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Aaron Baddeley set for Harbor Town defence

Twelve months after winning a maiden PGA Tour title at Hilton Head in South Carolina, Aaron Baddeley is halfway towards achieving one of his two goals for this season.

The 26-year-old Australian set his sights on at least two victories on the 2007 PGA Tour and claimed the first of those at the Phoenix Open in February.

This week, Baddeley is back to defend his Heritage Classic crown at the picturesque Harbour Town Golf Links where his comfort level could hardly be higher.

"When you come back to somewhere you've played well before, you remember the shots you hit well, the nice shots you've played," the world number 28 told reporters on Wednesday.

"You do get a feeling about playing well. I feel my game is quite good. Even though I didn't score that well last week, I still feel like I'm playing quite nicely."

Baddeley, who closed with an eight-over-par 80 in difficult conditions to share 52nd place at last week's Masters, believes he has improved considerably as a player over the last year.

"The biggest difference is how I feel," he said.

"Everything I'm working on is going towards where I want to go to. I've got the tools that I need to get to where I want to go."

Baddeley said his peers on the Tour were starting to realise he was a real threat when he gets into contention.

"But it doesn't really matter what people think about me. I believe in what I'm doing and I believe in where I'm going, and what people say or think or write is not going to deter me."

Baddeley, who birdied two of the last five holes at Harbour Town to hold off the experienced Jim Furyk by a shot last year, was clear about his targets at the start of this season.

"My main goals were to have a multiple-win season and to finish in the top 30 on the (PGA Tour) FedExCup points," he said.

"Now that I'm top 50 in the world, I get to play in the majors and World Golf Championships, so I definitely focus on those and want to get myself prepared to one those of those events, as well."

Baddeley, who joined the PGA Tour in 2003, fired a seven-under-par 64 in near-perfect conditions at the TPC Scottsdale to claim his second title on the circuit two months ago.

The Australian took advantage of a stumbling finish by American Jeff Quinney to win the Phoenix Open by one shot.

"This year has been a nice year, it's really been a flow on from last year," Baddeley said. "I'm excited to be back at Hilton Head." (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles)

 

April 12, 2007




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