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February 19 2011

8:51 PM

Aussies close gap to one

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Nine months from now, Fred Couples will take his U.S. Team to Melbourne, Australia to play in the Presidents Cup.

But in the more immediate future on Saturday at Riviera Country Club, two Aussies – Aaron Baddeley and John Senden -- have just pulled within a shot of Fred Couples after making birdies on the par-3 sixth hole. Baddeley’s putt was 6 feet while Senden made it from 5.

Both players from Down Under are bidding to end lengthy victory droughts. Baddeley’s last victory came at the 2007 FBR Open while Senden’s was at the 2006 John Deere Classic.

Their records are Riviera are inconsistent. Baddeley hasn’t missed a Northern Trust Open since 2005 but a tie for seventh in 2005 is his only top-10 finish.

Senden, on the other hand, has only made two cuts in six starts at Riviera. With rounds of 67 and 69 this week, he’s already tripled his tally of sub-70s scores.

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