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Friday, 19 March 2010
2009 Australian Masters - Preview Day 2  (Getty Images)
2009 Australian Masters - Preview Day 2 (Getty Images)

While most of his rivals have been hard at work on the range and the practice putting green, Aaron Baddeley has been on the couch watching old videos to prepare for the 2009 JBWere Masters at Kingston Heath.

Not any old videos, mind you, but the coverage of his Australian Open win at the same venue in 2000.

Back then, Baddeley was a fearless 19 year old who stunned the golfing world by successfully defending the Australian Open title he won as an amateur 12 months earlier.

Nine years on and with the JBWere Masters moving to the Heath for the first time after three decades at Huntingdale, Baddeley has been rummaging through his old tapes to remind himself what his swing was like in 2000, and what it takes to win at this week's venue.

"I've been watching them to see how the course was, how it was playing, some of the hole locations and having a lot of good memories from a course that I played well at, where I hit it and stuff like that," said Baddeley.

"A lot of good things come from watching it.

"There's a couple of extra tees and obviously the greens aren't quite as firm as they were on the Sunday back then, but I'm expecting to see the exact same conditions where it's firm and fast and you need to be very precise."

Baddeley said his swing and ball-striking have improved out of sight since returning to work with coach Dale Lynch last March, and he believes his best is yet to come.

The 28 year old is confident his game will hold up under pressure over the next four days.

"Now I'm understanding why I hit it so well as a kid," said Baddeley. "I'm right there, right now.

"We're just working on a couple of little things here and there, but it's just a matter of tightening up a few loose shots and making a couple of extra putts because, over the course of a tournament, that's a lot of shots.

"It's a little bit here and a little bit there, but I'm pleased with where I'm at.

"That means there's every chance that this week I could play really well."

Baddeley said the extreme conditions forecast for the weekend would only enhance the prospects of the tournament favourites such as World Number One Tiger Woods and Australia's leading contender Geoff Ogilvy.

For the rest of the field to keep pace, they will need to take full advantage on the Thursday and Friday mornings of greens that will be watered to the max to preserve them for the weekend.

"I was thinking six (under) would be a nice number, because the greens will get quick and they (might) put a couple of pin placements where you need to be careful," said Baddeley.

"If you 'miss' around here it's penal, so you need to hit the ball in the right spots and, if you can do that, I think you could shoot four, five, six under."

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WOODS, TigerUSA18-14
2CHALMERS, GregAUS18-12
T3DUFNER, JasonUSA18-10
T3DELAMONTAGNE, FrançoisFRA18-10
5NITTIES, JamesAUS18-9
T6SCOTT, AdamAUS18-8
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