Baddeley leads in Puerto Rico

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Aaron Baddeley drives his big third round in Puerto Rico. Image: Getty

Coachless for the first time in his career, Aaron Baddeley has been kicked out of the pack to take the 54-hole lead in the Puerto Rico Open on the American PGA Tour.

Baddeley, 37, is on schedule for his first win since 2016 after a third round 66 in Rio Grande, without a single bogey.

Arizona-based Melburnian said his T4 finish in the Safeway Open had given him confidence

"I feel that my game has been in a good spot for a while," he said afterwards. "Celebrating the start of the year, helping to set up the year, in the invitation, the Bay Hills, the Memorials, it's a good start of the year and hopefully (I) I'll build tomorrow."

Baddeley has often been criticized for making big changes in his game, but since last October he only manages his swing after a period of working with Scott Hamilton and Brad Malone, Adam Scott's brother-in-law.

"This past October I decided to do it myself," he said. "I have my keys that I work on constantly, it's the same for the last 18 months, it does that and takes full ownership, owns my game, owns my swing, understanding whether it's a bit convenient, knows what it takes to get it back instead of trusting someone else. & # 39;

Baddeley leads with a shot from Nate Lashley from the USA in the final round of an event that – coincident with the World Golf Championship tournament in Mexico – has a thinner pitch and a smaller prize pool. Nevertheless, a victory would give the two-time Australian Open champion two more years of playing rights.

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