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    • 1/5/2012 - Baddeley kicks off 2012 season at winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions

    Baddeley kicks off 2012 season at winners-only
    Hyundai Tournament of Champions
    Northern Trust Open defending champion to make first start at Kapalua since 2008

    LOS ANGELES- After a three-year absence, 2011 Northern Trust Open winner Aaron Baddeley is back in the field at the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions and will kick off his 2012 PGA TOUR season this week at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the island of Maui. Baddeley earned a return trip to the PGA TOUR's first official event of the season by virtue of his two-shot victory over Vijay Singh last February at Riviera Country Club, his first victory on TOUR in nearly four years and third of his career. Baddeley will defend his title next month when the Northern Trust Open returns to Pacific Palisades, Calif., and historic Riviera Country Club, February 14-19.

    One of 28 players in the field this week, Baddeley will be competing in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for the third time. He finished T12 in 2008 and T27 in his first appearance in 2007. In addition to his victory at the Northern Trust Open, Baddeley enjoyed a solid season on the PGA TOUR in 2011, collecting four other top 10s, including a T3 at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. He was also one of Greg Norman's two captain's picks for The Presidents Cup 2011 in Melbourne, Australia, where he compiled a record of 1-2-1 in his first appearance in the biennial competition.

    "With the holiday season in the rearview mirror, the 2012 Northern Trust Open is only a few short weeks away and we couldn't be more excited for this year's event," said Executive Director Jerry West. "We look forward to following our 2011 champion, Aaron Baddeley, as he competes this week in Hawaii and to welcoming him and the PGA TOUR's best back to Los Angeles next month."

    Joining Baddeley in the season-opening event are past Northern Trust Open winners Steve Stricker (2010) and Rory Sabbatini (2006). Stricker earned a trip to Kapalua with victories in 2011 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance and the John Deere Classic, while Sabbatini was victorious at The Honda Classic.    

    For Northern Trust Open ticket information, visit www.northerntrustopen.com.

    About the Northern Trust Open
    The Northern Trust Open is one of the longest-running tournaments on the PGA TOUR.  Debuting in 1926 at Los Angeles Country Club, the event had been staged at various courses throughout the Los Angeles area before permanently settling at Riviera Country Club in 1973. Outside of the major championships, the Northern Trust Open is the fourth-oldest event on TOUR, trailing only the BMW Championship, the Canadian Open and the Valero Texas Open.  In 2011, the Northern Trust Open generated $1.6 million for Los Angeles charities, bringing the total charitable contribution to $53.5 million since the event's inception.  It is estimated that the Northern Trust Open helps 15,000 Los Angeles residents each year, which includes 5,000 kids who are beneficiaries of its charitable proceeds as distributed primarily through the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce Charity Foundation.

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