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October 16, 2007

Aaron Baddeley


Q. Can you talk a little bit about 2007 for you, the highs and the lows, of course starting with what happened down the road back in January?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah. That was a great way to start the year. I played really well that week. Pete and I were talking when we were in Hawaii that the goal was to have a win on the West Coast to sort of set up the year and get off to a fire. It was great to do that in the third event. It was a good way to start.
I felt like the low point was missing the cut at the British Open. I mean, I was really disappointed that because I actually love the golf course. Besides that, I felt really good about the whole year.

Q. What are your thoughts about playing in this tournament? Can you talk about why you decided to play, the advantages of playing a kind of course you're familiar with?
AARON BADDELEY: I haven't played here much in the past few years, but when I first moved here in 2000 I played out here a lot. Grayhawk allowed me to come out and practice and play and stuff like that. Joe and the team have been fantastic, and it's just great to play in Scottsdale again. I feel like I'm playing at home. I've been living here about eight years. I feel like I'm playing in Melbourne, back in Australia. All the friends and family are out. I have about 60 tickets here.

Q. Can you talk about the golf course itself, some of the challenges, some of the more fun holes, what holes you're looking forward to?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, they've got a couple changes with 7 and 18 playing as par 4s. We have long holes, especially playing into the wind. Like today they played into the wind.
I think the key is to get it in the fairway here because even though the grass isn't really long, you can get fliers out of this Bermuda rough, so you have to be able to control the ball when it lands on the green. The key is to be in the fairway. And the greens are rolling beautifully so you can make some putts.

Q. And again, your decision to play in the tournament, was it an easy one to make?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, I was definitely going to play. It's nice to stay in your own bed and play here, and I wouldn't feel right if I didn't play. Grayhawk has been great to me, like I said, and it's nice to be able to play in a tournament here at Grayhawk and then also just spend the week with friends and family. Yeah, I was always going to play.

Q. You've played in the FBR Open obviously in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and this is going to be much more low key. What are your thoughts about that? Is that something that you anticipate finding surreal, or do you think it will be just another tournament?
AARON BADDELEY: 16 here, like similar to 16 there, it's a great little par 3 and you've got a lot of fans there. So I think you're going to get a bit of a crowd. Nothing in comparison to the real 16th, but I still think it's going to be good. Again, the galleries will be smaller, absolutely, but I think it's going to be great, a great week. I mean, the weather is going to be perfect, like normal.

Q. The last question is I was just wondering if you could discuss the HopeKids fundraiser that's coming up in November, just the basics of that and why you're involved.
AARON BADDELEY: Richelle, my wife and I, we love HopeKids. It's a foundation that essentially gives hope to the kids. It's different than Make-A-Wish. Make-A-Wish does like a onetime thing, and what they found was that the kids (inaudible) usually they pass away quick because they're so looking forward to that day, then that day comes, then they finish, and then they really (inaudible).
Obviously they found leading up to it they kept getting better, so if we can keep doing that we can basically give them hope, so what they do is they have a program, they'll have a movie night, meet the Cardinals day, whatever it is, and their kids -- they've only lost one kid in five years. If they can get the kids through the treatment then they'll be okay.
We're going to try and raise some money for the foundation. HopeKids today is where three guys pay to play 18 holes. We play in the morning, then we have lunch afterwards. They're going to set the pins in the Sunday locations like they did at the FBR, so it's going to be a good day and a great opportunity to play a great golf course and then also to -- help out HopeKids, really. That's essentially what all for; it's for them. I mean, 100 percent of what is raised will be going towards the kids, not paying for this or that, it just all goes directly to the kids.

Q. How did you find out about this program?
AARON BADDELEY: A friend of mine Josh Taylor. He used to work for Tom Lehman. He heads up the Minnesota chapter of the HopeKids. Josh introduced us a couple years ago to Rob Cottrell who runs it. My wife and I just love it. It's fantastic. Yeah, it's just great, really good.
I mean, there's only two people on staff, and that's Rob and Josh, that's it. All the rest goes toward the kids. And they're always looking for donations and always looking for people to help out.

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