Aaron Baddeley, Team New England, overcame 5-1/2 years of darkness, frustration and failure Sunday in Alabama. Baddeley’s dedication and belief in himself paid off with his win of the Barbasol Championship. It was his first victory since 2011 and the Northern Trust Open.
To secure the win, the check for $630,000 and 300 FedEx Points, Baddeley made a 24-foot birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to emerge victorious over 21 year old Si Woo Kim. The pair had finished regulation play 18 under par 266. It was his fourth PGA Tour victory since turning professional in 2000.
Baddeley left no doubt how much the Barbasol win meant to him as he broke into a celebratory dance, tossed his club in the air, flung his cap on the green and greeted his family who rushed onto the green to congratulate their father and husband.
A member of Team New England, Baddeley was born in Lebanon New Hampshire in 1981. His father Ron was chief mechanic for the auto racing team of Mario Andretti the auto racing legend based in New Hampshire. The Baddeley family moved back to Australia when Aaron was 2 years old. He holds dual American and Australian citizenship.
Introduced to golf at age 8 by his grandmother, Jean Baddeley, young Aaron would be mentored by noted Aussie teaching professional and Coach Dale Lynch in Melbourne.
“Dale’s approach to coaching me was about fulfilling my goals. We worked on a step by step planned approach, which saw me win the Australian Open as an 18 year amateur and the foundations established enabled me to achieve my ultimate goal of playing on the PGA TOUR”, Baddeley told Golf Digest in 2007.
In fact Aaron won the Australian Open two years in a row. First in 1999, the youngest player to win then as a professional in 2000 before moving back to the U.S. and enlisting the coaching talent of David Leadbetter until 2004.
Baddeley joined Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer in 2005 subscribing to the Stack and Tilt swing method. He was unaware of just how bad things could get as he continued to work to regain his form of years earlier in Australia.
Baddeley struggled through perhaps his worst funk in 2013 on the PGA Tour when he missed ten straight cuts. It was the worst slump of his eleven-year US Tour career. The fine line he speaks was certainly evidenced by his missing the sixth of those ten cuts exactly on the number at the US Open at Merion.
“The easy thing to do is to start sulking,” Baddeley said of bad form. “But you’ve got to be patient, keep working towards something, finding the positives in everything.”
At the Barbasol Championship, Aaron Baddely’s hard work and dedication to his faith paid off.
Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood