Badds defeats Chopra in playoff marathon
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2007 MasterCard Masters | Round Four | 25 Nov 2007
Aaron Baddeley lasted a four-hole playoff with Daniel Chopra, to claim the Australian MasterCard Masters at Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne today.
It was the fifth time in six years the Australian Masters was decided in a playoff. Baddeley could have sealed victory on the first playoff hole, missing an eight-footer for birdie, instead the crowd was entertained to a tremendous dual.
“I was just trying to grind Dan down,” remarked a relieved Baddeley.
“My shot making was great today and I was hitting the ball where I wanted and I felt like I was doing everything well.”
It’s Baddeley’s first gold jacket, and represents one of his most prized victories.
“To win here at Huntingdale is very special,” commented Baddeley.
“I played Pennant Golf, as well as my junior golf at Huntingdale, so it’s something that I always wanted to achieve to win a major tournament here. It’s unique and somewhere where you grew up and win makes it something very special. It’s a big stepping stone for me, as to how well I played today.”
Stuart Appleby finished third, at eleven-under, followed by Peter O’Malley at ten-under. David Horsey, who recently turned professional after the Walker Cup, had the day’s low round 65, to elevate the Englishman into T5 at nine-under, along with Peter Lonard and Rod Pampling.
Appleby earlier was looking to be in contention for his first Australian Masters victory and was at thirteen-under going down the eighteenth. A misjudged drive resulted in his ball short and in the left fairway bunker. It would prove a costly error.
His approach shot failed to reach the 18th green and from there a double-bogey resulted.
“If I hit a better drive it would have made the hole a hell of a lot easier,” remarked Appleby.
“The cards did not fall my way. I hit a lot of fairways traps this week and was watching my caddie rake a lot. Very rarely do you get the ball on the green out of the fairway traps around here, they’re penal.”
Rod Pampling was another who had his chances to win, at one stage sharing the lead, however, fell away over the closing holes. A similar fate also fell upon Kurt Barnes, who finished T8 with a closing 75.
Today’s victory was Baddeley’s fourth on home soil and clearly one of his most emotional, as well as important, victories in his career to date.
“It was the way that I played this week, that I was most happy with,” remarked the world number 18.
“Today was a big stepping stone and finishing the way that I did. I can still see where I can improve on, but today was definitely a big step for me and I’m looking forward to the Australian summer.”
The MasterCard Masters has delivered yet another nail-biting ending with our marquee players including Pampling, Lonard, Appleby and Allenby all in contention at one stage in the tournament.
It’s another signal of what hopefully will be a summer of sensational golf. As for Baddeley, today he became the Master of Huntingdale and put to rest some demons in the process.