Ogilvy Has the Right Stuff


Geoff Ogilvy, 28-years-old and the freshly-minted match play king of the golf world, calls himself a slow learner when most of the rest of us would call him a late bloomer.
This particular young Aussie gun is acutely aware of the dangers of being too hard on himself and hes working on it. And that work is beginning to pay off. In spades. And clubs. And diamonds. And hearts.
Lets flash back to Friday at St. Andrews of last summers Open Championship in Scotland. Ogilvy had opened with a 71 and followed that with an uninspired 74.
I was kicking my feet along the way from the 18th green to the Old Course Hotel assuming Id missed the cut, Ogilvy recalled. I was pretty annoyed about it all.
Then Ogilvy found out his 36-hole total of one over par was good enough to make the cut on the number. His 67-69 total of 136 was 8 under on the weekend and good enough for a tie for fifth. Nobody, not even winner Tiger Woods, posted a lower Saturday-Sunday total.
Included in that run was a birdie on St. Andrews infamous Road Hole No. 17 and a birdie on 18.
Dream come true, Ogilvy said.
Next up for Ogilvy, infused with confidence, was the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey in August.
For some unexplainable, weird reason I got to Baltusrol and just felt comfortable about being in a major and being in one of the biggest tournaments in the world and not really being afraid when I was in contention, he said.
Ogilvy produced his best golf of the week on Sunday and wound up tied for sixth. You can only feel good, he said, about doing stuff like that.
Now he can only feel better. Ogilvy needed extra holes at the WGC-Accenture Match Play event at LaCosta last week in each of his first four matches. And he won them all.
All of a sudden he has leaped into the top 30 in the world rankings and to No. 3 on the PGA Tour money list. He is exempt through 2009 and cant wait for The Players Championship in March and his first Masters in early April.
As soon as Baltusrol was finished, Ogilvy said, I have to be honest, I was looking forward to the next big tournament I could play again.
There are still plenty of them remaining this year. Dont be surprised if Geoff Ogilvy contends in most of them and maybe even wins one.
At LaCosta he beat a former PGA Championship winner, Davis Love; he beat a former British Open winner, Tom Lehman; he beat a former U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell and he beat a former Masters winner, Mike Weir.
Call that an Ogilvy Slam. Against Weir he was four down with four to play before escaping.
To repeat: You can only feel good, Ogilvy said, about doing stuff like that.
Its called the right stuff. And it has just taken a while for all of us to see it all on display from Geoff Ogilvy.
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