Badds Torrey Pines breakthrough


Some missed cuts are better than others. Take Aaron Baddeley’s early-week exit from last month’s Farmers Insurance Open, a 76-70 wash that would have otherwise been reason to spend the weekend sulking. That is if not for the breakthrough the Australian had on Wednesday at Torrey Pines.

“There actually was an epiphany this year at Torrey Pines,” said Baddeley’s swing coach Dale Lynch. “He was wandering around on Wednesday before the pro-am and realized he’d been playing more afraid to make a bad swing than hitting a particular shot and trust that it will work.”

Baddeley began working with Lynch when he was a 13-year-old phenom attending the Victorian Institute of Sport but the two parted ways when he turned professional seven years later.

The duo reunited two years ago at Doral when, Lynch said, “his game was at its lowest. Very short and very crooked.” In 2009 Baddeley ranked 97th in driving distance on Tour and 163rd in driving accuracy.

Baddeley has always been renowned as a clutch putter but his ballstriking has started to match his putting prowess. He ranked seventh in greens in regulation at Pebble Beach and TPC Scottsdale and was third this week at Riviera on his way to a two-stroke victory over Vijay Singh.

And it all started with that missed cut at Torrey Pines. “It was great,” Lynch laughed late Sunday.