Ogilvy to face Casey in Match Play finals

By Associated PressFebruary 28, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. ' Geoff Ogilvy and Paul Casey drove up to Dove Mountain two weeks ago to play a practice round on the new golf course for the Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
When they play again Sunday, the stakes will be significantly higher.
 
Ogilvy made five birdies on the back nine to outlast teenage sensation Rory McIlroy in the quarterfinals, then played his final four holes in 5 under par against Stewart Cink for a 4-and-2 victory to reach the championship match for the third time in four years.
 
Paul Casey
Paul Casey is in search of his first PGA Tour victory. (Getty Images)
His opponent will be Casey, who has turned in the most dominating performance in the 11-year history of this tournament.
 
In an All-England semifinal, Casey defeated Ross Fisher, 2 and 1, and will have a chance to become the first Match Play champion to never trail in any match the entire week. Even more astounding is that Casey has led 79 of the 80 holes he has played.
 
A tournament that no longer has Tiger Woods instead has the best two golfers in match play over the last three years.
 
Ogilvy is 17-2 in match play dating to his 2006 victory at the Accenture Match Play Championship, the final year it was held at La Costa. That includes a singles victory in the Presidents Cup.
 
Casey is 16-3-1 in match play around the world, including his 2006 victory at the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, when he never trailed over the final 71 holes of that event.
 
The only time they have faced each other in match play ' except for games at their home club in Scottsdale, Ariz. ' was two years ago, when Ogilvy scored a 5-and-4 victory in the quarterfinals.
 
The former U.S. Open champion appears to be hitting his stride.
 
Thats the best I played all week by a long way today, Ogilvy said.
 
He had to be sharp against both his opponents on a warm day in the high desert. McIlroy, the 19-year-old from Northern Ireland, kept on Ogilvys heels the whole match. Ogilvy birdied his last three holes and won only one of them in a 2-and-1 victory.
 
Hes the real deal, Ogilvy said of a teenager who will rise to No. 15 in the world next week. This will be the worst ranking hes got for the next 10 years. Its only going to go up, because hes very impressive.
 
Equally difficult was Cink, who became only the fourth player to reach the semifinals in consecutive years.
 
Cink, who defeated Ernie Els (2 and 1) in the quarterfinals Saturday morning, was tied with Ogilvy when they reached the par-5 13th hole, where Ogilvy played an exquisite pitch to 5 feet for birdie and Cink had a 12-footer to match him. The putt stopped one turn short.
 
That was a body blow, Cink said. I know it was only one putt, but Geoff got a lot of momentum out of it.
 
Indeed, Ogilvy birdied the next hole from 12 feet to go 2 up, and then delivered the signature shot of the day. With the air warm and the turf firm from an afternoon sun, he hit 3-wood off the tee on the 343-yard 15th, and smiled as the ball bounced up the edge of the bunkers, onto the green and stopped 6 feet away for eagle.
 
Two pretty satisfying guys to beat, Ogilvy said. And I guess the more satisfying part was I played my best golf in the last few holes of each match, which is really nice.
 
Cinks loss meant the United States will not have a finalist for only the second time.
 
Casey had his easiest time of the week in the quarterfinals against Sean OHair, who got food poisoning overnight at the worst time. The American played the first two holes so poorly that Casey never had to attempt his 6-foot birdie putt at No. 1 or an 8-foot birdie on the next hole. OHair shot 40 on the front nine, falling hopelessly behind as Casey won, 4 and 3.
 
Fisher defeated Justin Leonard, 2 and 1, in the quarterfinals, but he fell behind from the start against Casey.
 
Casey was 1-up through 11 holes when Fisher fell apart.
 
Fisher took four shots to get down from behind the par-5 13th green, and was lucky to escape with a halve when he twice went into the desert around the 14th green and took double bogey. But Casey wouldnt let him back in the match, closing him out with a birdie on the 17th for a 2-and-1 victory.
 
Ogilvy will be trying to win a World Golf Championship for the third time in his career, the most of any player besides Woods, who has won 15 of them. For Casey, it would be his first professional victory in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.
 
Related Links:
  • Match Play Scoring
  • Match Play Bracket
  • Full Coverage ' WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Full Coverage ' Tiger's Return
  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.