A delighted Aaron Baddeley said he never lost the belief he could win his first MasterCard Masters on a tense final day at Huntingdale which culminated in the Victorian defeating Daniel Chopra in a playoff. Baddeley was two shots off the lead with two holes remaining but never gave up hope he could reel in Chopra down the difficult final stretch on the famous course. “I knew I had to get one birdie coming in to have a chance. I hit every shot great on 17, and every shot great late on 18,” he said. Chopra would bogey the 17th after Baddeley birdied it, sending them into a playoff. It took four holes to separate them, with Baddeley parring the 18th the fifth time he had played it for the day, while Chopra bogeyed. However, just a few minutes earlier, the Australian looked to have faltered, hitting the ball into the trees with his tee shot. “All I wanted was a shot, even half a shot. I thought it might have been in the bushes. It was funny, as I was walking up, my caddie said to me, &aposyou hit it perfect every time, maybe this time you scrap it on, and get the win&apos. It&aposs funny how it works out like that. I had a chance to win every time and it was Dan who managed to keep it going,” he said. From his awkward position, he managed to get the ball just short of the green, he then hit an excellent chip and putted out. “I thought I could get it on the green but it shot up on me a bit. I felt pretty good with the chip shot. I knew exactly where it was going to break. I did not feel it was a tough shot,” he said. He described the seven foot putt he had to secure the par as one of the best he had hit all week. It was left-to-right, and he nailed it dead centre. It topped off an excellent week for the one-time wunderkind of the Australian game. It is his first victory on home soil since 2001. He believes he will not have to wait as long for his next title and is confident he can be right up there in the upcoming MFS Australian Open at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney in December. “For the way I hit it today, the Aussie is a course where you really have to hit it nicely. You have to control your distances, especially when the greens get firm. If it is breezy, you have to strike your ball well. I&aposd like to hit it as well as I did today, or this week actually. I hit a lot of greens in regulation. I feel I have a good chance there because of how well I am striking the ball,” he said.
Author: Bren O'Brien