Ogilvy to Meet Stenson in Finals

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. -- The only streak at the Accenture Match Play Championship belongs to Geoff Ogilvy.
One day after Tiger Woods' winning streak ended on the PGA Tour, Ogilvy won two more matches Saturday to make it 11 in a row at this fickle tournament and advance to the 36-hole championship match against Henrik Stenson of Sweden.
In the frosty morning and sunny afternoon, the 29-year-old Australian stayed hot with his putter in dispatching Paul Casey 5 and 4 in the quarterfinals, then Chad Campbell in the semifinals with one clutch putt after another in a 3-and-2 victory.
And so ended yet another streak: For the first time in the nine-year history of the event, an American will not play for the title.
Stenson, so chilled in the morning that he jogged around the practice range to loosen his limbs, turned in the most spectacular shot of a busy day at The Gallery.
He was all square in his quarterfinal match against Nick O'Hern until hitting his tee shot at the base of cactus. After taking a penalty drop onto the firm sand in the desert, he hit wedge to 2 feet to escape with par and a 1-up victory.
'Things turned out slightly different in my favor,' Stenson said.
O'Hern was short of the green, chipped to 4 feet and missed the par putt. It was about the same distance from which Woods missed Friday when he lost to O'Hern.
With enough time to eat lunch, Stenson made short work of Trevor Immelman. He made five birdies on the front nine to built a 3-up lead and never gave the South African a chance to get back into the match, winning 3 and 2.
'I'm knackered after playing two rounds,' Stenson said, looking ahead to his 36-hole final with $1.35 million to the winner.
Ogilvy can't complain of being worn out, certainly not compared to last year.
He played four straight overtime matches a year ago at La Costa, but what a turnaround in the high desert north of Tucson. After five matches, Ogilvy has yet to play the 18th hole. He has played only 79 holes this week, compared with 95 at this point a year ago.
'I'm probably less tired at this point,' Ogilvy said. 'I'm sure I'll be fresher tomorrow. But it turned out all right last year.'
The quarterfinals was a duel of match play champions -- Ogilvy at the Accenture, Casey last September at the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England. They traded birdies in the early going until Casey got sloppy and Ogilvy broke away.
Casey hit one shot so far left that he had to climb a locked cattle gate made of metal and barbed wire to get to his ball. Ogilvy ran off three straight birdies after the turn to pull away.
Campbell has been the marathon man of these matches, going the distance for the fourth straight match in a 1-up victory over Stephen Ames in the quarterfinals. He was 1-up through six holes and faced a 10-foot eagle putt on No. 7 when he missed, and Ogilvy halved the hole with a birdie to keep from sliding further back.
Ogilvy won his first hole with a 15-footer on No. 8 and turned it on. It was the first of four straight birdies, and he made seven birdies on his final 10 holes. The biggest might have come on No. 13.
Campbell holed a 35-foot putt and appeared to have closed the gap to one hole. Ogilvy then poured a 30-foot birdie putt, bending sharply from right to left, into the cup to halve the hole.
'I'm sure it annoyed the hell out of him,' Ogilvy said. 'He's such a nice bloke, I almost felt sorry for him. You finally have something good happen and then someone throw it in your face.'
Campbell had another chance to get within one with a tee shot into 10 feet on the 16th, but Ogilvy made his 18-foot birdie putt and Campbell missed to end the match.
Neither finalist can ever recall playing with each other in competition.
Stenson is coming off a victory earlier this month in Dubai, where the Swede makes his home. Ogilvy hasn't won since the U.S. Open last summer at Winged Foot, although he took two months off when his wife gave birth to their first child.
Both are big fans of this format.
Stenson lost in the second round of the Accenture last year, but he holed the winning putt for Europe in his Ryder Cup debut in September at The K Club, beating Vaughn Taylor.
Ogilvy made his debut in this tournament last year, and he was left off the Presidents Cup team in 2005.
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    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • 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.