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Baddeley confident against golf big guns

AAP logoAAP 5/01/2017 Evin Priest

Buoyed by his best season in five years, Aaron Baddeley insists he's not just making up the numbers as a clutch of golf's big guns return to action in the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

The 32-man, no-cut tournament for last year's US PGA Tour winners has world No.1 Jason Day, No.3 Dustin Johnson, No.5 Jordan Spieth and No. 6 Hideki Matsuyama headlining on the Plantation course at Kapalua, Maui from Thursday (Friday AEDT).

The 35-year-old Baddeley booked his ticket courtesy of his win at the Barbasol Championship in July, his first title since 2011.

Heartened also by a decent 2016 Aussie summer of golf - where he tied fourth at the Australian Open, clinching one of the three British Open starts on offer - world No.130 Baddeley is confident he can contend for a fifth US tour win.

"Yeah, I feel like if I play the way I've been playing, I definitely feel like I've got a good chance (to win)," Baddeley told AAP.

"It's just a matter of going out there and playing the golf I know I can play."

While 2016 marked a resurgence - his victory being among five top-10 finishes - Baddeley is aiming higher for 2017.

"I want to finish in the top 30 (on the tour's FedEx Cup points race)," Baddeley said.

"I think I can finish top 50 in the world. And I want to get another win, at least one win - I definitely feel I'm heading in that direction."

First up is the Tournament of Champions, which Baddeley hasn't played since 2012.

The Victorian native feels his imagination will hold him in good stead around Kapalua's sloping fairways.

"I love Kapalua; it's a really fun course to play. With the slopes, you can use the ground and play a links-style golf."

Baddeley joins Day, Greg Chalmers and Rod Pampling as the only four Australians in the field of the $US 6.1 million tournament.

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