Baddeley claims maiden US Tour win

Aaron Baddeley held off the challenge of Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk tonight to win the Verizon Heritage, his maiden PGA Tour win.

Aaron Baddeley held off the challenge of Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk tonight to win the Verizon Heritage, his maiden PGA Tour win.

The 24-year-old Australian played with former US Open champion Furyk for the last two rounds at Harbour Town Golf Links and the lead exchanged hands several times on the final day after both started the day 14 under par.

Baddeley led Furyk by one at 16-under after seven holes but the pair swapped places when he bogeyed the eighth and Furyk holed a 45-foot birdie putt at 10.

A greenside bunker cost the Australian another shot at the 11th, with the sand causing Furyk to bogey the next and drop to 15-under.

Baddeley drew level again with a putt from off the back of the 14th green for a two and went ahead after a superb 220-yard six-iron approach to the par-five next set up a birdie.

Both bogeyed the par-three 17th after missing the green and after the Australian over-shot the last with his approach, he got up and down, holing an eight-foot par putt, to deny Furyk the chance to force a play-off.

Baddeley became the fourth Australian to win the title – and the tartan jacket which goes with it – and succeeded compatriot Peter Lonard with his 15-under total.

“I was being patient and hanging in there. Today was a great day,” said Baddeley, who as a practicing Christian was on the 18th green at 7am this morning giving a reading as part of an Easter service.

“It was my first wedding anniversary yesterday so it makes it a special week.”

Furyk, who missed a 15-foot birdie putt at the last which would have taken the tournament to a play-off, said: “It just needed some putts on the back nine to go in.

“It came down to putts and he knocked in more than I did.”

World number five Ernie Els had four birdies and a bogey in his first eight holes to get within four of the leaders but he then missed a six-foot putt for birdie at the 10th and another of similar length on the 12th for par.

A miss of even shorter length dropped him back to 11-under at the 13th and out of contention, and the South African closed with a round of 71 to finish joint seventh on 10-under.

Americans Vaughn Taylor and Billy Mayfair tied for third on 13-under.

Europeans with Ryder Cup aspiration struggled: Jesper Parnevik (two-over), Thomas Levet (five-over), Carl Petterson (six-over) and Justin Rose (seven-over).

The 2004 captain Bernhard Langer was the top European finisher on three-under after a round of 70 – his third of the week.

Collated final round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour Verizon Heritage, Harbour Town Golf Links, Carolina, United States of America (USA unless stated, par 71):

269 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 66 67 66 70

270 Jim Furyk 64 67 68 71

271 Billy Mayfair 65 69 68 69, Vaughn Taylor 63 70 72 66

273 Jerry Kelly 68 69 66 70, Brett Quigley 68 70 68 67

274 Tim Clark (Rsa) 72 65 68 69, Ernie Els (Rsa) 71 67 65 71

276 Brian Gay 66 67 73 70, Jose Coceres (Arg) 69 67 68 72

277 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 66 68 74 69

278 Heath Slocum 71 70 65 72, Corey Pavin 69 69 69 71, Stephen Leaney (Aus) 71 69 70 68, Lucas Glover 70 68 66 74, Ben Crane 67 68 72 71

279 Woody Austin 68 69 70 72, Frank Lickliter II 71 71 69 68, Jeff Maggert 69 66 71 73, Arjun Atwal (Ind) 67 70 71 71

280 Scott Verplank 69 71 68 72, Joey Sindelar 69 72 68 71, Paul Azinger 68 69 73 70, Tom Pernice Jnr. 65 69 72 74, Duffy Waldorf 65 68 74 73, Bart Bryant 70 69 72 69

281 John Daly 70 67 72 72, Bernhard Langer (Ger) 70 70 71 70, Peter Jacobsen 72 70 68 71, D.J. Trahan 71 69 71 70, Stewart Cink 70 71 72 68, Loren Roberts 68 69 73 71, Fred Funk 68 66 74 73, Nick Price (Zim) 70 69 71 71, Bill Haas 70 69 70 72

282 Chris Riley 66 70 68 78, Briny Baird 71 69 69 73, Chad Campbell 70 71 69 72, Joe Durant 71 69 68 74

283 J.B. Holmes 67 69 73 74, Shaun Micheel 71 68 73 71, Rodney Pampling (Aus) 70 69 70 74, Billy Andrade 68 69 76 70, Ben Curtis 71 68 77 67

284 Jeff Gove 71 67 74 72, Doug Barron 72 69 69 74

285 Justin Leonard 70 69 74 72, Ian Poulter (Eng) 69 70 72 74, Bob Tway 70 70 69 76, Davis Love III 69 70 73 73, Steve Flesch 71 71 72 71

286 Tim Petrovic 73 68 74 71, Nathan Green (Aus) 72 70 73 71, Chris DiMarco 69 70 71 76, Mathias Gronberg (Swe) 67 71 74 74, Jesper Parnevik (Swe) 71 70 72 73, Greg Owen (Eng) 70 72 74 70, Kevin Na (Kr) 71 71 72 72

287 Brian Davis (Eng) 69 70 75 73, Peter Lonard (Aus) 71 70 75 71, Todd Fischer 69 69 76 73

288 J.L. Lewis 68 73 73 74

289 Robert Gamez 70 70 76 73, Bo Van Pelt 70 70 74 75, Thomas Levet (Fra) 71 71 76 71, Steve Lowery 73 67 76 73, Dudley Hart 71 71 73 74

290 Bob Estes 70 72 71 77, Mark Calcavecchia 71 68 74 77, Carl Pettersson (Swe) 73 69 72 76

291 Ryuji Imada (Jpn) 73 69 80 69, Justin Rose (Eng) 71 70 74 76, Brad Faxon 68 73 74 76

292 Brent Geiberger 76 66 76 74

294 Hidemichi Tanaka (Jpn) 72 67 74 81

297 Paul Stankowski 71 70 75 81

Withdrawn: Robert Allenby.

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