MARANA, Arizona (Reuters) - Australia’s Aaron Baddeley earned a bye into the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship when former winner David Toms pulled out on Thursday because of a back injury.
American Toms, who clinched the 2005 title at La Costa, had been scheduled to play Baddeley in the second round at Dove Mountain’s Gallery Golf Club.
Baddeley advances to Friday’s third round where he will meet either twice champion Tiger Woods or American Arron Oberholser.
World number one Woods was two up on Oberholser after seven holes in their second-round encounter.
“It’s disappointing for David because you always want to play and win the match,” Baddeley, 26, told reporters. “I just hope that he’s feeling better.”
The Australian said he would play nine holes on his own on Thursday at the back of the tournament field to keep his game sharp.
“I want to keep the rhythm going by playing on the golf course and hitting shots, especially if it’s a little bit breezy tomorrow like today,” said Baddeley, who is making his second appearance in the elite WGC event.
“You want to be able to play in the same wind. But, in a way, it can be nice to have a day off too. It’s a long week and I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the opportunity of possibly playing Tiger.
“He’s the best player in the world and he’s fun to play with. But I’m definitely not discounting that Arron can win today.”
Editing by Sonia Oxley