Ogilvy finally finds success at Augusta National


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson may have been the headliner for the grouping with Geoff Ogilvy and Peter Uihlein, but it is the Australian Ogilvy who will have a better chance than the defending champion on Saturday at the Masters. Ogilvy shot his second consecutive 3-under 69 to get to the halfway point of the tournament at 6 under.

Were it not for a double bogey-7 at the par-5 second hole, Ogilvy would currently be in second place alone.

“I had a pretty rough start there on the second. I 4-putted, actually, from a pretty simple looking spot,” he said. “No one is going to go 72 holes without doing something like that. I knew I was playing well, so I just set out to go about my business.”

From there, the ’06 US Open champion recovered with birdie at the third, and managed to go out in even-par 36. Coming home, Ogilvy was the class of his group in Amen Corner, playing it in 2 under. Another birdie at the par-5 15th set him at 6 under.

Ogilvy says this is the first year he has come into Augusta feeling like his game is in shape. And experience has dulled his view of just how tough the course is.

“Probably every year I’ve played here, it’s seemed so hard. Like the weather. In 2006 it was probably doable; 2007 was really tough; 2008 seemed to be really windy. It just seemed to be really hard,” he said.

That’s interesting considering Ogilvy’s comparison of Augusta National to Royal Melbourne.

“The style of shots you have to hit are quite similar. Especially around the greens,” he said. “It’s a similar style and I grew up right next to that. So it should suit the guys that grow up in Melbourne, actually.”

No Australian can contend here without being asked about the prospect of becoming the first of his countrymen to win the Masters. Ogilvy says it won’t be on his mind Saturday.

“Thinking about the Aussie duck thing would happen after I won – ‘Oh, I’m the first Australian’ –  that’s probably not what I’m going to be thinking about when I’m out on the golf course. But obviously it would be a really nice thing for Australia for it to happen, for sure.”