Baddeley wins back tour card after playoff victory
GOLF: Aaron Baddeley could not contain his excitement after winning in Alabama to secure his place on the US PGA Tour for the next two years.
Having just sunk a seven-metre putt on the fourth playoff hole to claim the title over 21-year-old South Korean Si Woo Kim, 35-year-old Baddeley broke into a celebratory jig before tossing his club and flinging his cap in the air.
Aside from the $830,000 prizemoney, Baddley regains his tour card after losing his exemption this season, for the first time in 15 years, and relying on past champion status to get limited starts.
It is the American-Australian dual national’s fourth win on the US PGA Tour, but first since 2011.
“It’s been a long five years,” Baddeley told media after his win.
“I have an incredible family and it has been really tough at times but this year has been really good.
“I’ve played really good and felt like I had a good chance today even though I started three back. My game felt so good and I was driving it so good.
“I think you could tell by my reaction how much it meant to me.
“It’s been a long time between drinks.”
Baddeley and Kim were locked on 18-under after shooting 66 and 63 respectively in the final rounds.
After both players parred the first three holes of the playoff, Kim’s approach on the fourth finished on a slope in the rough between two grandstands.
He chipped to within two metres, but Baddeley delivered with his putter when it counted.
“I was just telling myself, ‘Let’s end this right here. Come on,’” Baddeley said.
Australia’s Stuart Appleby shot a closing 69 to tie for 11th on 13 under.
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WORLD No.1 Lydia Ko has prevailed in the LPGA Marathon Classic in Ohio, securing victory with a two-metre putt on the fourth hole of a three-way playoff.
The 19-year-old Kiwi prevailed over Korean Miram Lee and Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn on the long par-five 18th after the trio shot par on the hole three times in a row.
It was Ko’s 19th professional title and 14th LPGA win.