Amateur wins Sydney Open - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Amateur wins Sydney Open

Aaron Baddeley became the first amateur in 39 years and the youngest in history to win the Australian Golf Open in Sydney.

Aaron Baddeley became the first amateur in 39 years and the youngest in history to win the Australian Golf Open in Sydney.

The 18-year-old Australian played fearless golf to win by two strokes from five-times winner Greg Norman and fellow Australian Nick O'Hern.

But Baddeley turned his back on a winner's cheque worth around £80,000.

If Baddeley had accepted the hefty cash carrot 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 all the more remarkable because he beat Norman and seven-times European Order of Merit champion Colin Montgomerie, who finished fourth.

"I've been dreaming about winning the Australian Open for the last couple of months and today I actually did it," added Baddeley.

"I didn't look at the leader board today until the 12th hole, all week I have been focusing on the one shot at a time. All I can do is play the best I can and I can't control what anyone else does."

Baddeley's composure and nerveless play greatly impressed his big-name rivals, with Norman even going so far as to place him in the same bracket as Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.

"I am extremely impressed with Aaron's performance, to say the least," said Norman. "He has a lot of composure and has that gleam in his eye of a player who will be hard to beat."

But despite all the heady plaudits, Baddeley's father is sticking with the family intention to keep his son in amateur ranks, insisting he has learnt from the mistake made by Justin Rose.

"At the earliest we would start thinking about it next August and that would be after he has come back from the United States," said Ron Baddeley.

Rose switched to professionalism at 17 after finishing fourth in the Open and endured more than 20 missed cuts in pro tournaments.

"Justin Rose I almost weep for," said Baddeley senior. "Aaron had a game with him last year at the Australian Open where he missed the cut and if I had been his father there is no way I would have ever put him into the position of turning professional at 17 years old. The kid hasn't even grown up."

Leading final-round scores and totals in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney, Australia (Aus unless stated, par 72):

274 A Baddeley 67 68 70 69276 G Norman 70 73 64 69, N O'Hern 68 68 70 70277 P McGinley (Irl) 67 70 69 71, M Long (Nzl) 70 68 68 71, C Montgomerie (Sco) 72 67 67 71278 M Campbell (Nzl) 69 65 74 70279 P Lonard 73 66 70 70280 S Webster (Eng) 73 72 72 63281 G Ogilvy 70 69 69 73282 S Gardiner 68 73 72 69, P O'Malley 71 67 70 74, P Gow 64 72 70 76283 J Moseley 66 72 73 72, C Spence 69 70 73 71

Selected others:

284 N Faldo (Eng) 68 74 73 69287 D Howell (Eng) 69 72 76 70, A Wall (Eng) 69 68 72 78288 J Van de Velde (Fra) 71 73 75 69289 R Russell (Sco) 70 73 76 70291 D Tapping (Eng) 71 72 72 76292 T Bjorn (Den) 71 70 75 76294 T Dier (Ger) 71 74 78 71298 R Johnson (USA) 73 72 75 78

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones