Date: September 07, 2008

Baddeley bracing for an assault

Aaron Baddeley remains at the pointy end of the leaderboard after three rounds of the weather-hit BMW Championship. The Australian is eight-under-par overall, four strokes adrift of joint progressive leaders American Jim Furyk (finished) and Colombian Camilo Villegas (13 holes) who were both 12-under before play was halted for the day in fading light. Baddeley, who like Furyk was fortunate enough to complete his third round, registered a three-under-par 67 which included four birdies and a bogey to sit in equal fifth spot with one round remaining. Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby are the next-best Aussies on three-under while Matthew Goggin and Adam Scott sit on two- and one-under overall respectively. Furyk produced a stunning day of golf to claim the clubhouse lead of the tournament. The American displayed more than an occasional flash of brilliance to shoot a course-record eight-under-par 62 in the second round before going out and following it up with a third-round 66, earning a share of the lead with Villegas. Villegas, who was among 23 players unable to complete the third round, negotiated 13 holes before play was suspended. Brian Gay sits two strokes back with three holes to play, with Anthony Kim a shot further back with one hole to negotiate when play resumes on Sunday morning (US time). “I tried to pace myself all day, knowing we were going to be out there for 36 holes,” Furyk said. Furyk stormed home on the back nine of his second round in 28 strokes after picking up birdies over his final five holes. “My goal was to play two solid rounds,” he added. “It was solid all day, but that back nine really leap-frogged me from nowhere to close to the lead.” Furyk did not finish the third round quite as well, bogeying the final hole, but was hardly in a mood to complain after knocking in a five-footer to avoid dropping two shots. “I still walk away in a positive frame of mind,” he said. “I went at the pin with a wedge and it didn&apost work out.” “It&aposs easy to make a mental mistake when you&aposre tired, when your mind wanders for a little bit. All of a sudden you think &aposwhat was I doing there? What was I thinking at that moment&apos?” Furyk has not won this year, but insists that does not mean he has played badly. “My putting has been a little inconsistent and earlier in the year my driver was a little inconsistent too,” he said. Villegas, meanwhile, had no complaints about the late finish and early start. “We knew we weren&apost going to finish, so you just prepare yourself mentally and come back in the morning,” he said. “I&aposm enjoying playing golf right now. I&aposm rolling in some great putts and I&aposm excited about tomorrow.” Sergio Garcia headed a disappointing European contingent seven strokes off the pace after a 69. The highlight of his day was a hole-in-one at the third hole during the second round when the Spaniard used a five-iron from 205 yards to record the first ace of his career. Irishman Padraig Harrington was near the tail of the field, 14 strokes behind after a 72 that included only one birdie. Officials had hoped to complete two rounds on Saturday to make up for Thursday&aposs washout, but a 90-minute morning-fog delay halted proceedings.