Northern Trust Open: Aaron Baddeley wins at Riviera Country Club
Australian Aaron Baddeley played steady golf Sunday, accepting that the large galleries around Riviera Country Club were rooting for 51-year-old Fred Couples and 47-year-old Vijay Singh. But even after taking a double-bogey six on the 12th, the 29-year-old Baddeley held on to win his third PGA Tour title and his first since 2007 with a two-shot win over Singh at the Northern Trust Open.
Baddeley shot a two-under-par round of 69 on Sunday and finished at 12-under 272. Baddeley had started the day with a one-shot advantage over Couples and Kevin Na. Couples, who was trying to become the oldest winner on the PGA Tour in 35 years, energized the gallery when he birdied the first three holes and briefly took the lead.
But Couples' downfall began with a double bogey of his own, at the par-four seventh. That six came after a bogey-four at the sixth. Couples ended up shooting a two-over 73 and finished in a tie for seventh after bogeying the 18th hole and still receiving a large round of applause for his loyalty to this event where Couples has played 29 times.
By that time Singh, who last won on the tour in 2008, was establishing himself as a threat with birdies at the ninth and 11th holes. But Singh, who turns 48 on Tuesday, bogeyed the 12th and 13th and missed a short birdie putt on the par-five 17th that could have drawn him within a shot of Baddelely and put some pressure on the leader, who was a group behind the leader. Singh shot a final-round 69.
Baddeley earned $1.170 million for the win.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Aaron Baddeley reacts after sinking a birdie putt at No. 13 on Sunday during the final round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. Credit: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images