Ogilvy off to perfect start in 2010

By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2010, 1:51 am
2007- WGC-AccentureMARANA, Ariz. – Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy has not played a competitive round of golf in nearly a month. His heart is still at home, where his wife gave birth to their third child less than a week ago.

At any other tournament, it might not be the ideal preparation to defend a title.

The Match Play Championship is different.

Ogilvy came to this event in 2006 at La Costa feeling good about his game. Ten times that week, he watched an opponent stand over a putt to eliminate him. By the end of the week, he was holding the trophy.

A year ago at Dove Mountain, he wasn’t sure he could get his first tee shot in the fairway. He struggled through the first two rounds, got better as the week went on, and in the championship match felt it was the best he had ever played.
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy practices Tuesday at Dove Mountain. (Getty Images)
“If this week doesn’t go well, it won’t be because of how I’m playing today,” Ogilvy said Tuesday on the eve of the first World Golf Championship of the year. “It will be because someone plays better than me.”

That’s how it is in golf’s most fickle format.

Stories abound of players who make seven birdies and lose, and players who don’t make any and win. It all starts Wednesday on the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain, when half of the 64-man field will be eliminated.

Ogilvy is among three champions who were not among the top 50 seeds. He was No. 52 when he won in 2006, while Steve Stricker was No. 55 in 2001 and Kevin Sutherland was No. 62 a year later.

Stricker’s fortunes have changed mightily, and he comes into this Match Play Championship as the No. 1 seed, but only because Tiger Woods has not returned from his indefinite leave. Phil Mickelson also is taking the week off for a family holiday that previously was postponed because of his wife’s treatment for breast cancer.

Stricker remembers what it was like to go to Australia in 2001 as one of the higher seeds. He asked a couple of caddies if they were interested in working for him, and they all turned him down. Stricker wound up taking a friend from Wisconsin, Tom Mitchell, then mowed down six players to win the title.

Even as the No. 1 seed, his expectations aren’t much different.

“I don’t think you can look past anyone in this tournament,” Stricker said.

For him, that starts with Ross McGowan of England, in the first round. Lee Westwood is the No. 2 seed and plays Chris Wood in an All-England match, while third-seeded Jim Furyk plays former Ryder Cup teammate Scott Verplank and fourth-seeded Martin Kaymer faces Chad Campbell.

Ogilvy, who won the season-opening PGA Tour event at Kapalua, is the No. 10 seed and opens with Alexander Noren of Sweden.

Even though Woods has won this tournament three times, no one has a higher winning percentage than Ogilvy. Along with his two victories, he lost in the championship match three years ago and was beaten in the first round in 2008.

His overall record is 17-2, which in his way of thinking, makes him a better photographer than a painter.

“It’s a weird tournament,” he said. “I obviously enjoy coming to this tournament because it’s been good to me three out of the last four years. But there’s an element that’s slightly out of your control. Seventy-two holes is a big picture to paint. You can have a bad first nine holes and still win the tournament.”

He mentioned Woods shooting 40 on the front nine of the 1997 Masters and winning by 12 shots.

“This, if you have a bad first nine holes, suddenly you’re out. Bye. See you,” Ogilvy said. “It’s a tournament that you almost can’t have result expectations. You can feel good about your game. But I don’t think you’re in complete control at the end of the week.”

If he loses early, it would not be all bad.

Ogilvy lives about two hours north of Phoenix, where wife Julie is home with their three children, including the latest arrival. A son, Harvey Jack, was born on Feb. 11.

“Everyone is happy and healthy, everyone is perfect,” he said. “I feel like I’ve continued my offseason, and this is almost the start of it. It’s been really a nice three weeks. I spent it at home with my kids. They got to meet their new brother and stuff. I’m coming here pretty refreshed, so I’m ready to go.”

He can only hope he’s not leaving sooner than he wants.

Ogilvy is among the few players who have bothered to study the brackets, or at least confessed to looking at them. He tried to figure out which quadrant had the strongest road to the semifinals, only to realize none was particularly easy.

“Every match is difficult,” said Paul Casey, who lost to Ogilvy in the championship match last year. “Everybody here is capable of winning this tournament. I think you’ll hear that from a lot of guys. You just need a little bit of luck, and you need to play some good golf.”
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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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President at the Presidents Cup

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Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

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Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

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Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

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Pros comment on the president

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm