Despite his reputation as one of the best in the world with the flatstick the statistics don’t bear that out in 2018, the two-time Australian Open winner ranked a lowly 127thon the PGA Tour in that category.
What Baddeley can instead thank for his 1-under 69 Sunday, one of only two sub-par scores all week from the Australasian contingent, is iron play.
Generally not known for his accuracy, Baddeley was among the best 10 iron players for the week at Shinnecock Hills and it paid dividends with a top 25 result.
Baddeley’s 12-over score not only moved him up the leaderboard in the year’s second major it also saw him climb inside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup table, an important move with the top 125 retaining PGA Tour playing rights for 2019.
Big hitting New Zealander Ryan Fox was next best behind Baddeley, two shots and 16 places behind the Victorian on the leaderboard.
Playing his first US Open, Fox impressed with his steady scoring and proved he is indeed among the longest hitters in the world finishing behind only Brooks Koepka in the driving distance category.
The 31-year-old is yet to win a professional event but continues to make advances with his game and playing all four rounds this week will only have helped his confidence.
Marc Leishman, whose tournament effectively came to an end with a four-putt triple bogey at the 8thhole yesterday, was not surprisingly flat in the final round and signed for a 74.
That took him to 15-over for the week and a share of 41st place, further down the leaderboard than he would have liked but ultimately a positive week.
New Zealand left hander Tim Wilkinson was the last of the Australasians to play all 72 holes and hit back from a Saturday 78 with an excellent even par 70 Sunday.
Wilkinson holed a gutsy putt at the 36thhole to be among the last players to make the cut and will leave Shinnecock Hills pleased with his week’s work.
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