Aaron Baddeley Interview - FBR Open
BY iseekgolf.com | US PGA Tour | 2007 FBR Open | Final Round | 05 Feb 2007
Q: We welcome our 2007 FBR champion, Aaron Baddeley. Aaron, with a great final round, your second career win, you move to No. 3 on the Money List for the year, No. 4 on the FedExCup points standings list. Maybe just talk a little bit about the day, and then we’ll let them ask questions.
Aaron Baddeley: I mean, Jeff played great today. I mean, he was playing great all day. I wasn’t trying to catch him. Every time I made a birdie, he’d make a birdie. I’m sure Jeff is disappointed about how he finished. But I was really just trying to put pressure on him towards the end. When I got three back I was really just thinking if I can be one back playing the last hole, I’ve got a chance.
I just tried to make some birdies, and that’s what I did.
Q: It kind of came down to neighbourhood bragging rights; is that a fair way to say it?
Aaron Baddeley: Nearly, yeah.
Q: What were you thinking when you saw his tee shot go in the water?
Aaron Baddeley: I was thinking that – I thought he was going to make par. I assumed he was going to make par. So I knew I still had to make my birdie to either pull even or just put pressure on him. He hit a great wedge shot, so the pressure was back on me now to try and hit a good pitch shot. I hit a real nice pitch shot and a great putt. That was probably one of the best putts I hit all week there.
Yeah, so that’s what I was thinking.
Q: Did you know early on – when Vijay came out with a hot start early, did you know that you had to go – that it was going to be pretty much a track meet all day?
Aaron Baddeley: I thought I was going to have to shoot a low one again today to win because I knew Jeff was playing great, and he started out real nice. I knew it was going to be – I was going to have to play hard and play strong and play good.
Q: Can you relate to Jeff’s nerves trying to win that first one? I know you won your first one last year. It’s a tough thing on the PGA TOUR, isn’t it?
Aaron Baddeley: Yeah, I was definitely a lot more calm today than I was at Hilton Head coming down the stretch there. I was definitely – I had a lot more confidence probably because I had been there, but also that I was more comfortable in my golf swing, as well, from all the hard work I’ve been putting in.
Q: Did you say there was a hole that was a turning point for you, 15, 16, that you really felt like -
Aaron Baddeley: I think it was 17. That was the turning point, just the two-shot swing. We had like three or four two-shot swing holes today. I was just trying to catch him, making birdie on 15 and making a really good putt on 16. I was still behind at that point, so yeah, I think that was the turning point right there.
Q: If I got it right, I think you bogeyed one out of the last 40 holes. Can you talk about the one and how you were feeling after that today?
Aaron Baddeley: I mean, that one was the hole that Jeff birdied, so that was another one of the two-shot swings. I mean, I had a horrible lie on the left side there on 14. I was sitting in a divot. There was only one divot there and I was in it. But I was just trying to stay strong. After that, I was like, hey, there’s birdie holes to finish, if I can finish with some birdies, who knows what can happen. That’s why I was sort of just trying to hang in there.
Q: That’s what I wanted to ask, where the ball was on 14.
Aaron Baddeley: It was in a divot, yeah.
Q: What is the difference between this win and the first one?
Aaron Baddeley: This one is not as much – I wouldn’t say it’s as much of a relief. The first one felt more of a relief, where this one is sort of more like, all right, now we’re making headway to where I want to go. It’s sort of two totally different feelings. It’s another steppingstone, where the first one felt more of a relief and just like taking the first step. Does that make sense?
Q: Where do you want to go? How deep is your ambition?
Aaron Baddeley: I want to be the best. I mean, Tiger is the best for sure right now, and I think if I can just keep working hard, keep plugging away, in five, ten years’ time, I’m just going to keep working as much as I can, you know. I want to win major championships. Yeah, I mean, that’s where I want to go.
It’s a long way to go yet, I know that, a lot of hard work to be put in. But I’m definitely setting my sights on that.
Q: You’ve always had high hopes. How difficult is it to stay patient the first few years of your pro career?
Aaron Baddeley: It was very frustrating. I mean, back in 2000 I was close to quitting the game, so – but I think what happened during that period was my character was really developed. Through the tough times and through the difficult times, my character really grew where I was able to start to withstand more affliction, I guess you could say, where when things wouldn’t go right, okay, keep being patient, keep doing this, and the whole time my character was just being built to where I wanted to go.
Q: Did you get a sense while you were playing of that sort of divided crowd? It was kind of a USA versus Aussie contingent. Did you feel that at all a little bit?
Aaron Baddeley: I can’t say I did. All day people just yelling out, “go Aaron,” “go Jeff,” and all my family and friends made shirts last night, “The Badds Brigade.” I’ve been blown away the amount of people that have come out to support me, absolutely blown away.
Q: So that’s where all those tee shirts came from?
Aaron Baddeley: Yeah, Renee made them last night, my sister-in-law.
Q: You were second in the field in putting, 4 for 4 out of the bunkers all week long. If you had to pick one stat that got you to the winner’s circle throughout the week, what would it be?
Aaron Baddeley: Can I pick two? I would say one would be putting because I’ve been struggling with my putting and the last couple weeks I had off I’ve been working on my putting. Last week I went to a wedding. I was best man at my best mate’s wedding, and I took my putter with me and was putting in the hotel room because I wanted to work hard on it. That would be the number one thing.
Q: You talked a little bit about a lot of golfers today with Arizona ties played well in this tournament, in the Top 20 or so?
Aaron Baddeley: Here I think the ball flies a little bit further than it does like in California or Florida. I really feel the ball goes a little bit further here in Arizona, and just getting adjusted to that can be a little bit difficult if you don’t live here. So it’s like at home, I can play with my normal yardages, plus you’ve got all your family and friends supporting you, so it’s pretty cool.
Q: Big payday. Are you going to buy anything -
Aaron Baddeley: I was blown away, like whoa.
Q: Anything you need to buy immediately?
Aaron Baddeley: No, I don’t need anything right now. I just got a new car, so I don’t need to worry about it. We’ll store that away, save it, invest it wisely.
Q: Where was the wedding?
Aaron Baddeley: It was in Flatrock, North Carolina.
Q: Anybody we know?
Aaron Baddeley: It was my best mate, Mark Walkenhorst. You wouldn’t know him. He’s from Australia. We grew up since grade one together, and he’s my best mate, so it was pretty cool to be standing alongside him when he got married.
Q: When was that?
Aaron Baddeley: Last Saturday.
Q: And you had the putter with you?
Aaron Baddeley: I had my putter in my hotel room and I was putting away.
Q: You have dual citizenship, right?
Aaron Baddeley: Correct.
Q: Do you feel more like an American or more like an Australian?
Aaron Baddeley: I feel more like an Australian, but I really feel like this is like my adopted home. I really feel like this is my home here in Arizona. I love Australia, I loved living there, I love everything about it, and I loved living here, too. If there was two places I could pick to live in the world, it would be Melbourne, Australia, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
I’m not fudging anything. This is the easiest place to live here in the world, Scottsdale, and Melbourne was voted the most livable city in the world, so you’ve got it pretty good.
Source – FBR Open