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July 11, 2008

Aaron Baddeley


STEWART MOORE: Aaron Baddeley, thanks for spending some time with us here in the interview room at the John Deere Classic after what looks like is tied for low round of the day, 64. You got off to a hot start, eagled No. 10 in the middle of your round, five birdies in a row. I know a disappointing bogey on No. 9 to finish the day, but just start off with some thoughts on the round.
AARON BADDELEY: I knew I had to get off to a good start, just shooting even yesterday. I knew if I got off to a good start I could shoot a good score. To start off with an eagle, that was ideal. And then just during the middle of the round just sort of holed a nice putt on 16 and chipped in on 18 and hit it close a couple other times.
STEWART MOORE: By your standards, this year has been a little bit of a struggle. What seems to be clicking so far through 36 holes?
AARON BADDELEY: I mean, I actually felt like I played well this year. It's been a bit of a different year just because I haven't scored as well as I felt like I was playing. I felt like I was playing well, but I really wasn't -- I felt like I wasn't putting well. I wasn't holing enough putts from like 10 to 15 feet for birdies. So today I made a couple of those, which helps keep the scorecard looking nice.

Q. Some specific things you've done to work on the putting stroke?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, I've really studied hard, worked hard last week on it. There's a place called Cool Clubs in Scottsdale, and they have a putting lab type thing that's got all the cameras and stuff. I've been looking at some old footage from 1999 and 2000 where I felt like I putted my best, trying to match my setup, trying to make sure things were right.
I made a couple of changes, and actually last night I was looking at it again on my laptop, and I just saw something this morning at about 5:00 o'clock this morning when I was just looking -- just before I came out. Yeah, it made a difference.

Q. What was that?
AARON BADDELEY: Well, this morning I saw I was standing a little bit too close, a little bit too upright, so I got a little bit further away and just bent over a little bit more and let my arms just hang a little bit and just be a little bit softer. It certainly made all the difference. It was great.

Q. As a golfer when you look at some of that old tape of yourself, are you sometimes astonished at how much has changed?
AARON BADDELEY: It wasn't far off, that was the thing. Like it was close, but it wasn't the same. So just looking at that and just seeing -- I mean, it's easy to think -- to try and think back what it was like, but it's just great when you've got it right there on your laptop and you can just look at it, stand there and see if it looks the same.

Q. When you get in a stretch like you were in the middle of your round today, five straight birdies, how does the momentum build hole to hole?
AARON BADDELEY: I mean, you just try and keep going. I saw Will was playing great, so I was like, I've just got to keep going. He made two in a row, then I had a real simple chip on 18. I was just sort of eyeing it, hit a great chip and it went in.
Then I knew there was one hole the pin was cut in the front so I knew it was really accessible so I thought just get the ball in the fairway and you've got a good opportunity for birdie.
And then 2, I nearly made eagle there, again, as well. For me I was just trying to keep going low.

Q. To literally be a hole behind the leader, chasing the leader, does that help?
AARON BADDELEY: I never saw him. I think the last couple holes they slowed down a little bit and I caught up to them. Actually I didn't know who was in front of me. I knew it was Dean and J.B., but I didn't know who else was in that group.

Q. What do guys out here make of Will? He's different than just about anybody else out here.
AARON BADDELEY: He is. That's what makes him great, unique. You always know where he's at because he's not the quietest guy around. He's funny.
I remember we were playing in Australia, and we were both sponsored by J. Lindeberg at the time. I was on the practice fairway. He came down the practice fairway, and we had the exact same outfit on, and he just started yelling and making noise. It was hilarious. That's Will. He's just great.

Q. How do you find this course as a challenge and as a fair test of golf?
AARON BADDELEY: I think it's great. I really like this golf course. It's in perfect condition, and I think if you play well obviously you can shoot good scores. But if you don't play well, it can penalize you, too.

Q. What was going through your head after you started out 3-over after your first nine holes yesterday?
AARON BADDELEY: I was a little confused because I felt like I was playing well. I was like, this is not right, I should be under par. I really didn't do a whole lot on that front nine. So I was like, this is a brand new nine, let's just start again. I knew I could have like three or four in a row, birdies in a row, and I'd be right there again. I was just trying to stay patient because I knew I was playing well.

Q. Are you here for the jet? Did you put this tournament on the schedule because of the jet?
AARON BADDELEY: That was part of it, definitely. And also I was supposed to play last week but I had to pull out, just had to make sure my wife and little baby were okay. And then having the jet here, it was like, well, it was a no-brainer.

Q. Is that something that will keep bringing you back?
AARON BADDELEY: I'm not sure. I'm not sure what next year is going to hold yet. I mean, we're having a baby later this year, so I really don't know what's going to happen next year.

Q. After shooting even par yesterday, were you thinking, oh, man, I've got to put the pedal to the metal in this round today?
AARON BADDELEY: I knew if I could get a good score today, 6- or 7-under, I'd be back in the tournament. It was nice to do that today because I know if I can go out tomorrow and shoot another good score, I'll be right there come Sunday.

Q. Why did you have to pull out last week?
AARON BADDELEY: Just some things came out with Richelle, my wife. She's pregnant, so we had to make sure that she was okay and the baby was okay.

Q. Regarding next week, I'm not sure if you're aware, but only Americans and Australians have won at Birkdale. No European has ever won. Does that bode well for you? What are your thoughts?
AARON BADDELEY: I like that. My caddie, my normal caddie, Pete Bender, he was caddying for Ian Baker-Finch when he won, and Pete's lucky number is 19. He told Ian he's going to get lucky No. 19, so he won. I was talking to Pete last week. I was like, Pete, I'm going to go get lucky No. 19 and see if I can win it.

Q. Only Aussies, Americans and one South African have won the John Deere Classic (laughter). Mark Hensby won here, John Senden won here. Australians have had a lot of success here. And Nathan Green was on the board here last year, but guys say this course is nothing like an Australian course. How do you explain the success?
AARON BADDELEY: It's not, but I'll say the one thing is you have the shaved areas off the side of the greens, like the tight chipping areas, we have that in Australia for sure. But I don't know, I can't explain it. It's just sometimes those things happen. It's just weird.

Q. What about playing with Zach today and the karma that was in the group? How much did that help, or was that a factor?
AARON BADDELEY: It's always great when you play with a good friend like Zach and then also when he's playing well, as well. It's good to see good shots being hit, seeing the ball go down the fairway, on the green, putts go in the hole. It definitely gives you good feedback and a good visual of what you need to do.
STEWART MOORE: Aaron, thanks so much for coming in.

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