January 19, 2003
HONOLULU -- Aaron Baddeley took three years to reach the PGA Tour, but Saturday he looked to be in a hurry to win his first event at the Sony Open.
The 21-year-old built a lead that reached five strokes over a collection of world-class players and finished with 5-under-par 65 and a two-shot lead over Ernie Els.
Baddeley, who won back-to-back Australian Opens as a teenager, kept his cool when his swing deserted him down the stretch, making tough par saves on the 15th and 16th holes to hold off a charging Els, who shot 66.
Baddeley was at 15-under 195.
"I'm just going to enjoy it," Baddeley said of today's pairing with Els. "Ernie is a laid-back fellow. Tomorrow is going to be a good day. All I can do is worry about my golf ball. If I do that, I can win."
Robert Gamez, who hasn't won since his rookie season 12 years ago, shot 65 and joined former Florida Gator Chris DiMarco (69) and Briny Baird (67) at 10-under 200.
Els is coming off an eight-stroke victory in the Mercedes Championships, where he set a tour record of 31-under. Els is trying to become the first since Steve Jones in 1989 to win the first two tournaments of the year.
That might not faze Baddeley, and Els knows it won't be easy.
"He's obviously very hungry to win his first event," Els said. "He's very much going to be a star of the future."
Baddeley laid claim to that potential by winning the 1999 Australian Open at 18, becoming the youngest winner of the sport's third-oldest championship, beating Greg Norman and Colin Montgomerie in the final round.
He turned pro the next year and said his goal was to reach the PGA Tour when he was 21. Baddeley managed that by finishing 10th last year on the Buy.com Tour money list, and he appears eager to step up with a victory.
Retief Goosen, who started the round tied with Baddeley for the lead, shot 2-over 72 after making triple bogey on the first hole and finished seven shots back.
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Protesters at the Masters opposing Augusta National Golf Club's male-only membership might have to comply with stricter public demonstration laws.
Augusta commissioners will be asked Tuesday to approve an updated city ordinance that refines public demonstration laws, city attorney Jim Wall said.
Protesters from the National Council of Women's Organizations and the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/Push Coalition have said they will show up with large groups at the Masters on April 7-13.
The proposed amendment would require groups of five or more people to apply for a permit from the sheriff's department 30 days in advance of any protest event. No timeline is given under existing law.
If it passes, the sheriff's office will have as many as 10 business days to approve or deny the protest permit, and a denial can be appealed for judicial review up to five days later.
Sheriff Ronnie Strength said public safety will supersede free speech, and he has declared public property surrounding Augusta National off limits
DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP: Lightning halted the third round in Johannesburg, South Africa, with second-round leader Bradley Dredge and Bradford Vaughan sharing the lead at 13 under. Vaughan was 5 under for the round through 12 holes. Dredge, seeking his first European tour victory, was 2 under through nine. The third round resumes today.