Aaron Baddeley came within a whisker of an early-season game-changer today.
With limited status after his most recent exemption expired recently, the Victorian veteran finished in a share of fourth at 13 under in the US PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open today, just one stroke adrift of a three-way playoff.
And while Kevin Tway ultimately saluted with three successive playoff birdies to edge out Ryan Moore and Australian Open-bound Brandt Snedeker, Baddeley’s fourth gave him hope that his recent good form will soon be rewarded.
Baddeley, 37, will not play in this week’s CIMB Classic in Malaysia, nor next week in Korea, but instead aim for the Sanderson Farms Championship in three weeks’ time in the opposite field event to the World Golf Championship in Shanghai, China.
It’s his success in that event and subsequent tournaments in early November that will possibly determine his calendar for 2019 – and whether he can come home to play in the Australian summer of golf.
His effort today came alongside two other solid results for New South Wales duo Cameron Davis and Brett Drewitt.
Davis, playing his first event as a PGA Tour member, endured three final-round bogeys, but also unfurled his trademark ability to go low in a hurry, adding five birdies and an eagle to shoot 68 and rattle home to finish T17 at eight under.
Fellow Sydneysider Brett Drewitt, inconsistent but occasionally stunning during the Web.Com Tour finals, again showed up with a fine 71 to close at seven under and a share of 25th place.
Of the other Aussies in play in California this week, John Senden made the -3 main cut on the number, but was cut after the third round, while Web.Com Tour finals graduates Curtis Luck and Matt Jones had the weekend off despite shooting -2 totals through rounds one and two.