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

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all