Golf: Baddeley turns down pounds 80,000

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The Independent Online
AARON BADDELEY became the first amateur in 39 years and the youngest in history to win the Australian Open in Sydney. The 18-year-old played fearless golf to win by two strokes from his fellow Australians Greg Norman, a five-times winner, and Nick O'Hern.

However, Baddeley turned his back on a winner's cheque worth around pounds 80,000. If he had accepted the prize, it would have meant losing his amateur status - something he is unwilling to give up. He said: "Hopefully, when I turn professional I won't have to worry about money. The money is not a problem. As long as I am holding trophies, the money doesn't count."

The unflappable Baddeley, the first amateur to win the Australian Open since Bruce Devlin in 1960, finished with a three-under-par 69 for a four- round total of 14-under 274. His achievement was made all the more remarkable as he beat Norman and the seven-times European Order of Merit champion, Colin Montgomerie, who finished fourth, in the process.

Elsewhere, Ian Woosnam failed by one shot to edge out the Swede, Patrik Sjoland, and win the Hong Kong Open. Sjoland fired a patchy two-over-par 72 but it was enough to beat the Welshman, who shot a final round one- under-par 69 at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Sjoland, who had fired himself into contention with a course-record 62 in Saturday's third round, finished on 11 under par for the tournament.

Woosnam had a nightmare start to his round with back-to-back bogeys, but soon hit form and began chipping away at Sjoland's lead. He notched three birdies but was unable to find the elusive fourth which would have given him the share of the lead and forced a play-off.

The American Gary Rusnak was two shots behind Woosnam in third place, while Zimbabwe's Mark McNulty finished four off the lead on seven under.

Scores, Digest, page 9