Aaron Baddeley hadn’t made a bogey since the second round, but a three-putt on the 72nd green ended that streak and his chance at victory. And Heath Slocum, who twice before had come oh-so-close to his first triumph on the PGA Tour, took advantage by shooting a final-round 65 to break through at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson.
It was Slocum’s first victory since he won three times on the Buy.com Tour in 2001 to earn a battlefield promotion.
It was his first title in 78 starts and followed two near-misses. In 2002, Slocum led the Tucson tournament after 54 holes, but managed only par golf the last day. Also in 2002, he led by a stroke at Hilton Head with three holes to go before a double bogey dropped him behind winner Justin Leonard.
“I took the experience from two years ago, and from Hilton Head two years ago and from Milwaukee last year (tied for second),” Slocum said. “Coming down and just playing my game, and it worked out this time. It really felt good.”
Baddeley didn’t feel so good about his performance at No. 18 Sunday.
“You don’t want to three-putt to lose,” said Baddeley, whose second shot on No. 18 stopped about 50 feet from the pin. “But I putted up a hill. It was into the grain, left to right, and it really wasn’t that slow. And then I hit a good putt on the way down, and it just didn’t go in.”