Baddeleys Day Goes from Bad to Worse

By Associated PressJune 17, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenOAKMONT, Pa. -- After winning the Australian Open as an 18-year-old amateur, Aaron Baddeley spoke confidently of someday taking on Tiger Woods for major championships. Eight years later, someday arrived Sunday at the U.S. Open.
Unfortunately for Baddeley, his game didn't. His day started badly and only got worse during a 10-over 80 that represented the worst final-round letdown by a contender since Jason Gore went from second place to 49th with an 84 at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2005.
Baddeley, normally an erratic driver but an excellent putter, went from a two-shot lead to a stroke behind with a triple bogey on the first hole after he inexplicably three-putted from 8 feet.
'I finally got it in the hole,' Baddeley said afterward, trying to find some humor in a round that was anything but pleasant.
Maybe it was playing with Woods. Maybe Baddeley looked around and realized where he was and what he was playing for, but he never displayed the form that led to 72-70-70 over his first three rounds.
'That 7 on No. 1 definitely hurt,' he said. 'But I looked at it and said, `This isn't over. I still have a chance.' When I walked off the green, I wasn't all that disappointed.'
Still, they don't refer to Oakmont as Chokemont for nothing, given how many others have gone through similar finishes there in majors.
Baddeley tried not to let the triple get to him, getting pars on the next five holes. But he missed one makable birdie putt after another, and a double-bogey 6 at the difficult 479-yard seventh effectively ended any chance at a comeback.
'If I make a few putts on the front nine ... ' he said. 'If I make that first putt on No. 1 for bogey. I three putt No. 4 for par and miss an 8-footer on the next and a 6-footer on the next, you make any of those putts, then, all of a sudden, who knows? I had no momentum with me at all.'
Any Baddeley fans tuning on TV after the first hole probably never realized he was playing with Woods. Baddeley was almost never shown again until No. 18, when Woods couldn't make a long birdie putt to tie Angel Cabrera and force a playoff.
'I knew I had to do something to fight back, but I never got it together,' Baddeley said.
Baddeley's 80 was the worst score Sunday by any of the top 50 finishers. He added five bogeys to go with the triple and the double, and had no birdies. Still, it beat his first two U.S. Open appearances in 2000 and 2004 when he missed the cut.
TGCPAGE NAME=Continued...>It wasn't a good day either for some non-Americans who were challenging going into the final round. Justin Rose and Paul Casey of England and Stephen Ames of Canada, three off the lead after the third round, shot identical 6-over 76s to tie for 10th.
Baddeley, 10th on the PGA Tour money list and a winner in Phoenix earlier this year, found it difficult to explain how his round got away from him. His preparation was the same and he didn't feel unusually nervous when he arrived at the course.
'Everything was the same as it's always been,' he said. 'I had a good night's sleep and I spent some quiet time with my family. Everything felt normal.'
Baddeley also felt a conversation with Jack Nicklaus several weeks ago at the Memorial helped him better prepare for the mental rigors that go with playing a major.
'I'm not going to say anything, but I'll take something from what he said (into the final round), absolutely,' the 26-year-old Baddeley said Saturday.
What will he take from this disappointment?
'I got a taste of it,' he said. 'I know what I need to do and I know I can compete in a major and have a chance to win. I got a taste and I'll be back.'
Ian Poulter, from England, commiserated with Baddeley after his 7-over 77 tied him for 36th.
'It's unbelievable. It's frightening,' Poulter said of Oakmont. 'It is that unbelievably hard. It's laughable.'
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    Snedeker starts slow in effort to snag Masters invite

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

    Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

    Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

    Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

    "I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

    Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

    Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

    Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

    Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

    By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

    Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

    Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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    LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

    The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

    LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

    "The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

    It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

    "He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."