Baddeley, Goosen Lead Els in Hawaii

From Associated Press

Aaron Baddeley paid his dues. Now, the 21-year-old Australian wants to show he belongs among the best players in golf at the Sony Open.

With birdies on three of his last five holes at windy Waialae Country Club, Baddeley polished off a six-under-par 64 to share the 36-hole lead with Retief Goosen.

“I love being in the last group,” Baddeley said. “It’s where I want to be -- tied for the lead, and comfortable with my game.”


The pressure is nothing new. Baddeley won consecutive Australian Open titles as a teenager, and also beat Sergio Garcia in an Australasian tour event.

Still, it’s the first time Baddeley has played in a PGA Tour event without having to get a sponsor’s exemption. He earned his way on the tour by finishing 10th on the Tour money list, and he appears to be ready for bigger things.

“This is the way I dream of winning,” he said. “It’s my first event with a tour card. I’m going to go out tomorrow and keep doing what I’m doing.”

He still has plenty of work left.

He and Goosen, the 2001 U.S. Open champion and the fourth-ranked player in the world, finished at 10-under 130.

Ernie Els, coming off a record performance last week at Kapalua when he won by eight strokes set a PGA Tour record at 31 under par, showed no signs of letting up.

Despite missing two birdie putts inside six feet, Els shot a 65 and was one stroke behind, along with Chris DiMarco (66) and Peter Lonard (65).


“I’m hitting the ball quite nicely,” Goosen said. “Ernie is hitting the ball slightly better than me. If he gets the putter going, he’s the guy to beat for the weekend.”