Baddeley rises from ashes of despair to deny Woods

Presidents Cup International team captain Greg Norman said Aaron Baddeley “took it pretty rough” when he blew victory with a poor putt on the 17th and an inexplicably woeful three-wood off the 18th tee.



By (Reuters)

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 4:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:33 AM

But overnight Norman told Baddeley, one of his captain’s picks, to keep the faith and put the horror finish behind him on Friday.

Norman sent Day and Baddeley out against Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson and then spent a lot of time in the gallery watching the match.

For much of it, the Americans were in control even though their dominance was not reflected on the scorecard, and the match swung dramatically when Baddeley holed a long, birdie putt on the 13th to go one-up against the U.S. duo.

Then Baddeley played an exquisite 40-yard bunker shot at the par-five 15th to set up a birdie. The hole was halved in fours.

The Internationals remained one-up walking to the 18th tee. Day was not in great shape off the tee.

This time, Baddeley hit an iron safely down the fairway. His approach finished off the left edge of the green. Baddeley opted to take the flagstick out of the hole before he putted, indicating he throught he had a very good chance to hole it for birdie.

RAUCOUS CELEBRATION

The putt slipped a metre past before Baddeley jammed it into the back of the cup for par, another half and a much needed point for the International team.

Norman led the raucous greenside team celebration as Baddeley fist-pumped the air.

“I’m extremely proud of Aaron, the way he fought back today. He was really down after what happened at 17 and 18 on Thursday,” Norman said.

“After the day he’d had on Thursday, then to come out and make four on the last hole the way he did today will be a great boost for his confidence.”

Baddeley could not conceal his delight. “I was very disappointed on Thursday,” he said, “I felt I had let Jason and the team down. It was great to come through on the last today and make four for the win.”

Day said: “That was a good positive bounce back by Aaron today. ‘Badds’ felt like he had let me down yesterday.

“He played great today. I felt like I just sat back and watched him all day really.”

Their victory left Woods the lone U.S. team member without as much as half a point beside his name in two days of competition.

Woods admitted he struggled in the difficult conditions.

“It’s impossible trying to hold the greens with anything over a wedge. Balls are oscillating on greens that are so fast.

“It’s hard to make putts especially with the wind.”


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