Baddeley replaced Couples in the lead at the Northern Trust Open
LOS ANGELES, CA - Australian Aaron Baddeley, seeking his first PGA Tour victory in four years, stormed into the lead Saturday after three rounds of the Northern Trust Open, hoping to hold off golf legends Fred Couples and Vijay Singh.
Baddeley, who hasn't won since the 2007 PGA Tour event in Phoenix, shot a third round 67 to move to 10-under-par 203, which was good enough for a one-shot lead over Couples, who led after round two, and two better than Singh, who also shot a 67.
The expected rains mainly held off Saturday which allowed Baddeley to move to the top of the crowded, star-studded leader board. "Yeah, I've been playing really nicely, just haven't been seeing the results," Baddeley said. "It's really making a couple of putts. You can hit the ball really well, but if you don't finish it off, you don't get the rewards. Just making a couple of putts here and there makes a difference." He made two putts of 25 or more feet at historic Rivera CC, which propelled him to his own 67 and a narrow edge. American Kevin Na was also tied with Couples at 9-under 204 after his 67.
Couples, 52, has won the Los Angeles PGA Tour event twice in his career, not to mention a Masters title and 50 victories around the world. He is looking for his first Tour event win since the 1993 Shell Houston Open. He will captain the U.S. Presidents Cup team in Australia this fall, and was hoping to use this week as a scouting mission to look at his possible team, but it's turned into much more.
"This gives me thoughts of playing better golf, but to play more, no. I'm a Champions Tour player that plays a couple times on our Tour, or this Tour, I should say, but no way," Couples said when asked if he could complete with players half his age every week. "If I could win by ten, I would still say no way. But my goal is to play well Sunday and see what I can do."
Singh, 48, who hasn't won or even competed much since knee surgery two years ago, also got himself in fine shape with his low round of the week. "I was really prepared when I came on the scene this year," Singh said. "Ready to play, ready to win."
Third Round Leaders:
1) Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 67-69-67 (203, -10)
2) Fred Couples (USA) 68-66-70 (204, -9)
Kevin Na (USA) 71-66-67
4) Vijay Singh (FIJ) 68-70-67 (205, -8)
5) Ryan Moore (USA) 69-68-70 (207, -6)
John Senden (AUS) 67-69-71
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