The last time Aaron Baddeley triple-bogeyed the opening hole of a US Open round it ended very poorly indeed.
Leading by two after 54-holes in the 2007 championship at Oak Hill and paired with Tiger Woods, Baddeley opened his final round with a triple and crashed and burned to a round of 80.
It dropped him into a tie for 13th, seven shots off eventual champion Angel Cabrera.
But when he wrote a seven on his card on the way to the second tee in the opening round at Pinehurst No.2 on Thursday the Victorian was determined to ensure a different fate.
The 33-year-old rebounded to shoot a lovely even-par round of 70 to be five shots behind leader German Martin Kaymer, but just two shots off second in a tie for 16th.
“I really wasn’t stressed. I walked off the first and just thought ‘oh well, let’s move on’,” Baddeley said.
“I have been trying really hard to combat adversity lately and it just started early today.
“It was good to hang in there and hit a couple of really good shots and also make a nice par save on the last to keep the momentum going.”
Baddeley’s drama started when his approach to the first green caught a slope on the putting surface and slid into a bunker. He then left his next shot in the sand and followed by airmailing the green before failing to get up and down.
Birdies on the fourth and fifth holes were negated with back-to-back bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes.
Facing the possibility of slipping from contention he started the back nine with a 60-foot bomb for birdie from the fringe on the 10th.
He added further birdies on 14 and 15, was unlucky to miss a short chance on 17 before making a clutch par save on the last.
Baddeley could have easily imploded given he has missed the cut at his last four US Open attempts. He has also failed to get a top 10 finish on the US PGA tour since October last year but has shown signs of breaking out of the slump.
In his last start at the Memorial he led the field with 28 birdies but still only finished three-under par thanks to multiple mistakes.
When it clicks for an entire round he could find himself pushing for his first win since early 2011.
“He has more belief in his game again so he doesn’t panic and trusts his good stuff will right the ship,” caddie Anthony Knight said.