Baddeley blitzes back nine at Pebble Beach Pro-Am - PGA of Australia

Baddeley blitzes back nine at Pebble Beach Pro-Am

A brilliant back-nine of five-under 32 at Monterey Peninsula has propelled Aaron Baddeley inside the top five at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California.

Despite playing on a limited category this season, Baddeley has already posted two top-10 finishes and climbed from 836th in the world last August to 392nd prior to teeing it up this week.

Playing his first round at Monterey Peninsula Country Club – which historically yields the lower scores of the three courses in use – Baddeley was treading water when he made the turn in one-under.

He hit full gear thanks to an eagle at the par-5 10th and added birdies at 13, 14 and 16 to post six-under 65 and a tie for fifth, two shots back of American Hank Lebioda (63 at Monterey).

Fellow two-time Australian Open champion Greg Chalmers also made a strong start at Monterey where six of the top seven scores came from on Thursday.

Bogey-free and five-under through 16 holes, Chalmers could have joined Baddeley inside the top 10 in Round 1 but dropped a shot at the par-4 17th for a round of four-under 67 and a share of 13th.

A week after his hosting duties at TPS Victoria, Geoff Ogilvy began a rare PGA TOUR appearance with two-under 70 at Pebble Beach with Harrison Endycott (74 at Spyglass Hill) and Cameron Percy (74 at Monterey Peninsula are well down the leaderboard.

The Aussie flag appears 14 times on the leaderboard at the Asian Tour’s PIF Saudi International where Andrew Dodt, Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones and Marc Leishman each opened with rounds of two-under 68 at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

Making his first start since the Indonesian Open last August, Dodt showed no signs of the back injury that kept him from playing the Aussie events over summer, going bogey-free to sit in a share of 18th.

World No.4 Cameron Smith was also making his first appearance of the year and struggled to a round of three-over 73 on day one consisting of five bogeys and two birdies.

Gabi Ruffels is in a share of 16th with New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori after Round 1 of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour, West Australian Whitney Hillier one stroke further back at two-over.

Curtis Luck’s even par round of even-par 70 has him six strokes off the lead at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Panama Championship and Kiwi Ryan Fox has continued his outstanding form from 2022 to be tied for fifth after day one of the DP World Tour’s Ras al Khaimah Championship in the UAE.

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