Ogilvy Jimenez Out Front at Doral


2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI, Florida -- The way Tiger Woods has been playing, former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy figured he would have to stay ahead of him each day if he wanted to win the CA Championship.
Never mind that he was tied for the lead.
With one round on the Blue Monster in the books Thursday, Ogilvy was two up on Woods.
Ogilvy continued to shake off the rust by playing bogey-free in a round of 7-under 65, taking advantage of a generous shift in wind that turned the fearsome 18th into a pushover. He hit wedge into 8 feet for one last birdie, and Miguel Angel Jimenez also birdied the final hole to join him atop the leaderboard.
You know starting the week if you want to win the tournament, youre going to have to beat him because you know hes going to be in contention come the last nine holes here on Sunday, Ogilvy said. Its just one of his happy places, obviously. If I can just be one in front after every round, that will be pretty good.
One shot out of the lead was Stewart Cink, who has played in the final group at three tournaments this year and is playing more consistently than anyone but Woods.
Woods wasnt all that bad.
Undefeated since September, he made a late charge as the sky darkened and rain began to fall, making three birdies over four holes to get within one shot. His day ended bitterly, however, when he three-putted from 70 feet for a 67.
All is right in his world, with six official victories over the last six months, but Woods lives for the moment, and his lasting memory of Thursday was missing a 5-foot par putt. He said nothing during a long, winding walk up the stairs, forcing a smile and reaching for his pen when a security guard asked for his autograph.
And how about that 67?
I didnt really do anything all that special today, Woods said. I just kind of hung in there and took care of the par 5s, and made a couple of other birdies here and there. But all in all, just kind of ground it out.
If it wasnt anything spectacular and he still was only two shots bad, that would seem to bode ominously for the rest of the 78 players gathered at Doral for this World Golf Championship.
But there was a sense after one day that no one was going to lay down.
Phil Mickelson rallied from a double bogey in the water with four birdies over his final six holes to match Woods at 67, and they were joined by Adam Scott, who is No. 5 in the world and won the Qatar Masters earlier this year with a 61 on the last day.
After two days of practice in ferocious wind, it slowly switched during the first round and made the course as easy as it plays. Only two dozen players failed to break par, and the average score was 70.9.
Anything in the 60s was to be expected.
This is a happy place for Woods, and it has become a lucrative tournament. He has won the last two years at Doral, and he has won this WGC event six times in eight years.
Four days after slamming his cap to the ground to celebrate a 25-foot birdie putt to win at Bay Hill, he rarely broke a smile. Woods started strongly, with an easy two-putt birdie on the par-5 opening hole and a 20-foot birdie down the fast green at No. 3. He made birdie on two other par 5s, one by missing an eagle putt from 20 feet, the other with a wedge inside a foot.
His longest putt was a mere 18 feet on the par-3 15th, and Woods had a chance to join the leaders when he blasted a tee shot into the front bunker on the 366-yard 16th hole, only to miss from 7 feet.
Ive got to trust what I see, Woods said, referring to the grain in these Bermuda greens. I didnt do that enough times today.
When someone asked if the three-putt on No. 18 was upsetting, a glare said everything.
Yeah, Im (upset), Woods said. You three-putt 18, youre not going to be real happy.
Ogilvy felt much better as he continues a slow rise back to form. He has not won since his U.S. Open victory at Winged Foot in 2006, and he took a month off around the holidays when his second child was born.
But he played in the final group at Innisbrook two weeks ago, closed with a 66 at Bay Hill to leave on a positive note, then kept the ball in the short grass for most of a cloudy day in south Florida to tie Jimenez, a Spaniard making his debut at Doral.
Its definitely been building, Ogilvy said. I came here feeling better than I did going to Bay Hill, and I went to Bay Hill feeling better than I did when I went to Tampa.
He was back in his room after Bay Hill in time watch Woods birdie the last hole from 25 feet for the win.
Its never surprising when he holes it, but its always impressive, Ogilvy said. Were all impressed. Hopefully, none of us are scared. I just want to win tournaments, and hes very impressive. But I dont go to bed thinking about it.
Cink, meanwhile, is trying to bury memories of a few close calls. Woods manhandled him in the Accenture Match Play Championship, winning by a record margin (8 and 7) in the final round. Two weeks later, Cink had an early four-shot lead in Tampa until a late collapse paved the way for Sean OHair.
The memories linger from that, Cink said. I gave it away, but I learned from it. Its part of the process. Let me just say that not everybody out here is Tiger Woods, OK? Hes making it look easy. And its not easy.
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