Expecting … Aaron Baddeley of Australia.Later this year, Aaron Baddeley won’t be the only man in the house. He has three women in his life – wife Richelle and daughters Jewell and Jolee – but he’s proudly announced Baby Boy Badds will be born in November. While great news for Baddeley and his wife, it is not for organisers of our three major Australian tournaments – the Open, Masters and PGA – as he’ll be staying at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the birth. Richelle’s previous pregnancies have been difficult and she has given up travelling to tournaments so she won’t be with Aaron when he plays in the Scottish Open in a couple of weeks followed by the British Open. Organisers of our Open might get a pleasant surprise with an entry from 1992 champion Steve Elkington. The Elk hasn’t played the Open since 1995, when he was infuriated the tournament poster featured Greg Norman and John Daly going head to head. The Elk was reigning US PGA champion and Daly, of course, was 1995 British Open champion, and Elkington rightly felt snubbed. On a recent visit home to Australia, he played The Lakes, redesigned three years ago by Mike Clayton, and has tweeted a message to Clayton: ”You did a fantastic job with the lakes … Congrats … love it … Might even come play in Dec.”
OGILVY MAKES THE CUT
A few weeks ago, this column pondered whether Geoff Ogilvy was superstitious and, if so, how long it would be before he shaved off his moustache. This was because, since it began to flourish after starting its growth for Movember, his results on the PGA Tour have been less than we expect of the 2006 US Open champ. His best finish this year is tied 12th in The Players Championship. He missed the cut in the US Open and his next tournament is the British Open. But the moustache has gone. Will it be the case of No Mo – More Momentum? We shall see.
ALMOST A TRIFECTA
Marcus Fraser just missed making it an Australian trifecta overseas last weekend when he lost on the fourth hole of a sudden-death play-off with Englishman Danny Willett in the BMW International in Cologne, Germany, while Marc Leishman had his maiden victory on the PGA Tour and Brad Kennedy won the Mizuno Open in Japan. After flying back to London last Sunday night, he headed to Sunningdale for the 36-hole final qualifier for the British Open and was successful. Australia now has 13 players in the field for Royal Lytham & St Annes later this month. The others are: Robert Allenby, Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Nick Cullen, Jason Day, Ashley Hall, Ogilvy, Adam Scott, John Senden, Kennedy, Brendan Jones and Aaron Townsend. Day will almost certainly not play as his wife, Ellie, is expecting their first child.
CLUB, WHAT CLUB?
Golfers have been disqualified for many reasons, most of them through ignorance of the rules or for a mistake in signing their cards. But never in my memory has a disqualification been for a blatant attempt by a caddie to hide a mistake. Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara was disqualified from the BMW International when his Argentinian caddie, Mathias Vinson, headed to the bushes after two holes to discard a 15th club in his player’s bag. Lara thought he’d gone for an early pit stop but his playing partners – Damien McGrane and Peter Hedblom – called in the golfing wallopers. Head rules boss John Paramor disqualified Lara, as a player is responsible for his caddie’s actions. Two famous cases of 15 clubs in the bag were Ian Woosnam at the 2001 British Open and Jim Furyk in the 2009 Barclays Championship on the PGA Tour. Woosnam, the overnight leader heading into the final round, discovered he had two drivers in the bag after the first hole and copped a two-shot penalty that cost him the championship. It is an automatic disqualification if a player has 15 clubs or more in the bag after the first two holes.
AS THE CROW FLIES
It is crow season for golfers in Sydney. Last weekend, at my local club, three of our group of four had their golf balls nicked by Mr and Mrs Crow working in tandem. Ditto the group in front of us on the same hole and also the group behind.
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