Establishment (P. Harrington) vs. Youth (Aaron Baddeley)June 21, 2011
Zak Kozuchowski, PGATOUR.COM
YEARS ON TOUR: This is Padraig Harrington's ninth season on the PGA TOUR. He has been fully-exempt since 2005. He's won five TOUR events, as well as 16 international events.
OVERVIEW: Harrington won back-to-back British Opens in 2007 (Carnoustie) and in 2008 (Royal Birkdale). The gritty Irishman added his third major less than a month later at the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. With that win, Harrington rose to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but he is winless in his last two seasons. The self-admitted "tinkerer" aimed to improve his swing but has since fallen out of the top-50 in the world rankings. In 11 events this year, he has three top-10s but also an equal number of missed cuts. He finished T45 at last week's U.S. Open.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Harrington tied for fifth at last year's Travelers. It was his first appearance since 2007 when he finished T54 with rounds of 71-68-74-69 -- 17 shots out of a playoff.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Harrington is a good wedge player and a terrific putter. He ranks 11th on TOUR in strokes gained putting, but he is still struggling with his swing. He is currently T139 in driving accuracy and 186th in greens in regulation, but he won't be hitting that many long clubs this week. At 6,841 yards, TPC River Highlands is the third shortest course on the PGA TOUR, which will put more emphasis on short shots and putting.
YEARS ON TOUR: Aaron Baddeley is in his eighth season on the PGA TOUR. The three-time TOUR winner has also won four events internationally, all of which were in Australia.
OVERVIEW: Baddeley was born in New Hampshire, but he was raised in Australia. He holds dual American and Australian citizenships and lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. Baddeley won his third PGA TOUR event at this year's Northern Trust Open, where he shot rounds of 67-69-67-69 to win by two. He is having his best year since 2007, when he won the Verizon Heritage. He also won the 2006 FBR Open. Baddeley missed the cut at last week's U.S. Open. He is currently 51st in the Official World Golf Ranking, and 17th in FedExCup Points.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Baddeley finished T27 in last year's Travelers Championship. He started the 2009 tournament with rounds of 69-68, but he followed with a 76 on Saturday to finish in a tie for 77th.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Baddeley and Harrington have similar driving statistics (Baddeley is 59th in driving distance and 139th in driving accuracy). He ranks 23rd in strokes gained putting and is T7 on TOUR in birdie average with 4.32 per round, which will help him this week. The winner of the Travelers will need to make lots of birdies to contend, as each of the last 17 winners has finished double-digits under par.
Matchups Game Paddy vs. Baddeley: Who do you like? Beginning with this week's Travelers Championship and running through the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola (Sept. 22-25), the PGA TOUR is introducing a new, easy Matchups Game on Facebook. Pick the winner of five head-to-head matchups (including Harrington vs. Baddeley) for a chance to win prizes. Tee times Tee Times for Harrington, Baddeley Padraig Harrington is playing the opening round with Zach Johnson and 2007 Travelers Champion Hunter Mahan at TPC River Highlands. They tee off from the 10th tee at 7:45 a.m. ET on Thursday. Aaron Baddeley will also tee off at 7:45 a.m. ET, and is paired with Nick Watney and Vijay Singh. Here are the results of the previous matchups this year Score/Finish Tournament Score/Finish Steve Stricker 20 under (T-4th) Hyundai TOC Dustin Johnson 14 under (T-9th) Ernie Els 4 under (T-42nd) Sony Open Jason Day 8 under (T-20th) Stewart Cink 5 under (MC) Bob Hope Classic Bubba Watson 7 under (MC) Davis Love III 5 over (MC) Farmers Insurance Open Rickie Fowler 5 under (T20) Angel Cabrera 7 under (T-49th) Waste Management Phoenix Jhonattan Vegas 2 under (MC) Padraig Harrington 2 over (T63) AT&T Pebble Beach National Dustin Johnson Even (T55) Jim Furyk 1 under (T35) Northern Trust Open Louis Oosthuizen 3 over (T62) Vijay Singh 9 over (MC) The Honda Classic Anthony Kim 7 over (MC) Luke Donald 11 under (T6) WGC-Cadillac Championship Jhonattan Vegas 2 under (T31) Sergio Garcia 7 under (T15) Transitions Championship Matteo Manassero 6 under (T20) Phil Mickelson 1 under (T24) Arnold Palmer Invitational Graeme McDowell 9 over (MC) Fred Couples Even (T60) Shell Houston Open Gary Woodland 10 under (T13) Tiger Woods 10 under (T4) The Masters Martin Kaymer 6 over (MC) Justin Leonard 2 under (T30) Valero Texas Open Anthony Kim 7 over (MC) Jim Furyk 5 under (T21) The Heritage Jason Day 7 under (T9) David Toms 7 under (T18) Zurich Classic of New Orleans Brandt Snedeker 2 over (MC) Phil Mickelson 10 under (T9) Wells Fargo Championship Bubba Watson 3 under (T48) Tiger Woods Withdrew THE PLAYERS Championship Charl Schwartzel 6 under (T26) Paul Goydos 5 under (T10) Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Jason Day 3 under (T31) Vijay Singh 5 over (T27) HP Byron Nelson Championship Nick Watney 1 over (T8) Jim Furyk 8 over (MC) the Memorial Tournament Bubba Watson 1 under (T42) David Toms 5 over (MC) FedEx St. Jude Classic Camilo Villegas 8 under (3) Ernie Els 6 over (MC) U.S. Open Graeme McDowell 2 under (T14)
This week for the Travelers Championship, we've selected Padraig Harrington and Aaron Baddeley. Harrington and Baddeley play similar games, but Harrington has a world-class resume. He is winless, however, since the 2008 PGA Championship. Baddeley won the Northern Trust Open earlier this season and is having one of his best years on TOUR.