Date: November 23, 2007
Author: Bren O'Brien at Huntingdale

Huntingdale showdown looms

The final two days of the MasterCard Masters are set to be a showdown between two of the biggest names in Australian golf, Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley. The two Melbourne boys set the scene for a big weekend at Huntingdale with excellent second rounds in the 60s which see them separated by just one shot at the halfway stage. Allenby holds the lead after his 68, while Baddeley has the momentum after a 66. They are already three shots clear of the rest of the field. Allenby is expecting a stern test when the two tee off just after noon on Saturday, and said it is apparent that the world No.18 is the biggest obstacle to his third gold jacket. “He is playing well, he is a great putter, probably one of the best in the world,” he said. “He is still young and fiery. Obviously he has made some serious swing changes. It is a very different type of swing but it works really well for him.” Allenby said strong third rounds from both men would put them in a position where Sunday would be close to a matchplay. “It depends on how we play tomorrow. If we play well it will be hard for the guys behind to catch up, unless they shoot seven, eight, nine-under. If we keep shooting five or six-under or whatever, it is going to make it harder for them to get us,” he said. “It&aposs one day at a time, one shot at a time. There is a long way to go. We are only halfway there. I hope I keep playing well tomorrow and stay on top.” Allenby said he needed to play a lot better if he was to stay in front of Baddeley and the rest of the field. He felt he had worked very hard on Friday to secure his 68. “I&aposd like to get away to a better start than I did today. I did not give myself many opportunities to make birdies for the first five holes. Hopefully I can do that in the first five holes tomorrow before I get to the sixth, the par five,” he said. With a foundation of a good start, Allenby believes he could shoot some very low numbers and have a good buffer heading into the final day of the tournament. “If you get away to a good start here you can shoot eight or nine under quite easily. If you get a few under early, you&aposve got the two par fives and the short eighth, the ninth and 10, a short par five. You could be five or six under through six to 10 easily,” he said. After two days of reasonably easy conditions, Allenby is surprised that there are only two player at better than five-under. “I am a bit. I thought Appleby would shoot a few less than what he did. It is the type of golf course, if you&aposre just slightly off,” he said. “Some of the flags were tucked up today. That made it hard….. The course was set up a little tricky. Some of the flags I&aposve seen them there on the last day, but I think the golf course is fantastic.”