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November 26 2013

4:13 PM

Baddeley returns to familiar territory

Pillinger/Getty Images
Aaron Baddeley won the 1999 Australian Open as an 18-year-old amateur.

By PGATOUR.COM Staff

Aaron Baddeley will be on familiar territory at this week's Emirates Australian Open at Royal Sydney Golf Club. Baddeley was an 18-year-old amateur when he won the 1999 Australian Open at the same course. He beat a field that included Greg Norman and Colin Montgomerie.

"It's pretty amazing that it's 14 years, that's just flown by,'' Baddeley told Golf Australia. "It was big week for me emotionally and career-wise, but then I didn’t realise how big it was at the time." 

He was a professional when he won the following year's Australian Open. Expectations were high for Baddeley after his back-to-back wins. He's won three times on the PGA TOUR (2006 RBC Heritage; 2007 Waste Management Phoenix Open; 2011 Northern Trust Open) but is coming off a trying TOUR season. He missed 14 of 24 cuts in 2013 and had just two top-10s. He ranked 178th (out of 180 players) in greens in regulation and second-to-last in driving accuracy. 

He switched instructors recently to the team of former PGA TOUR winner Grant Waite and Chris Como, a Dallas-based biomechanics specialist. Baddeley has made three starts in the 2013-14 season, highlighted by a T-5 at the CIMB Classic. It was his first top-five finish since a fourth-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February 2012. He's

"I'm just trying to understand what works best for me, and just what I need to do to play good," Baddeley, 32, said. "I’ve made a couple of little changes, only small changes but major in the sense that they’ve made a big difference."

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