PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Geoff Ogilvy didn’t take the most direct path to an opening-round 69 at The Players Championship.
The Aussie began the day 4 over after just five holes at TPC Sawgrass but managed to bounce back in style, playing his final 10 holes in 7 under including a record-tying 30 on the back nine. The round left him just four shots off the early pace, set by Russell Henley.
“I was just annoyed more than anything else. I knew I was playing well,” Ogilvy said of his start. “I thought if I got back to something around even par by the end of the day, I’d be in pretty good shape.”
After an opening bogey, Ogilvy’s round went sideways – literally – on the third hole when his short pitch shot caromed off the side of a sprinkler head, leading to a double bogey. He then bogeyed the fifth to create a sizeable deficit, but the 36-year-old knew his play was better than what was reflected by his score.
“I didn’t really do that much wrong,” he said. “I should have been 1 over after five holes, not 4 (over).”
While Ogilvy is not back to the form that won him the 2006 U.S. Open title, he has begun to play better in recent weeks, with three top-30 finishes in his last five starts, including a T-14 result last week at the Wells Fargo Championship. He credited his current momentum for aiding his comeback on the inward half.
“There’s something strange about golf,” he said. “All you see is birdies when you’re playing well; all you see are bogeys and doubles when you’re playing poorly. Especially at a place like this.”