ...

“We had two long rulings – one’s (an) official’s fault … and the other was looking for a ball after Andrew hit it in the hazard and it took a while to figure it out.

“I hit two bad tee shots on 15 and 16 … (that) both led to bogeys.”

Baddeley then curled in a stunning birdie putt on the tough par-three 17th to leave him at three over and, in his mind, needing a birdie up the closing par-five to ensure his weekend presence.

“I ripped a great drive up 18 and then just didn’t hit the shot I needed. I should have hit a 5-wood up the middle of the green to the edge up the back, but I ripped 4-iron (and it went) into the water.

“From there it was just a mess.”

“It’s so disappointing because the game felt great as I was going around, I felt every chance to be under par at the end of the day.

“I was just cruising along and made two quick bogeys and it’s … just so frustrating because the game feels like it’s ready.

“I thought if I can get through at even par, you never know because there’s a six under out there easy, maybe even eight under. You’ve obviously got to play well, but it’s not impossible and if you get to even today, you could do that tomorrow and be leading the golf tournament.

“It’s gutting. And it’s US Open. And it’s at Pebble Beach … I love it here. It’s gutting.”

“Golf … I’ll just pick myself up and go again next week I suppose.”

He wasn’t the only Aussie to make a premature exit from the year’s second men’s major.

Brett Drewitt needed a miracle after an opening 77, but was doomed when he fell to four over through eight holes today after starting on the 10th tee.

The New South Welshman fought gallantly with birdies on the 18th, second, third and fourth to make amends on his major championship debut.

But it ended ingloriously with a bogey on the sixth compounded by a quadruple-bogey on the eighth to finish with a 76 and fall to 11 over.

Corowa’s Marcus Fraser also compounded errors into three separate double-bogeys on the way to a second-round 79 and 10-over finish.

Sydney’s Matt Jones couldn’t quite extend his Pebble Beach love affair, despite a gallant attempt to bounce back from early disaster.

Jones, who played the US PGA Tour’s annual stopover at this resort for 12 consecutive years, was four over through five holes on day one. He played the next 31 holes in one under par, but needed one more birdie to advance than the two contained in his second-day 71.

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