Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Aaron Baddeley overcomes Chopra to win Australian Masters at Huntingdale

AP , MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Aaron Baddeley of Australia hits out of a sand trap during the Australian Masters golf tournament in Melbourne yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Aaron Baddeley hit into the trees on the fourth playoff hole but still outlasted Sweden's Daniel Chopra to win the Australian Masters at Huntingdale yesterday.

Baddeley's chip from off the green on the 18th -- the playoff hole -- went to about 2m where he calmly rolled in the par putt. Chopra, who had made several clutch putts in regulation and in the playoff, dragged his par putt wide from a slightly shorter distance, giving the Australian the win.

It was the fifth time in six years that the Masters was decided in a playoff. The 18th played as one of the most difficult yesterday due to the wind, with only four birdies there in the final round.

"I felt I could eventually wear him down," Baddeley said. "I was hitting the ball really well."

Baddeley missed a 2m birdie putt on the first extra hole after Chopra had missed his from twice that distance. Both missed long birdie putts on the second playoff hole.

On the third extra hole, Chopra made a difficult 3m putt for par after Baddeley was left with a tap-in.

Baddeley, who shot a final-round 70, and third-round leader Chopra, who closed with a 71, finished with 13-under-par totals of 275. Chopra birdied 15 and 16 in regulation, while Baddeley pulled into a tie for the lead with a birdie on 17.

Stuart Appleby led by a stroke until a double bogey on the 18th and finished third. After his tee shot went into a fairway bunker, he pulled his 8-iron from the sand into the corporate marquee area.

His shot from the drop zone was 8m from the hole, and the long uphill putt for par went 2m past. He two-putted from there for a double-bogey six and a round of 69, finishing with an 11-under total of 277, two strokes back of the leaders.

Australian veteran Peter O'Malley shot his second straight 67 to finish another stroke back in fourth.

Robert Allenby, who led by a stroke after each of the first two rounds, closed with a 73 to finish at 7-under 281, tied for 10th and six shots back of Baddeley and Chopra.

Rory McIlroy, the 18-year-old from Northern Ireland, shot 73 Sunday and was another stroke back and tied for 15th.

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