Rebuilt Swing Pays Dividends for Baddeley

Rebuilt Swing Pays Dividends for Baddeley

The win, which was the third of Baddeley's career, validated the work he has been doing with Dale Lynch in an attempt to take his swing away from the stack-and-tilt method and back to the way he played as a teen. He played with total confidence on Sunday, too, as he turned back challenges from some of the game's most experienced players.

"As tough as the last two years were, I knew what I was working towards," Baddeley explained. "... Even though I got frustrated at times and discouraged at times, I knew my end goal, so I was able to be patient. That was the key. I had to be patient because I knew my game has been there for a while, I just haven't got the scores on the board.

"I really feel like there was a lot of character that was being built over the last couple years."

Indeed. Baddeley found out just how much as he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to be quickly tied by Fred Couples, who birdied his first three holes. Although clearly the sentimental favorite, the 51-year-old veteran couldn't keep pace, and it was the resurgent Singh who soon started to apply pressure.

The Fijian actually closed to within a shot with a birdie at No. 11 but bogeys on Singh's next two holes gave Baddeley a cushion he wouldn't relinquish. That said, the young Aussie did make a messy double at the 12th hole but had the fortitude to put it behind him and sink a clutch 25-footer with about 8 feet of break for birdie on the next.

"It's definitely been a couple of long years, but it was worth every bit," Baddeley said. "I really feel that the last couple years is actually what made it easier today just because of having to battle and having to grow into so much for a couple years, the character that was just built in me, I guess."

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