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February 20, 2007

Aaron Baddeley


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Aaron, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Accenture Match Play Championship. First time here, and I know you were real happy about that after you won the FBR. Just talk about the last couple of weeks leading up to this tournament, how you've done since you last won.
AARON BADDELEY: I played both Pebble and LA since I won; finished 19th and 13th; played pretty good both weeks. I feel very comfortable with my game and really looking forward to this week. I haven't played match play probably since I was 18, so I'm very excited to play match play.

Q. Have you been around the course yet?
AARON BADDELEY: No, I haven't been, no.

Q. Well, that cancels that question.

Q. How does the course look from afar?
AARON BADDELEY: I haven't seen it.

Q. Talk about your first time playing match play.
AARON BADDELEY: Shingo is a good player, he's very steady. I'm just going to play my own game and not worry about him and just sort of keep playing the way I'm playing. I feel like I've got a good chance.

Q. Just talk about getting to this point now finally where you're on the Tour and you're getting in the big events, your journey here and how satisfying it is and all that.
AARON BADDELEY: It's definitely I would say has taken longer than what I felt like seven years ago I felt like it would take. But it's been a good journey. There's been some frustrating times but a lot of good times. I felt like if I didn't go through the things I went through, I wouldn't be who I am today. I wouldn't have the golf game I have today.
There's a lot of positives on -- there's way more positives than any negatives.

Q. What do you think put you over the top to finally make this last step?
AARON BADDELEY: I think it's a combination of my new coaches, working with them, Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. They really improved my ball-striking a lot. And then just working hard and just believing that that's where I can go.

Q. How do Andy and Mike's swing theories compare with Dale's and Leadbetter's?
AARON BADDELEY: They're a bit different than Dale's and also Lead's. More similar to Lead's than Dale, but with a few different pieces in there. It is a bit different, but it makes a lot of sense to me. I understand it completely. I understand every shot that I hit now instead of sometimes I would hit a shot and not know where it came from. Now I can dissect every shot and know -- if I hit it to the right, I know exactly what I did wrong or a couple things or whatever it is. They've been great at teaching me but also allowing me to understand what I'm doing instead of just telling me what to do.

Q. Can you explain in layman's terms what their theories are? Explain the difference between the coaches.
AARON BADDELEY: That's right, yes. A couple main things for them is staying centered throughout the golf swing and having the hand behind the right shoulder at the top, so like your left arm would be parallel to your shoulders at the top of the swing. That's like the main part of their theory, yeah. I really, really love what I'm doing.

Q. Can you just talk about the -- listening to your swing theory. Just kind of talk about Tiger's streak if you don't mind. Should it be a streak? Eight in a row would be pretty amazing. Your thoughts on eight in a row of any tournament?
AARON BADDELEY: I think eight in a row is pretty impressive. I don't think it matters if it's over the year or not. If you start your streak at the end of the year then you've run out of tournaments. I think it's pretty impressive. I played with Tiger at Boston, and he was just exhausted. He was tired. He hit some shots he wouldn't normally hit, but the thing that you can always learn off Tiger is just how strong mentally he is, just to focus on what he's doing. He's not worried about how tired he is, he's just worried about hitting the next shot.
That week I learned a lot from I am him, and it's pretty incredible the streak he's got going.

Q. Sounds like he's kind of putting the asterisk himself because he lost at Ryder Cup, he lost in China, because he's had some other non-PGA TOUR events that he hasn't won, he's kind of shaking whether it counts or not. I just wonder if you had thoughts on that part of it, besides the fact that it carries over two years.
AARON BADDELEY: He hasn't won consecutive tournaments but he's won consecutive PGA TOUR tournaments, so you could say that's a streak, and then the other one is not a streak just because he hasn't won consecutive tournaments. You could say it's consecutive PGA TOUR tournaments but not consecutive tournaments.

Q. What's your all-time greatest -- do you have a personal match play memorable moment from your own career, whether it was at H12 or 15 or whatever?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, I remember I was playing a state series tournament. In Australia we play the best -- each state gets their best eight players and you play foursomes in the morning, singles in the afternoon. I was playing No. 1 for Victoria, and I won my first four matches, and the year before I won my first four matches and lost my fifth, so I didn't have a 100 percent record. Then the following year I won the first four and then I was 1-up playing the 17th hole against Bradburn from Tasmania, and was just off the green and I chipped in for par, and I went running around the green and I was ecstatic because I was going to be like 5-0. Yeah, that was one great memory.

Q. Back to Andy and Mike, I understand guys are gravitating to them almost by the week. Do you ever worry about the pecking order or worry about getting the kind of time you want with whichever one of them is out here or both if they're both out here?
AARON BADDELEY: They're very good like that. They're very loyal. Like Tommy Armour, Dean Wilson, myself, Elk, like the guys that were with him the first bit, they're very -- I mean, I would say like they're very -- that's their first priority, and hey, we'll try and fit you in, we'll try and do as much as we can, but these guys are our priority list. They're very good like that.
I mean, everyone is going towards them because they've got really good information.

Q. How has your iron play been compared to last year this year?
AARON BADDELEY: It's improved a lot. Again, like I don't feel like the stats are showing how good I'm hitting it. It will say like I hit 12 greens but I putted three of them from just off the edge of the green.
So I'm very happy. So is my driving. I'm driving it straight, and my misses are like a yard off the fairway. I'd be very interested to see if the TOUR did a stat of greens in reg and then greens in reg plus the fringe and then greens in reg -- and then fairways and first cut because I think it would be interesting just to see because you could be this far off the fairway (indicating inches) and it counts as the same as missing it to yards. It would be an interesting stat to see just how much everyone's numbers would change.

Q. How do you feel about desert courses, the views and stuff? It's much more wide open. Does that affect your game at all?
AARON BADDELEY: I enjoy it because I live up in Phoenix, so we've got desert courses there. I'm a member at Whisper Rock, which is a desert course. This is like normal to me. So it's cool.

Q. Hoping that Arizona can be a good luck charm for you?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, exactly right (smiling).
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Aaron, for joining us.

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