Bad­de­ley’s mag­i­cal 64

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

AARON Bad­de­ley is eye­ing last­ditch qual­i­fi­ca­tion for next month’s US PGA Cham­pi­onship af­ter match­ing Ian Bak­erFinch’s mag­i­cal Bri­tish Open round of 64 at Royal Birk­dale.

Bad­de­ley’s six- un­der- par earned him his best Open fin­ish, a tie for 27th af­ter six missed cuts in seven pre­vi­ous at­tempts.

The dual Aus­tralian Open champ was hop­ing to equal the ma­jor cham­pi­onship- record 62 that South Africa’s Bran­den Grace shot on Satur­day when he lined up a 10m ea­gle putt on the 17th.

“I gave it a run,” Bad­de­ley said. “But it was nice to hole the 10- footer com­ing back.”

Bad­de­ley, 37, then scram­bled for par on the last to equal Baker- Finch’s 64 in when his coun­try­man raised the Claret Jug with the low­est- ever win­ning to­tal at Birk­dale.

“I was think­ing 63. I was try­ing to chip it in for 63,” he said. “I knew Ian shot a low one but I didn’t know it was 64. I played beau­ti­fully. I don’t think I could hit my irons much bet­ter.”

Bad­de­ley heads into next week’s Bar­racuda Cham­pi­onship in Ne­vada know­ing only a vic­tory will earn him a start in the PGA Cham­pi­onship at Quail Hol­low. MARC Leish­man craves to com­plete golf’s most fa­mous walk af­ter post­ing his third Bri­tish Open top- 10 fin­ish in four years.

Beaten in a play­off at St An­drews and equal fifth at Royal Liver­pool the year be­fore, Leish­man had a fi­nal- round five­un­der 65 to fin­ish equal sixth at Royal Birk­dale — and be the lead­ing Aussie again at four un­der.

“You grow up watch­ing all this stuff on TV and hope you’re e go­ing to get there one day,” he said.said “To be there on a Sun­day af­ter­noon when the stands are full, get­ting that ova­tion com­ing om­ing up the 18th, it feels re­ally nice. It would be nice to walk up there one day with a four- shot lead and en­joy it more.”

Aaron Bad­de­ley. Jor­dan Spi­eth af­ter tap­ping in on the 18th to win the Bri­tish Open yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: Getty US PGA Cham­pi­onship

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