Victoria’s Aaron Baddeley is more confused than ever about the state of his game, which has been fluctuating from promising to poor.
Working on perceived swing problems on the practice fairway with Melbourne coach Dale Lynch, Baddeley is convinced he has worked out the technicalities which have been holding him back.
But the results have not exactly borne that out.
Baddeley has had a dismal time in the majors this year but in between has had rare glimpses of good form.
He finished 40th in the Masters, missed the cut in the US Open, was 69th in the British Open and 42nd in the PGA.
And he has missed the cut last week at The Barclays, the first of the all-important FedEx play-off tournaments.
But Baddeley has had some cause for optimism – there have been five top 12 finishes, most at big events, including a share of eighth earlier this month at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Baddeley thought he had sorted out his swing issues during his practice sessions, but it was a different story on the course.
According to Lynch, his pupil was trying to fix his problems using the wrong methods.
"He was basically sabotaging himself because he was trying to make a fix in the complete wrong way when I left him on his own," Lynch said.
"It was a perception thing. He thought he was doing what we talked about but he was actually feeling the wrong things.
"Essentially, he was trying to manipulate his arms on the downswing instead of just letting them go and it was causing him problems."
Before this week, Baddeley thought he was on the right path.
"I’m very confident I am on top of the concept issue we had and am building to something good," Baddeley said.
"The results in majors haven’t been exactly what I’ve wanted but there have been some good signs recently and I’m looking forward to this week."
"I’m starting to drive it nice and long and I’m feeling really great after a strong finish last week," he said.
Baddeley finished way down the board as he tumbled out after two rounds of Bethpage Black in New York last weekend.
American Nick Watney won the Barclays, firing a two-under par 69 to win by three shots from compatriot Brandt Snedeker.
West Australian Greg Chalmers was the best of the Australian players, finishing ninth at four under. He was followed by Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden (both T19), Jason Day (T24), Rod Pampling (T46) and Adam Scott (62).
Missing the cut along with Baddeley were Robert Allenby and Marc Leishman.
Watney is now assured of a shot at the $US10 million prize at the Tour Championship next month.
Winning against one of the strongest fields of the year also puts him in the conversation as a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup.
By: Rob Grant