Date: February 25, 2019
Author: Martin Blake

Badds has bittersweet day in Puerto Rico

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Aaron Baddeley began this season with only limited status on the main US PGA Tour, but two big results have given him a chance of playing his way back on to the tour.

Baddeley had a disappointing finish to the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande today, fading from the overnight lead to finish tied-second, frittering away his lead with three bogeys on the front nine before rallying when it was too late.

But the second-place result along with his T4 in the Safeway Open earlier in the season give him valuable Fedex Cup points that give him a chance of graduating, even with limited starts. The Victorian finished 137th in the standings last season, outside the top 125 who have full status, and then missed another opportunity at the Finals. He is 54th in the standings this season.

Today Baddeley, who has converted just two of eight 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour, shot a final-round 72, even-par, to be overtaken by American Martin Trainer. Two young Australians, Curtis Luck (25th)  and Cameron Davis (16th) also finished in the top 30.

Meanwhile in Mexico City, Dustin Johnson blitzed the field in the World Golf Championship event, winning by five shots. Johnson began with a comfortable buffer and closed with a 66. When Rory McIlroy tried to pressure him with six birdies on the back nine, the American made five himself.

Queenslander Cameron Smith was tied-sixth after a closing 70, earning $US261,000 for his trouble.

Tiger Woods finished tied for 10th as he builds towards the Masters at Augusta National, just seven weeks away.

In his first appearance at a WGC event, Australasian order-of-merit winner Jake McLeod finished tied-45th, picking up a $US 65,000 cheque.