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Northern Trust Open: Aussies rule

February 17, 2011 |  1:48 pm

Bradley_450 There is now a five-way tie for the first-round lead of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club, and three of them are Australians. Along with John Senden and Robert Allenby, 30-year-old Aaron Baddeley has joined Spencer Levin and Martin Laird at four-under 67.

Baddeley actually holds dual citizenship. He was born in New Hampshire, then his family moved back to Australia, his father's home. Baddeley's father, Ron, was a chief mechanic for Mario Andretti's racing team. Senden had a theory on why the Aussies, at least at this point, are thriving with the old-fashioned Riviera layout.

"The nature of the golf course here is similar to what we have in Australia," Senden said, "where there's a lot of subtleties. Even though some greens are small, some greens are large, so there's a good variety and that's just what we have at home."

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Aaron Baddeley. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press