The 28-year-old Austin resident fired a 1-under 69 for a 54-hole total of 10-under 200, two strokes in front of American Roger Tambellini. Anders Hultman of Sweden, who won the Tours Winter Qualifying School by ten shots last week, and Michigan native Michael Harris are at 7-under 203.
Adam Short of Vineland, ON bogeyed two of his final three holes to come to come in at 5-under.
Strong winds and chilly temperatures made the 6,523-yard, par 70 Barton Creek Crenshaw Cliffside course play a lot longer than the yardage indicates Saturday. The scoring average for the 71-player field was 71.73, with eight players equalling the low round of the day with a 2-under 68.
On Sunday, Ogilvie will be looking to be the second sponsors exemption to win a Canadian Tour event in the past year. Pablo del Olmo won the Michelin Ixtapa Classic last April on his home soil in Mexico. Ogilvie, whose career best on the PGA Tour was a tie for fourth at the 2000 FedEx St. Jude Classic, built a four-shot cushion after eight holes Saturday before bogeys on 9 and 11. After his lead was reduced to one, Ogilvie bounced back with back-to-back birdies to regain control.
To come back with those birdies was key, it kind of righted the ship for me, admitted Ogilvie, who finished T25 at the 2001 British Open. My goal coming in here was to shoot four rounds in the 60s, and so far Ive been able to do that (67-64-69).
Following the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School last fall, Ogilvie took four months off from competitive golf. This week, he will leave for Australia to play a Nationwide Tour event, where he holds conditional status.
Before the Classic began, Ogilvie, who became a regular at Barton Creek when he moved to Texas in 1999, told a friend he figured 20-under would win the tournament. On Saturday, he was sticking with his prediction, albeit tongue-in-cheek.
Hey, like I said, if someone can get to 20-under they are going to win the tournament, he laughed. If I can shoot 60 Ill get there, Roger is going to need a 58 and anyone after that is going to have to really take it deep.
Tambellini led after the first round and shared top spot with Ogilvie after 36 holes, but ran into trouble with four bogeys on the front side, including a stretch of three in a row. After eight holes, Tambellini trailed Ogilvie by five shots. He regrouped on the back nine, racking up an eagle and two birdies before closing out with a bogey-5 on the final hole.
The first eight holes of the day my head wasnt in it, so Im relieved I was able to turn it around and stay in the golf tournament, said Tambellini, who also holds conditional status on the Nationwide Tour this year. Early on, I wasnt trusting myself and I seemed like I was playing scared. I just have to get out there tomorrow and trust my game like I did the first two days.
Standing at the 18th green Saturday was Ogilvies wife, Colleen, and their ten-day-old daughter, Lauren Brady. Ogilvie, who majored in economics at Duke University and watches the stock markets closely, knows where a bulk of the $24,000 Cdn. winners cheque would go should he hold on Sunday.
My baby is going through a lot of diapers. I need a win- it can get pretty expensive.