Ogilvy cruises to victory at Mercedes

By Associated PressJanuary 11, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Mercedes Benz ChampionshipKAPALUA, Hawaii ' Geoff Ogilvy finished the final round the way he started Sunday, six shots clear of a winners-only field at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
 
It was the part in the middle he could have done without.
 
Ogilvy was on the verge of an unseemly collapse, his six-shot lead down to one as he stood in the ninth fairway, when he drilled his approach onto the green and holed a 30-foot eagle putt to steady his nerves and send him on his way to victory at Kapalua.
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy is the first player to earn a ticket to the 2010 Mercedes. (Getty Images)
With four straight birdies on the back nine to restore the margin, he sailed home to a 5-under 68 to join Ernie Els and Vijay Singh as the only wire-to-wire winners since the season-opening PGA Tour event moved to Kapalua in 1999.
 
Anthony Kim nearly made double eagle on the last hole for a 67 to tie for second with Davis Love III, who also had a 67.
 
It was the fifth PGA Tour victory for Ogilvy, adding to his U.S. Open title in 2006 and a pair of World Golf Championships. He finished at 24-under 268, earned $1.12 million and moved up to No. 6 in the world.
 
When Geoff plays well, it never looks like hes going to hit a bad shot, Adam Scott said.
 
But there were a few too many on the front nine, which was no walk on the beach.
 
Ogilvy had made only one bogey in the first three rounds, but doubled that count after this first two holes Sunday.
 
With the Plantation course soft from overnight rain that lasted into the morning, Ogilvy missed the fairway to the right on the opening hole and couldnt reach the green, missing an 18-foot par putt. He found a bunker with his tee shot on the second hole, blasted out to about 6 feet and missed that putt.
 
Just like that, his lead was down to three shots over Kim, who birdied two of the opening three holes.
 
And even after Ogilvy appeared to steady himself with an up-and-down birdie on the par-5 fifth, followed by another good pitch to 5 feet for birdie on the sixth, he was grinding.
 
He hit the wrong club on the seventh, came up short and took bogey. Then he missed his target some 20 yards to the right on the par-3 eighth and took another bogey.
 
Ive never had a six-shot lead before. Its a pretty uncomfortable feeling, to be honest with you, Ogilvy said. I got to the green and saw I had a one-shot lead ' I figured it was mostly gone ' and it felt like a normal tournament again. I just told myself, Its a great spot to be after 63 holes, get on with it.
 
And he did.
 
After watching Kim made another birdie to go out in 32, Ogilvy hit 3-iron to the front edge of the green and rolled in the eagle putt. That put his lead back to three, and he didnt come close to dropping another shot the rest of the round.
 
From then on, I was a different person, Ogilvy said. I played almost the best I had all week the next six holes. It was the right time for a great shot, and I happened to make the putt, which was a big bonus.
 
Singh (2007) and Els (2003) were tied for the lead after the first round when they went wire-to-wire. Ogilvy took the outright lead on the 14th hole of the opening round and never trailed over the final 58 holes of the tournament.
 
Love, who only qualified for the Mercedes by winning the last tournament of the season at Disney, got up-and-down from the rough right of the 18th green for birdie to tie for second. His tie for second should move him up to about No. 55 in the world ranking, important as he tries to qualify for the Masters.
 
Justin Leonard went 50 holes without a bogey until dropping a shot on the 13th hole. He shot 70 to finish fifth.
 
All of them were playing for second on the back after Ogilvy rediscovered his swing and his focus with the eagle on the par-5 ninth. The 31-year-old Australian followed that with a 20-foot birdie on the 10th, the took advantage of the easy holes with birdies.
 
Starting on No. 12, where he hit wedge into 5 feet, Ogilvy made four straight birdies inside 8 feet, and played conservatively on the last few holes. It was a scenic and peaceful walk as he walked downhill the last two holes toward victory, the Pacific on the horizon and the sun making Molokai appear closer than the 10 miles across the Pailolo Channel.
 

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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

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    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

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    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

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    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

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    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

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    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

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    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

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