Ogilvy Just Fine with How He Won US Open

By Associated PressJune 13, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenOAKMONT, Pa. -- Geoff Ogilvy doesn't mind being the guy who won the U.S. Open because Phil Mickelson lost it.
 
Didn't take the gleam off the championship trophy that's sat atop the Australian's mantle for 12 months. Didn't trim the number of zeros on his winner's check. Didn't stop the phone calls or the e-mails he's gotten since winning a major, which have multiplied by six times since before his U.S. Open victory at Winged Foot.
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy prepares for his U.S. Open title defense. (Getty Images)
'It's quite nice to be introduced as the U.S. Open champion on the first tee every week,' Ogilvy said Tuesday while preparing for this week's Open at Oakmont. 'That doesn't get old.'
 
Even if all that talk that Ogilvy won because Mickelson choked may never stop.
 
'That's fair enough. It's part of last year's golf tournament, that story,' Ogilvy said. 'So it's going to be talked about.'
 
Except between the two. Ogilvy never has engaged Mickelson in a discussion about how that par 4 Mickelson needed on the 72nd hole to win his first U.S. Open somehow became a double bogey 6 -- a puzzling collapse considering how Mickelson apparently conquered his can't-win-a-big-one label by winning the Masters in 2004 and 2006 and the PGA in 2005.
 
'It's not really the right thing for me, I don't think, to bring up in conversation,' Ogilvy said. 'I'm sure we'll chat about it one day. I mean, we see each other out on golf tournaments and stuff, but we haven't really had a deep and meaningful about it.'
 
Ogilvy's 5-over last year made him the first U.S. Open champion since Andy North in 1978 to not break par. But that score illustrates his patience to accept pars rather than gambling on birdies, a strategy that could be successful at Oakmont.
 
Something else in Ogilvy's favor as he plays in a major the same week he turned 30: the last two winners of USGA tournaments at Oakmont weren't American. South African Ernie Els won the 1994 U.S. Open and fellow Australian Nick Flanagan was a surprise winner of the 2003 U.S. Amateur.
 
To Ogilvy, Oakmont looks to be as nasty as advertised, even though he says he really didn't shoot a 85 and lose a half-dozen balls during a recent practice round.
 
'I think I shot 83 and lost two. But it was hard,' Ogilvy said. 'It was five shots harder last Monday than it is right now, by more than that probably. It was really hard. I thought, `There's no way.' I didn't think there would be one score in the 60s at all, and I thought there would be scores in the 90s.'
 
Having the USGA set up the greens -- they're running slower now than they did for Oakmont member events -- the pin placements and oversee the rough has calmed down Oakmont a bit. But Oakmont's greens are so slick and, on numerous holes, so tilted they can't be made all that much easier.
 
'They're amazing greens,' Ogilvy said.
 
Tiger Woods agrees, saying they will easily be the toughest he's encountered for any tournament, major or otherwise.
 
'Winged Foot's pretty tough, Augusta's pretty tough,' Woods said. 'But both golf courses have flat spots. Augusta may have these big, big slopes, but they have these flat shelves that they usually put the pins on. Here, I'm trying to figure out where a flat shelf is.'
 
Ogilvy will play his first two rounds with Woods, a pairing certain to create the largest galleries -- Woods has never played competitively at Oakmont or in a Pittsburgh-area tournament. Playing with Woods creates an even greater challenge for his playing partners, who must try to maintain their own tempo, poise and concentration while dealing with Tiger's throngs.
 
'I've always played decent when I've played with him,' Ogilvy said. 'It sounds silly. It's almost easier to focus in his group because it's complete chaos around you and, when there's that much chaos going on, you ignore it and it all blends in and you don't notice it as much. It's a good opportunity to watch the best golfer of all time pick his way around a great golf course.'
 
Mickelson, No. 2 in the world rankings to Woods, ended speculation that the left wrist injury that occurred at Oakmont several weeks ago would keep him from starting Thursday. But he was limited to nine practice holes Tuesday and planned to go only nine again Wednesday, and is resigned to playing in discomfort.
 
Only a week ago, a doctor promised he would be pain-free by Oakmont. This less-optimistic outlook could make it much harder for Mickelson to win, especially if he ventures too often into the dreaded, porcupine-like rough.
 
He'll also need a strong, steady wrist to handle his putter but, since arriving at Oakmont, Mickelson has required a tight-fitting bandage or brace. He also couldn't play competitively before a major, as he prefers to do, sitting out Memphis last week after pulling out of the Memorial two weeks ago after only 11 holes.
 
'I've had two wonderful doctors give me the same diagnosis, inflammation, cortisone shots should help, let's do it this time, it will take a few days to kick in,' he said. 'Rest, don't do too much after the rounds, ice, blah, blah, blah. I absolutely respect what they have said.'
 
They might have offered one more piece of advice.
 
'I should be able to have it be manageable as long as I don't aggravate it,' Mickelson said. 'Or hit it in the rough.'
 
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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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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    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

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    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.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    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.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    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.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    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

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    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.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.