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February 3, 2007

Aaron Baddeley


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Aaron, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the FBR Open. Nice round today, 64, no bogeys. Has to be nice to be playing close to home.
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, it's great to be playing at home and living five minutes from here. It was a good day today. The weather was perfect, and I played nice and made a couple of putts.

Q. You talked on TV about how it was kind of an obstacle or a distraction to be here because of all the requests and stuff. How did you get away from that this year?
AARON BADDELEY: I guess this year I've really -- my wife really had everything organized. She had all the envelopes set out. All I had to do was go in and ask for a bunch of tickets, threw them at will call and that was about it. Richelle did a great job of making a whole list of people we had to get stuff for. After that all I had to do was play golf.

Q. How many tickets do you have out there?
AARON BADDELEY: I think we gave away about 80.

Q. Your closest friends?
AARON BADDELEY: My wife is from here and her family lives here and her mom is one of eight, so there's a lot of relatives and a lot of friends and family from church and golf and stuff.

Q. Are you in what they call the zone right now?
AARON BADDELEY: Oh, I don't know.

Q. The last couple days?
AARON BADDELEY: I mean, I don't know. To be honest, all I know is I feel very comfortable with my game. I'm just trying to focus on where I want to hit it, and I'm not trying to do anything special. I actually shot away from a lot of pins today, just being smart. I feel it was a very smart round today.

Q. I think I heard you mention upstairs that the difference between today and yesterday was you just made some putts?

Q. Have you been hitting the ball well?
AARON BADDELEY: Been hitting it pretty nice all week. I hit a couple of average tee shots today, but overall been driving it nice, hitting my irons nice. It's always nice to make just a couple of putts.

Q. You've always been a pretty good putter, haven't you? Your stats say that you are. What's got you over the hump of the greens in regulation thing this year?
AARON BADDELEY: I've been working --

Q. Or just this week?
AARON BADDELEY: I've been working with a couple of guys, Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, for just over 12 months now, and I really feel what we're working on -- I've really seen a big improvement in the consistency of my ball-striking and my misses are getting a lot straighter. Even some guy mentioned that my stats say six fairways, but I think I hit like four of them in the first cut of the rough. I mean, my miss isn't bad at all.

Q. The first part of your season obviously wasn't what you would like it to be. Was there something that clicked in between that?
AARON BADDELEY: It's just two weeks. I mean, people are talking about that. I played real nice at Mercedes, really. Except for a four-putt on the last day I would have had the low round of the day. I just didn't play good at Sony, just one of those weeks, nothing you can do. These last six months I feel very comfortable with where my game is heading and what I'm working on, and it's nice to be playing well here at home.

Q. Do you want to win this tournament more than others right now largely because you live here?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, to me it feels like an Australian Open kind of thing because I'm playing in my hometown. I won the Australian Open back in Australia, in Melbourne where I live, so it's got sort of that type of feel about it because it's being at home, got all your friends and family out there. It's pretty exciting.

Q. You look like you've put on some weight on your upper body. Have you been working out? Do you have a workout program?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, I work out often, like four, five, six days a week. I haven't been trying to do anything spectacular, I've just been trying to get stronger and leaner.

Q. Is that old school Penguin on your shirt?
AARON BADDELEY: Old school original.

Q. Are you starting a new trend?
AARON BADDELEY: This is a new thing. Penguin made the first -- I know they made the first golf shirt that Arnold Palmer wore back in the day, so it's exciting to wear the same thing that Arnold wore back in the day.

Q. Are you the first to do that on the Tour again?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, I'm the only one wearing it. It's very cool. I'm very excited about it.

Q. The Super Bowl is going to be here the same week as the FBR next year. How crazy do you think that could be out here when you have another 100,000 people in town or so and whatever this tournament can hold on a Saturday?
AARON BADDELEY: I can't imagine what it's going to be like next year. It's going to be just a big party, I'm sure. This is a great week.
I was talking with Joe Ogilvie about it and we were saying how much fun it is this week because it's a different atmosphere. It's not often you get people yelling out about your dog on 16 (laughter).

Q. How many years have you been here in Scottsdale?

Q. Do you go home much?
AARON BADDELEY: Usually once a year, go home, play a few tournaments, see the family and friends.

Q. Is that just in the off-season?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, usually -- it's been like November, December, yeah, play like the Australian Open, Australian Masters, yeah.

Q. Kind of went on a long walk-about, huh?

Q. Is there a point where you think there might be too many people out here for a tournament or do you think because of how big the grounds are they can handle it?
AARON BADDELEY: I think they can handle a lot. The front nine -- there's still a lot of people on the front nine, but there's not a whole heap of guys on the front nine in comparison to the back nine. Any other tournament the front nine is packed, for a usual tournament.

Q. How are you playing compared to last year like when you won?
AARON BADDELEY: I feel a lot more comfortable with where I'm at now than what I did at Hilton Head.

Q. Is it the greens in reg that's improved so much, the ball-striking?
AARON BADDELEY: My driving, my -- honestly, my whole game. To be honest, I feel like everything is going in an upward direction. I feel very comfortable with what I'm working on, understand it better. Like I think -- because if I hit a bad shot, I understand like where that came from more now so I can fix it and hit it straight again.

Q. Do Plummer and Bennett do separate things in your game?
AARON BADDELEY: No, they work together. They're like --

Q. Where are they at?
AARON BADDELEY: They're out of Philly.

Q. Do you know Jeff very well, Jeff Quinney?
AARON BADDELEY: I know him, but I haven't played much golf with him. When he was at ASU I was down there a little bit when he was there, but I haven't played a whole heap with him.

Q. I know that you were on the Nationwide probably at the same time.
AARON BADDELEY: I think I just left when he came on, yeah. I think he's a couple years younger than me, right?
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Yeah, he is.

Q. Do you live at Grayhawk?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, just up the road.

Q. You and Quinney both live at Grayhawk.
AARON BADDELEY: We're neighbors. On different tours you sort of don't get to catch up, but I'm sure when we're here on the same Tour, we'll be able to catch up more. It's his first year. I think we'll be able to catch up more and see each other and be able to play more when we're home because our schedules are going to be closer.

Q. Do you like seeing all these Nationwide grads coming on the way they're coming?
AARON BADDELEY: I think it's great. I think it just shows you how strong golf is getting, to be honest. It just shows you how strong the Nationwide Tour is, and that was a really good preparation for coming out here. I mean, the Nationwide Tour was great for me. I loved it.

Q. Looks like it's going to be kind of a young-gun shootout tomorrow?

Q. What do you think it's going to take to win?
AARON BADDELEY: I don't know, to be honest. I don't even know what Jeff is at right now.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: I think he went to 16 when you went to 14.
AARON BADDELEY: I didn't even look at a leaderboard today. I'm just going to shoot the lowest score I can tomorrow, whatever that is, and hopefully it's good enough.

Q. Why didn't you watch a leaderboard, just didn't want to get bad thoughts in your head?
AARON BADDELEY: I can't control at all what Jeff does or Billy does or whoever is up there, what they do. I just can control my ball, so -- I sort of have a tendency to look at a board, so I was trying not to look at a board.

Q. Will your caddie tell you if you're a behind or something like that? Will he say to you you're one behind?
AARON BADDELEY: No. Like tomorrow I'll have a look because you've sort of got to have a look, but I'm just going to play golf. All I can control is my Titleist, and that's it.

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