home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 16, 2006

Aaron Baddeley


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome 2006 Verizon Heritage Champion Aaron Baddeley, the first PGA TOUR win on a weekend that was very special to you, coming just after your first anniversary yesterday. Talk about how it is to win out here on Tour.

AARON BADDELEY: This week was an amazing week, just the fact that it was my anniversary week, it was Easter week, Easter is very special to me, being a Christian. And then today was a special day, just starting at 7:30 out there on the 18th green for the Sunday morning service and speaking there about my faith. And to go out and win was just and having my anniversary on Saturday, so it was just a special, special time. And it's a win it's a relief, but it's a dream. It's a goal that's been reached. So it's very satisfying.

TODD BUDNICK: It wasn't easy. You were up against a 10 time PGA winner. You guys battled it back and forth and had a tough 7 footer to finish it off and win. Walk us through that game today.

AARON BADDELEY: It was I knew it was going to be a tough day. Jim is such a competitor, such a gentleman, he really is. And we played in great spirits. I knew Jim wasn't going anywhere. I knew he wasn't going to lose the tournament. So when I got a couple up early, I thought just to keep plugging away, keep trying to play solid. And I made a couple of mistakes and Jim, obviously being Jim, was right there. And he goes a couple up. I knew if I could just hang in there and make a few birdies, I would have a chance.

I was very surprised on the last hole to win. We couldn't believe it. That putt, I read it a little bit to the right. Even though it lipped in the right side, it looked like it was in the hole.

Q. Did you ever doubt yourself today?

AARON BADDELEY: I was very peaceful today. I was at peace today. Kenny (Harms) did a great job out there, my caddie. I knew I trusted my golf swing. I trusted the changes that had been made. And I think it showed. I hit some good shots at the right time.

Q. Can you tell us what you talked about this morning and what you did from the end of that service to your tee off time?

AARON BADDELEY: At the service I spoke my testimony. How growing up I wanted to play cricket for a living, didn't want to play golf. And then at 13 I started playing golf. I had success early. And then struggled for like three or four years, didn't live up to my expectations or probably the expectations of other people. And it was frustrating at times and it was hard at times, but I really felt that my relationship with the Lord really helped me, get me through that.

And then I spoke about how my sport didn't dictate who I was as a person. My golf doesn't have anything to do with who I am, it's my relationship with God defines who I am. And whether I win or lose, as long as I give it a hundred percent, I'm happy and the Lord is happy.

Q. What did you do from the end of the service until tee time?

AARON BADDELEY: After the service we went back, had some breakfast, just spoke with a friend of mine and then went for a walk with my wife, for about an hour walk and was very relaxed, got ready, just came out.

Q. Didn't go to sleep again?


Q. Did you have to get up really, really early?

AARON BADDELEY: Got up about 6:00. I was fine.

Q. You told us what you talked about, your testimony. The thing people know most about you is your commercial where you're in the convertible. Is that image is that an image that doesn't jibe with who you are, personally?

AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. It's definitely not who I am, if you know at all who I am. I've changed a lot since then, as well. Yes, I agree.

Q. You're only 25, but does it seem like a long journey to get to this point, when your dad took you on Tour as an amateur and all that? Does it seem like a lot longer journey than 25?

AARON BADDELEY: Definitely. I feel like I've been out here forever. I mean that's what it feels like, and I'm only 25. Playing PGA TOUR events since I was 18. And it's been like six years, seven years since I've been playing out here. It does feel like a long time, but it's definitely worth the wait.

Q. How does this win compare to the three wins you had back home?

AARON BADDELEY: This is different because it's in America. I'm a different player. I'm a different person now. So I'll just class it not in the same as that, but just in different being that this is special on its own.

Q. 14 and 15 was the turning point on the back nine today. Can you take us through the play of those two holes and tell us what you were thinking and feeling during those two holes?

AARON BADDELEY: 14, that's a tough par 3. The wind was off the left and down. I was just trying to hit on the left side and let it feed in. Yesterday I hit a great shot in there. I was just trying to hit the exact same shot I hit yesterday. Again, the ball went a lot further than I expected. When I got up there I saw the break, and I got the feeling I was going to make it. And knocked it in.

I knew the next hole being straight down breeze off the tee, if I could just get a solid tee ball away I could reach it in two comfortably. I hit a 6 iron and 2 putted for birdie. I knew where the pin placement was, it was going to be hard for Jim to make birdie than it was for me if it was going to be over the back of the green.

Q. Were you trying to cut it that close on your second shot on 15?

AARON BADDELEY: I'm guessing it hit

Q. It was a sprinkler head.

AARON BADDELEY: Well, I pulled it just a little bit trying to get it up in the air. I was trying to get it to the left or a little bit long. I was happy with the club, so I hit it high.

Q. When Jim missed his birdie putt on 18, did your emotions change, your concentration change at all?

AARON BADDELEY: No, it didn't change, because I told Kenny, I said I said to Kenny that, all right, Jim is going to make this putt, I'm counting on him making the putt. When he missed it, it was still the same, because I had to make it. And even but the process in my mind was I remember back in 2003 when Ernie Els had the same length putt, to tie Ernie Els. I said I can do this again, I've done this before.

Q. Take us through 17 and 18 as far as your play against Jim's ball?

AARON BADDELEY: 17, that's a hard hole, being straight into the wind. If you just sort of miss it slightly, slightly fade or slightly draw it too much, the ball is going to really move a lot. I didn't really hit a very good shot there. I felt like I hit a good chip shot, it came up short. And then hit a good chip shot and it lipped out and tapped it in.

Jim had a great bunker shot and the ball rolled on by and he missed on the high side. And then 18 I was a little I knew if I hit 3 wood it could have run through the fairway and into the hazard. I hit a 7 iron, which flew over 200 yards. It was so far it was unbelievable. And then I was I knew Jim was going to play a good shot and put the pressure on. I knew if I could just make four, I'd either be in a playoff or I'd win.

Q. I was going to say, you talk about being peaceful out there, your emotions. But still was it a little nerve wracking seeing Jim Furyk have that many chances down the stretch to really make a move on you or move ahead on his own?

AARON BADDELEY: Oh, definitely. I was thinking, walking to the 16th tee, if I could just get one more birdie. That's what I was thinking. If I can get one more birdie, it's going to make it harder for Jim. He hit a great putt on 16, he came up like an inch short. But definitely, I'm not going to say I wasn't nervous. You wouldn't be human if you weren't nervous. But peaceful, peaceful in as I'm just very I wasn't like, oh, no, thinking about a million things. I was just very yeah.

Q. Talking about peaceful again. Peaceful because of the anniversary, Easter, just that's your demeanor? What were you thinking about on the 7 foot putt while you were waiting for Furyk to hit it?

AARON BADDELEY: What was I thinking when Jim was over his putt?

Q. When you were waiting to hit your 7 footer, what were you thinking about your putt? Was it still peaceful then?

AARON BADDELEY: I was just I was actually reciting a Bible verse in my mind, it was 2nd Timothy 1:7, which is, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." I kept repeating power, love and a sound mind. I had a nice read on it, and I said to myself, "This is for you, Jesus," and knocked it in.

Q. Is that the difference? You've taken a lead before, this is the first time you've been able to close it, and even come from two shots down. What was kind of the difference this time around, why were you able to get it done?

AARON BADDELEY: I think my ball striking made the difference in the sense that every time I stepped over the ball I was expecting to hit it straight. I was expecting to make a good shot, and I knew I could trust it. So I think that made the difference, instead of being in the rough, trying to scramble, it's a lot harder to come from behind and hold the lead when you're doing that.

Q. Was it more of a physical thing for you, then, than it was a mental challenge?

AARON BADDELEY: Let's say physical was part of it. And then on the other side I felt comfortable. I was never out of my element, even though I hadn't been in that position for a while. I just felt like I hadn't I hadn't been there that long ago. So all the memories, all the good thoughts came back quite quickly.

Q. On 18, did you play that hole more conservatively, you hit iron off the tee, did you play it more conservatively today than you had the whole week.

AARON BADDELEY: I hit 3 in there yesterday. We just figured the wind was down off the left. If I hit a good 3 iron with the breeze, I can hit it 260. I just didn't quite hit it solid, that's why it left me out in the tear way. I knew if I hit 3 wood and hit it straight, I could have gone in the hazard. It was only 300 out there.

Q. You revealed this morning about the expectations of yourself, the expectations of others. Has this sort of helped ease those expectations, this win, or is there still much more to achieve in golf?

AARON BADDELEY: This is a stepping stone of the big picture. It's going to ease them on the sense this is a stepping stone and I'm going to learn from today. I learned from Jim today, watching him play and, yes, it's a step forward in the right direction.

Q. What is the big picture?

AARON BADDELEY: To win major tournaments, win majors. To win majors.

Q. Is your Christian life more important to you now than it was growing up in Australia?

AARON BADDELEY: I'd say definitely. I think with the with some struggles I've been through, my faith and my Christian walk grew a hundred fold, a million fold, than what it did beforehand. And I think only because of my Christian walk is how it helped me get through those times.

Q. Can you identify how that came to pass?

AARON BADDELEY: Well, an example is in 2000, I came over here from Australia wanting to play over here, so I got invited to The Masters, U.S. Open, several tournaments. And in September of that year, I wanted to quit. In 2002, I was on the Nationwide Tour, not where I wanted to be. I wanted to be on the PGA Tour. But in 2002, up to that point that was the best year of my life. The difference there was more or less my relationship with the Lord. A lot of friends said to me, I want what you have. They know I wanted to be on the PGA TOUR. But they could see how excited and how much fun I was having, my demeanor. That's definitely it's a big difference playing majors and wanting to quit the game, playing on the Nationwide Tour and having the best year of your life.

Q. You're supposed to have to hit greens here. You missed quite a few of them the past few days, but you were able to get up and down so many times. Can you talk about your chipping the last couple of days, it was awesome.

AARON BADDELEY: I chipped the ball very well. I was just trying every time I had a chip shot, I was thinking about holing it. Usually the way I practice I have six balls and I'll go around the green and say I make all six. I keep working on trying to hole the shots. I wouldn't say I left myself with some hard shots. I think some of the chip shots were quite easy. So that helped a lot.

Q. And you just double chipped on 17. That had to be in your mind a little bit when you got to 18.

AARON BADDELEY: No, I didn't even think about it. I hit a really good chip shot there on 17. I thought I hit it perfect. It landed this far short of where I wanted to hit it (indicating), it popped straight up in the air. And I knew the way the ball was sitting I actually hit it pretty hard, because the grass was leaning into me, and it released down the green.

Q. You joined this afternoon a list of players who got their first PGA TOUR here at Harbour Town and several of them that have used it as springboards to Hall of Fame type careers. Do you feel a weight has been lifted off your shoulders as far as the expectations through the years that have been on you?

AARON BADDELEY: Definitely. I definitely feel that a little weight has been lifted. And yeah, I do. Like now I know the next time I'm in that position, I'll know I've gone ahead and won before, so it's going to give me confidence the next time I'm in the same position.

Q. Do you think Greg will be pleased tonight that you've got your name on a trophy he's already got his name on?

AARON BADDELEY: I think definitely.

Q. Do you think you'll get a call from him?

AARON BADDELEY: If he calls me that would be great. Obviously Greg was such a great influence on me growing up. And I have my name on two trophies three trophies all my wins are his wins, also.

Q. How is that speaker selected this morning, how did you get chosen for that?

AARON BADDELEY: Jim Escray from FCA Golf, I was just sitting next to him at the TPC, and he just asked me, "Hey, where are you going? Are you playing Hilton Head?" I said, "Yep." And he said, "Do you want to speak?" And I said, "Yep."

Q. Where's your jacket?

AARON BADDELEY: I gave it to someone, I don't know. They said we'll take your jacket for you.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's walk through the birdies and bogeys.

AARON BADDELEY: I hit driver, 8 iron left of the green and chipped up to about two feet on 2.

I hit a great 7 iron there to about 30 feet.

Hit 3 wood, 6 iron, 2 putt from about 50 feet.

Hit 5 iron left in the bunker, 2 putt from about 15 feet.

3 wood to the right, 5 iron short right, chipped up, putted, kept it in.

I hit 3 wood, 8 iron in the right bunker. Had no shot, had to go sideways to about 25 feet and missed it.

7 iron, just over the back, maybe 25 feet.

TODD BUDNICK: Congratulations, Aaron Baddeley.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297