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February 22, 2008

Aaron Baddeley


LAURA NEAL: Badds, thanks for coming in. We were just talking about Tiger, I think 11 birdies for him, 9 for you. Pretty impressive match out there. Talk us through the match today.
AARON BADDELEY: Played really nice, especially after being 2-down after two. I felt like I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could, because you know he's not really going to give a hole away. It was disappointing missing those putts. 17 was close and 18 was a tough putt; you couldn't really run at it.
The putt on 1 was weird because I hit it and it broke a little left and I read it to go straight. And I went back and hit it again and it went straight, so nothing you can do, really.

Q. Badds, you must have thought after that putt on the first extra hole that you can't afford not to take a chance like that against Tiger?
AARON BADDELEY: Well, obviously you're annoyed for it not to go in, but I hit a good putt. Like if I had pushed it or pulled and hit a bad one, then you would be a little more upset. But I read it to go straight and I hit it exactly where I wanted it, and it broke left the last two feet. You've got to take your opportunities when you can. So yeah.

Q. Do you come out of a day like this when you played so well feeling badly that you let one slip away or feeling good about the fact that you punched the guy in the nose a bunch of times and brought the best out of him?
AARON BADDELEY: A little bit of both, because I'm definitely disappointed I didn't win, because I had the opportunities to. I had a putt at 17 to go 1-up, as well. I'm disappointed that I didn't win, because I felt like I could have won, for sure. But then encouraged with the way I played, to push him into making him play -- into making him make 11 birdies, and to lose on 20.

Q. You've played with him before, but did it feel any different today playing -- just going head-to-head against him in a match play event, different than the first two days of the event?
AARON BADDELEY: It is a little different. You don't need to worry about other people making birdies and stuff, you can just solely focus on you and him and worrying about your own ball and worrying about where his ball is at. So it is a little bit different in that sense, yeah.

Q. Sort of a semi-follow-up, you obviously played with him last week at Oakmont in the final round and didn't play well. I know it's a totally different format and different--
AARON BADDELEY: Say that again.

Q. You played with him in the final round at Oakmont last year and performed poorly, and I know it's a different format and perhaps different magnitude level, but since so many people have played poorly alongside him over the years, is there anything -- do you walk away with a good feeling about this because of that? Is there any resonation from what happened last year?
AARON BADDELEY: Well, I mean everyone talked about last year. And like everyone thinks that I'm not over it or whatever. I just shake my head every time, seriously, just because I was over it when I was flying home. I was disappointed I didn't win, but as good as I played that week and as well as I performed, honestly if I had made a couple of putts on the last round at Oakmont in the first six holes, it could have been a different story. To come out today and play as well as I did today, I'm very encouraged with -- I feel like my game is better than what it was at Oakmont last year.

Q. Quick follow-up. Your ball-striking has improved incredibly. I remember a few years ago seeing your numbers. I talked to you a little bit about at last year at Oakmont. Are you giving all of the credit or a lot of the credit to the stack-and-tilt premise? Have you borrowed a little bit here and there or sort of built your own swing or how much of it is what the two guys --
AARON BADDELEY: I definitely work solely with those guys, and with what they work on. I definitely feel like that has definitely helped my golf swing and my ball-striking a lot. I feel like the control I have with the golf ball is a lot, lot better now. I feel it's a lot simpler.

Q. It looks simpler. It looks effortless and very clean.
AARON BADDELEY: Thank you. Definitely, those guys have really changed my ball-striking, without a doubt, without a doubt.

Q. It seems like an odd place for you to go on this big long birdie run, but it started right after your wallet was up against a cactus on that one hole. Can you walk us through that scenario? And suddenly the light bulb went on when early in the match you were a little bit loose, I guess?
AARON BADDELEY: I was trying to hit a little fade 3-wood and I just sort of hit it straight. And I was in a cactus, and I was trying to drop it. When I was dropping it I was trying to hit the edge of the cactus to get it to roll out, and it didn't do that. I'll have to practice my dropping.
And so I was standing in the cactus trying not to get something in me. That was the only hole I was disappointed because I had a chance to make birdie and sort of gave him the hole.

Q. What did you see in the putt on 18 when you got up there?

Q. Yeah.
AARON BADDELEY: I saw about four feet of break and just trying to feed it in the top side. Tiger hit a putt and I thought it was going to finish like half a foot past the hole and it went about five feet. I knew the thing was going to be quick, but I just -- it's so hard to play so much break on such a short putt.

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