Date: November 15, 2006
Author: Luke Buttigieg

Baddeley excited about 2007

By Luke Buttigieg, Sportal Dual MFS Australian Open champion Aaron Baddeley is excited about the challenges that lie ahead in 2007 after taking further giant strides in his game this year, including his maiden US PGA Tour victory. Baddeley stormed onto the golf scene in 1999 when he won that year&aposs Australian Open at Royal Sydney, which is also the site of this week&aposs event, and then showed that win was no fluke by backing up 12 months later soon after turning pro. But while he has showed plenty of promise and done some superb things in the game since, including winning the 2001 Greg Norman International, Baddeley had to wait five more years for his next triumph. That came, somewhat appropriately considering his religious beliefs, on Easter Sunday in the United States in April when he won the Verizon Heritage tournament at the Harbour Town Golf Links course in Hilton Head, South Carolina. In the other 24 events he contested in America in 2006 Baddeley also managed two top 10 finishes and six top 25 results as he made the cut on 14 occasions, and he was ranked first in putts per round on tour and 11th in putts per green in regulation. Summing up his year, Baddeley was satisfied but keen to take another big step forward in 2007. “I would say a little inconsistent but very positive because I made a lot made some changes to my swing, I made some changes I&aposm really looking forward to next year, just through the progress I&aposve made this year so it&aposs great,” he said. “It was a good year but at the same time I would&aposve liked to have made a few more cuts, made Tour Championship, but like I said, from the progress I made and some changes I&aposve made, I&aposm looking forward to next year.” Expanding on some of the areas of his game that may not have pleased him as much, Baddeley pointed out the fact that he has been refining his swing in recent months and expects the changes to start to bear fruit soon. “I&aposm very happy,” Baddeley said. “The overall stats don&apost show it because I was still making changes to my swing during the year and the last months if you looked at my stats they&aposd be pretty good.” “I used to feel like if I hit 10 fairways, say two years ago, I would have been pretty happy and I would&aposve been ecstatic where now if I hit 10 fairways around I&aposm sort of, &aposdidn&apost drive it all the best. I&aposve really got my ball-striking just going on a steep upward curve right now.” After playing this week&aposs MFS Australian Open Baddeley will head to Melbourne next week for the MasterCard Masters at Huntingdale before then flying back to the US to spend Christmas with his wife&aposs family and prepare for next year.