Ogilvy Trying to Right Aussies Wrongs at Augusta

By Associated PressApril 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Nothing could drag Geoff Ogilvy out of bed before dawn when he was growing up.
 
Nothing, that is except the Masters.
 
On one day each year, he would be awake and settled in front of the television at 4 a.m., a full hour before coverage of the Masters even began in Australia.
 
'There's such a mystique about it,' Ogilvy said Monday. 'It's just so hard to imagine a place like this when you grow up in Australia and see it on TV. It's so far-fetched.'
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy tied for 16th in his Masters debut a year ago. (WireImage)
So, it's seemed at times, was the idea of an Aussie winning at Augusta National.
 
The Masters is the one major championship the Australians have yet to win. Worse, it broke the heart of Greg Norman so many times the entire country still feels the ache.
 
The Shark was the dominant player of his era, a two-time major winner who held the No. 1 ranking longer than anyone until Tiger Woods came along. But it's his agony at the Masters that is his trademark.
 
Norman was a 4-iron into the gallery on 18 from winning in 1986. A year later, Larry Mize beat him in a playoff after an unbelievable chip from 140 feet. Then there was that debacle in 1996.
 
Taking a six-shot lead into the final round, Norman imploded with a 78 and finished five strokes behind Nick Faldo.
 
'I remember hitting balls that day, because it inspired me to not do that,' Ogilvy said. 'It's a weird way to get inspired, but I just got so fired up to practice that day because I thought, `If I ever get there, I don't want to do that.' Because that was hard to watch.'
 
There were no meltdowns when Ogilvy finally got to Augusta last year; he finished 16th.
 
Two months later, though, he found himself the winner of the U.S. Open after another famous player's Norman-esque collapse.
 
Phil Mickelson went to 18 at Winged Foot needing just a par to join Tiger Woods as the only players in the last 50 years to win three straight majors. But he overcut his drive, hit a tree with his second shot and found a plugged lie in a bunker with his third shot. His double bogey left him a stroke behind Ogilvy -- and made the Aussie a major champion.
 
Far more was made of Mickelson's meltdown than Ogilvy's victory, but Ogilvy didn't care.
 
'I didn't read a paper or watch TV for a few weeks after the U.S. Open on purpose, because I preferred to just sit at home and look at the trophy,' he said. 'Maybe if I win another one or two down the track in my career, it will give that one more credibility.
 
'But the trophy is making a nice little dust ring on my shelf at the moment.'
 
It's not as if Ogilvy was some one-hit wonder, either. Two months shy of his 30th birthday, he has three PGA TOUR victories. After his win at Winged Foot, he finished 16th at the British Open and was ninth at the PGA Championship.
 
This year, he's finished in the top 10 in three of the seven events he's played, including a tie for third at the CA Championship two weeks ago.
 
While Mickelson and Tiger Woods are the obvious favorites this week, Ogilvy is someone who certainly could give them a challenge if he plays well.
 
'Half the battle in majors is feeling like you can win,' he said. 'Because the first time you tee it up in one of these things, just playing in it is overwhelming. Thinking you can win is the first hurdle to being able to actually do it.
 
'You'll feel better about it on the weekend because I've been there kind of recently,' he added. 'Rather than a guy who has not been there or hasn't been there for quite a while.'
 
And he's not the only Aussie who could be a factor on Sunday, either.
 
Unlike Norman, who carried the flag for the entire country, there's a crowd of players from Down Under who could contend at Augusta. There are seven Australians in the Masters field, including Aaron Baddeley, who won the FBR Open in early February, and Adam Scott, who arrives fresh off a win over fellow Australian Stuart Appleby at the Houston Open.
 
Last year, Mickelson won his second green jacket after winning in Atlanta the previous weekend.
 
'I feel great about my game, but I'm certainly not predicting a win at Augusta. Although I'm feeling better now going into it than I did at the start of the week,' Scott said.
 
Indeed, all it takes is one good week, and Australia's long drought could finally be over.
 
'It's actually not a drought because it's never rained at all,' Ogilvy said, drawing laughs.
 
'Someone will do it,' he said, turning serious. 'Five years ago, there's one or two guys who might do all right in the Masters. There's five or six Australians that I could see legitimately wearing a green jacket on Sunday, and that's more than ever before.'
 
If Ogilvy or any of his fellow Aussies could break through this week, an entire country would rejoice.
 
Those painful memories of Norman wouldn't quite disappear, but they would certainly fade.
 
'Any tournament would be good to win,' Ogilvy said. 'This would be unbelievable.'
 
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  • Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME

    By Nick MentaNovember 18, 2017, 8:47 pm

    Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

    Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9)

    What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

    Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

    Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

    Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

    Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole.

    Kim, oddly enough, signed her name to a scorecard that featured a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It was all part of a 1-under 71.

    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.