Prophetic Aaron Baddeley had the right attitude all along at Oakmont; Now it's him vs. Tiger at U.S. Open
OAKMONT, Pa. - Looking back on all the players I’ve spoken with this week, either one-on-one or in a reporter mob (usually around Rory Sabbatini, Zach Johnson or Ian Poulter), one thing has been evidently clear:
Those who came in with the mindset that the tournament was about them, and not the “dangerous” or “unfair” U.S.G.A. and Oakmont are doing well.
Those who were sniping at the course from the beginning of the week aren’t contenders.
I had a minute with 54-hole leader Aaron Baddeley as he was on the practice green Wednesday before his tournament began. This is the first time I’m looking back on the audio since I spoke with him and I’m surprised at how prophetic it is as we enter Sunday.
Can Oakmont yield a first-time major winner?
“I do, yeah. There’s a lot of top players in the top 30 in the world that haven’t won a major, and I think they’re good enough to win a major, so I think they can, yeah.”
On whether that first-timer could be him:
“I feel like if I play well, and play like I know I can, I’ll be coming down the backside on on Sunday with an opportunity.”
Mickelson hurt his wrist, David Howell just withdrew as well…are players being extra cautious about hitting out of the rough this week?
“I can see if you came up and practiced for hours and hours, just hitting it out of the rough, I can see how you could get a sore wrist or hurt yourself.
“But if you’re not doing it all the time, but hitting it in the fairways and not in the rough, you’ll be fine.”
Think about guys like Sergio Garcia, Rory Sabbatini, Phil Mickelson, and even lately Zach Johnson - guys who always seemed to put the course ahead of their game this week. They’re either fighting for scraps in the $7 million purse or they’re already at home.
Baddeley has a good head on his shoulders. His demeanor has been very humble and confident all week. He’s not getting baited into talking about the golf course. He knows it’s up to him.
Tiger is the favorite of course, but don’t expect Baddeley to roll over tomorrow. The trophy may stay down under.
Stay tuned for full coverage tomorrow…
|« Low scores, high humidity early at Oakmont as Tiger & Baddeley set to duel at U.S. Open||Defending U.S. Open and Oakmont champ Ernie Els likes Bubba Watson's chances, but Tiger is in control »|