Aaron Baddeley produced a birdie barrage late in his round at Riviera Country Club to rocket into a tie for second just one shot off the lead midway through Friday’s second round of the Northern Trust Open.
Baddeley bagged five birdies in his final six holes, including the last four in a row, to post a six-under-par 65 and move to eight-under for the tournament.
The Victorian trails South Korean Sang-Moon Bae by a shot after he fired a 66 to be nine-under and is tied with American Robert Garrigus who still has nine holes to play.
Baddeley, the 2011 winner of the event, had to return to play the final hole of his first round early in the morning and promptly birdied it to card a 69.
Sent to start his second round almost immediately, he continued the momentum with a birdie at the first and added another at the fifth to make the turn at four-under.
His only mistakes came soon after when he made bogeys on the 10th and 12th holes but he tempered the damage a little with a birdie sandwiched between on 11.
From there, his putter caught fire.
He rolled in a 13-footer for birdie on the 13th, dropped one from 15 feet on the 15th, drained another 13-footer on 16, slid one in from 16 feet on the 17th and then ended the streak with a 26-foot bomb on the last.
“To birdie the last four was extra special,” Baddeley said.
“Today was good because I made a couple of good saves early and then, coming in, I had some good looks and made them.”
Matt Jones, the leading Australian from round one, sits at three-under early in his second round in a tie for 22nd while the rest of the Australian contingent is battling to make the cut.
Marc Leishman (74), Robert Allenby (five holes) and John Senden (nine holes) are one-over-par, a shot outside the projected cut.
Geoff Ogilvy (six holes) and Stuart Appleby (three holes) will need to go low in the afternoon as they sit two-over while the tournament is definitely over for Steven Bowditch (75) and Greg Chalmers (78) after poor second rounds.