by Mark Hayes on Pebble Beach
(thanks to USGA / JD Cuban)
There are always difficult stories in big championships – and today it was Aaron Baddeley & # 39; s turn to feel the wrath of the unscrupulous wave gods.
The Australian was nearly broken after a double-bogey in the final hole and made him think about a 74, a total of five, and an early flight to his base in Arizona
But the heart of the final hole was just the tip of the iceberg, forcing the Australian Open champion to rethink the merciless methods of the game of delivering justice.
"I'm just stripped," the Victorian said for a long pause.
"Golf is a ruthless game. It tests you like nothing else. It's so frustrating. You work so hard and … it doesn't cost much to not be around on the weekend."
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The cause of his fear was not so much the glorious finale, but he demanded the rush with which he was forced to try.
"We were put on the clock and it got me a little upset," Baddeley said about the last five holes, in which he also withstood two bogeys after being well in line for much of his round.
"We have two very long rulings and those things happen … but the official … literally had the rule from books (to help make the decision).
"So I said to another (other) officer who finally gave us the timing:" Come on, that can't be & # 39; and he said they still felt we should be timed. That's just not right.
"That was at 12 and then at 13, Andrew (Putnam) just had a bad hole and it just took longer (than usual) and then at 14 we were put on the clock and we just had to hurry and it's just frustrating ..
"We had two long statements – the fault of an (an) official … and the other was looking for a ball after Andrew hit it in danger and it took a while to figure it out.
"I hit two bad tee-shots at 15 and 16 … (which) both led to bogeys."
Baddeley then curled in a beautiful birdie-putt on the difficult par-three 17th to leave him at three and, in his mind, who needed a birdie to make the closing par-five to ensure his weekend presence .
"I ripped a great ride of 18 and didn't take the photo I needed at the time. I should have hit a 5-wood in the middle of the green to the edge of the back, but I tore 4-iron (and went into the water.
"From there it was just a mess."
"It's so disappointing because the game felt great when I walked around, I felt every chance of being substandard at the end of the day.
"I was just cruising and making two fast bogeys and it is … just so frustrating because the game feels like it's done.
"I thought that if I would put it on an equal footing, you would never know, because there are six easily, maybe even eight below. Of course you have to play well, but it is not impossible and if you are there today, can you do that tomorrow and lead the golf tournament.
"It's broaching. And it's US Open. And it's on Pebble Beach … I love it here. It's stripping."
"Golf … I'll just pick myself up and assume next week."
He was not the only Aussie who came from the second major of the year prematurely.
Brett Drewitt needed a miracle after an opening 77, but was doomed when he fell today after four out of eight through four holes through eight holes.
The New South Welshman boldly fought birdies on the 18th, second, third and fourth to make up for his big championship debut.
But it ended gloriously with a bogey on the sixth supplemented by a fourfold bogey on the eighth to end with a 76 and fall to 11 over.
Marcus Fraser from Corowa also brought errors in three separate double crooks en route to a second round 79 and 10-over finish.
The Matt Jones of Sydney could not completely extend his love affair with Pebble Beach, despite a brave attempt to bounce back from the early disaster.
Jones, who played the annual US PGA Tour stopover at this resort for twelve consecutive years, was four out of five holes on day one. He played the next 31 holes in one substandard, but needed another birdie to go beyond the two on his second day 71.