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DIY putting green has Baddeley in PGA form

Aussie Aaron Baddeley says he's feeling good with the putter while contending at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, having fashioned a DIY green in his garage.

DIY putting green has Baddeley in PGA form

Aussie Aaron Baddeley says he's feeling good with the putter while contending at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, having fashioned a DIY green in his garage.

MARC LEISHMAN of Australia hits a tee shot in the final round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea.
MARC LEISHMAN of Australia hits a tee shot in the final round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea. Picture:Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Aaron Baddeley has credited a homemade putting green built between the weights in his garage gym for a recent surge in form, having shot his way into contention at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Coming off a tie for second in his last PGA Tour start at the Puerto Rico Open, the Australian will enter Saturday's third round at Orlando's renowned Bay Hill course just five shots from the lead.


Baddeley hit just six of 14 fairways during Friday's second round but negotiated Bay Hill's thick rough for a second straight round of two-under-par 70.

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (66) and former major winner Keegan Bradley (68) share the 36-hole lead at nine under - four strokes ahead of a five-way tie for third including reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari.

A four-time US PGA Tour winner and two-time Australian Open champion, Baddeley is regarded as one of the tour's best putters but has struggled lately.

He ranked first on the PGA Tour for strokes gained in putting in 2015, when countrymen Jason Day and Jordan Spieth were winning majors.

But while vastly improving his ball-striking and driving, Baddeley was uncharacteristically poor on the greens last year, ranking 128th.

The Victorian said he had a lightbulb moment at home in Arizona days before finishing second in Puerto Rico last month.

"I had a good putting session at home Monday of that week; part of our garage at home is a gym, so I put some nice rubber down for the weight machines and I was putting on that towards a dumbbell (as a target)," Baddeley told AAP.

"I noticed something with my grip in LA (Genesis Open) and fixed it."

The 37-year-old also reverted to the same make of putter with which he won his last tournament - the 2016 Barbasol Championship on the PGA Tour.

The original putter was destroyed by airline baggage handlers but Baddeley had manufacturer Odyssey fashion him a replica No.7.

Baddeley is the leading Australian at Bay Hill, with 2017 Palmer winner Marc Leishman posting a 70 to sit at two under. Jason Day, the 2016 Bay Hill winner, withdrew injured on day one with a back issue.

AAP


AAP




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