Ogilvy struggles late but hangs onto lead

By Associated PressJanuary 9, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Mercedes Benz ChampionshipKAPALUA, Hawaii ' Geoff Ogilvy was in the valley of the 17th hole at Kapalua, a 561-yard hole that drops 100 feet from the tee. Thats why he hit a tee shot 415 yards. And thats why he couldnt predict what was going to happen next.
 
With only a wedge left to the green, Ogilvy knew something was wrong when his shot climbed high and was held up in the wind that only moments earlier had been at his back. It came up 85 feet short, leading to his only bogey of the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
 
Then came a three-putt par on the 18th, and his four-shot lead at the turn was down to one over D.J. Trahan.
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy clings to a one-shot lead with 36 holes to play at Kapalua. (Getty Images)
The wind changed sometime between the tee shot on the 17th and the second shot on the 17th, and we couldnt really feel it where we were standing, Ogilvy said after a 5-under 68 on Friday. Im pretty annoyed at the way I finished, but Im happy with where I am and how Im playing.
 
Despite the rough finish, Ogilvy was at 11-under 135 and will be in the final group Saturday with Trahan, who made a 40-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole on his way to a 66 to finish one shot behind.
 
Ernie Els missed two putts inside 3 feet and dumped a pitch shot into the bunker for a bogey on the 14th, but did enough things right for a 69 that put him two shots behind in his first trip to Kapalua in four years.
 
If I made some putts, I could have had a low one, and I knew today was the day to get a low one, Els said of the warm sunshine and mild breeze. Im there, but I feel like I could be a lot better. But its fine. Its the first week of the year, and I guess Ive just got to be patient.
 
Davis Love III birdied the last two holes for a 70 and was among five players at 7-under 139. Another stroke back was Boo Weekley, who might have been a little closer except for a four-putt double bogey from 12 feet on the final hole.
 
I pulled the first one, pulled the next one, then I done blew my top, said Weekley, who had to settle for a 70.
 
Ogilvy was frustrated, too, and a little perplexed by a sudden shift in the wind off the west coast of Maui that could make playing the Plantation course even trickier on the weekend.
 
In his two previous trips to Kapalua, Ogilvy has never experienced the wind direction he felt late in the round, which is in the forecast for the weekend.
 
Im sure it will be a bit awkward, Ogilvy said. If it goes the other way, you have to really think.
 
The 33-man field found conditions about as perfect as can be, for golf and the spectacular scenery. From the high points of the Plantation course, humpback whales were breeching and flipping their tails in the Pacific below, which is not unusual. On the golf course, the flags barely made a ripple, which is rare.
 
If theres ever a day to be disappointed with 6 under, this was it, Stewart Cink said after his 67.
 
Camilo Villegas finished his round of 67 and asked his caddie for a felt pen. Im in a better mood to sign today, he said, walking over to a group of fans wanting his autographs.
 
Despite the relative calm, theres still the matter of maneuvering around the mountain course, taking the right angles to hit slopes that lead to some 400-yard drives that already have been recorded. And of course, the greens arent easy to master in any condition.
 
He had a 12-foot birdie putt to get to 9 under when it missed badly on the low side. His 30-inch par putt caught the lip, and as Weekley scooted around the hole to tap that one in, he missed again. Four putts from 12 feet gave him a double bogey and spoiled an otherwise decent ground, giving him a second straight 70 for 6-under 140.
 
The whole back side, I was playing either too much break or not enough break, and it started wearing on me, Weekley said.
 
Adam Scott knows the feeling, even though he didnt four-putt. He figured a 67 was about as well as he played, but laments not making more chances. Of greater concern was staying within range of his fellow Aussie and good friend, Ogilvy, who was 11 under and on the back nine when Scott finished his round. Scott was asked if he could catch Ogilvy.
 
No, Scott said, laughing. Not if he keeps playing like this.
 
Ogilvy was headed that direction until a few blips that finally caught up to him, and brought him back to the rest of the field.
 
Divots: Weekley was being interviewed by Golf Channel when he was asked to analyze Els swing on the 18th hole. That right there was hammered, Weekley said. Love continued to struggle with the 13th hole. He had to take a penalty shot out of the deep grass right of the fairway on Thursday, leading to bogey, and he pulled it left into the native grass on Friday and made a double bogey. Cink and Trevor Immelman, both representing Nike, wore the same shirt Friday.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: