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Baddeley Impresses Els

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Aaron Baddeley is 'one hell of a player and is going to get even better,' Sony Open champion Ernie Els said on his website (www.ernieels.com).
 
Els' start at the Sony was 2-over after five holes after his season-opening victory the week previous at the Mercedes Championships. He rebounded nicely to shoot 66, however, and carded a 65 Friday.
 
At Waialea Country Club, 'the scoring in the Sony wasnt quite as low as the previous week, but that wasnt surprising,' wrote Els. 'The greens are smaller and the fairways narrower, many of them doglegs, so it was easier to find the rough. Also the wind blew, which makes it tougher to hit approach shots close to the pins.'
 
Baddelely's game reminded Els 'of the way I used to play when I was his age - hitting it all over the place, but scrambling and scoring well.' The two were tied at 16-under after regulation, but 'my putter came alive in the playoff. After short-siding myself on the 10th, where I went for the green again with my driver but hooked it way left, I pitched to 55 feet and holed the putt.'
 
Baddeley 'showed a lot of guts. Hes a great player, and hes got lots of confidence. I think he has an unbelievable future ahead of him and Im sure his turn to win will come soon enough,' wrote Els.
 
Els said he is obviously ecstatic at winning the first two tournaments. 'A lot of this good play I have to put down to simply working on the fundamentals. Ricci and I have been keeping an eye on my alignment and ball position at address, which is so important...for any golfer. Also, I weakened my left-hand grip just a fraction, which means I can really let it go and release the club through the hitting area. Thats what has helped me drive the ball so well,' he wrote.