When Aaron Baddeley was overlooked for a sponsor's invitation to the LA Open he decided rolling his sleeves up for Monday qualifying was better than complaining if he was to keep his perfect appearances streak alive.
Currently without a hat or shirt sponsor, 2011 LA Open winner Baddeley drove one hour inland and fired a five-under-par 67 at Industry Hills Golf Club, snaring one of the last four spots in the Genesis Open field at Riviera Country Club.
"It was interesting to be there," Baddeley said of Monday qualifying.
"I wouldn't say it's stressful; it's just a case of go out there, do your best and let the chips fall where they do because there is not much else you can do."
Baddeley's last-minute effort ensures a 17th consecutive appearance at one of the most prestigious events on the PGA Tour, now hosted by Tiger Woods to benefit his TGR Foundation.
"It is nice to keep the streak alive. I haven't missed this event since I first came on to the Tour in 2003," said Baddeley, who was in final-round contention at Riviera last year and finished tied 14th.
In 2011, Baddeley defeated great Vijay Singh at Riviera by two shots and collected a US$1.2 million winner's prize.
RIGHT: Baddeley won the LA Open, which was then called the Northern Trust Open, in 2011. PHOTO: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.
But he was not eligible for the Genesis Open this year as he failed to retain exempt status on the PGA Tour last season and is now playing on the circuit via conditional status.
Tournament organisers gave out six sponsor's invitations, including to major winners Fred Couples and Jim Furyk, but 37-year-old Baddeley was not among them.
"I was disappointed not to get an invite, but the guys they gave invites to are really good players," said Baddeley.
"It's totally the tournament's decision because invites are hard to come by, but it worked out.
"I'm glad to be here because I've played good (here) multiple times and won. To know you play well at a course that suits you inspires confidence and hopefully I can feed off that this week."
Fellow Australian Curtis Luck matched Baddeley's 67 in Monday qualifying to earn his debut at Riviera.
Other Australians in the field include Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Rod Pampling, Cameron Davis and John Senden.
Headlining a star-studded event is defending champion Bubba Watson, 2017 winner Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and 14-time major champion Woods.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press