Geoff Ogilvy the architect Parking spot perks

By Doug FergusonSeptember 11, 2009, 4:46 am

BMW Championship 2007 LogoLEMONT, Ill. – Few active players have an architectural acumen like Geoff Ogilvy, so perhaps it was only fitting that the Australian play his pro-am round at the BMW Championship with Rees Jones, who renovated Cog Hill.

Ogilvy wrote on Twitter during his round that he was playing with Jones and solicited questions. A reporter mentioned that to Jones long after the pro-am round, and the noted architect smiled and said, “That’s why he was asking so many questions.”

Even so, the Australian didn’t turn this into a full-fledged inquiry. Jones is known as the “Open doctor,” and given the severity of U.S. Open courses, he gets criticized more than most golf course designers.

But not from Ogilvy, at least not directly.

“I didn’t want to get too deep,” Ogilvy said. “It’s not my domain to get into golf course architecture. It was nothing to deep, just ‘What did you do here?’ and that sort of thing.”

He said it was an enjoyable round and called Jones a “very nice man.” Asked what he thought of Jones’ work at Cog Hill, Ogilvy replied, “Similar to most.”

“Bethpage is obvious his best,” Ogilvy said. “This is somewhere in the middle.”

Still, for a guy who digs golf course resign, Ogilvy stopped short of calling it the dream pro-am round.

“If I was going to talk about architecture, I would prefer to play with Ben Crenshaw,” he said.

HAPPY TO BE HERE: Throughout the final round, Campbell was projected at No. 70 – sometimes a little higher, sometimes lower. He was trying not to pay attention, although that wasn’t easy.

“I was practicing on Monday, trying to be optimistic,” Campbell said. “I can’t figure out the points, and I’m not going to root against anybody. They finally put it on the (TV) screen that I was 70th.”

Getting to Cog Hill was one thing. Now, he figures he’ll need to finish at least in the top five to go to the Tour Championship.

“Just tell me there’s a chance,” he said. “That’s all I needed.”

He appeared to take that message to heart, opening with a birdie-eagle to get his name on the leaderboard until dropping in enough bogeys that he had to settle for a 70. But at least he’s playing.

Campbell was told that Heath Slocum was in the same position two weeks ago and barely got into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“I wish I was in his position now,” Campbell said with a laugh, referring to Slocum’s win at The Barclays that moved him from No. 124 to No. 3 in the standings.

BLIND START: Goydos caught the redeye Tuesday night and made it to Chicago on Wednesday morning – in time to be an alternate for the afternoon pro-am. He waited until 2 p.m. for the last player to tee off, then headed back to his hotel for some rest.

That means he never got in a practice round to see the changes to the golf course.

On his opening hole, Goydos hit his approach to 10 feet and made birdie. Walking off the green, he said to his playing partners, “I think the course is better than ever.”

It got the better of him by the end of the day, however, as Goydos finished bogey-double bogey for a 74.

PREFERRED PARKING: The players, meanwhile, park across the street.

In a unique perk, the title sponsor is awarding prime parking to fans who own a BMW and a ticket to the tournament, one costing a little more than the other. No word on whether that will be the case at the Honda Classic next year at PGA National in south Florida.

DIVOTS: Players who are 15th or higher in the FedEx Cup standings are assured of finishing in the top 30 this week. … Ian Poulter, who is 30th in the standings, opened with a 69. The best parking at Cog Hill for the BMW Championship is a large lot within 100 yards of the first tee, and it’s occupied with nothing but BMWs. Paul Goydos was among the late arrivals to the BMW Championship, and for good reason. After missing the cut last week outside Boston, he flew home to California and spent Tuesday celebrating daughter Courtney’s 17th birthday. Chad Campbell missed the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championship, leaving him in jeopardy of spending his next three weeks at home in Dallas. He was No. 54 in the standings, with only 70 advancing to Cog Hill.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.