Ogilvy cruises to victory at Mercedes

By Associated PressJanuary 11, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Mercedes Benz ChampionshipKAPALUA, Hawaii ' Geoff Ogilvy finished the final round the way he started Sunday, six shots clear of a winners-only field at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
 
It was the part in the middle he could have done without.
 
Ogilvy was on the verge of an unseemly collapse, his six-shot lead down to one as he stood in the ninth fairway, when he drilled his approach onto the green and holed a 30-foot eagle putt to steady his nerves and send him on his way to victory at Kapalua.
 
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy is the first player to earn a ticket to the 2010 Mercedes. (Getty Images)
With four straight birdies on the back nine to restore the margin, he sailed home to a 5-under 68 to join Ernie Els and Vijay Singh as the only wire-to-wire winners since the season-opening PGA Tour event moved to Kapalua in 1999.
 
Anthony Kim nearly made double eagle on the last hole for a 67 to tie for second with Davis Love III, who also had a 67.
 
It was the fifth PGA Tour victory for Ogilvy, adding to his U.S. Open title in 2006 and a pair of World Golf Championships. He finished at 24-under 268, earned $1.12 million and moved up to No. 6 in the world.
 
When Geoff plays well, it never looks like hes going to hit a bad shot, Adam Scott said.
 
But there were a few too many on the front nine, which was no walk on the beach.
 
Ogilvy had made only one bogey in the first three rounds, but doubled that count after this first two holes Sunday.
 
With the Plantation course soft from overnight rain that lasted into the morning, Ogilvy missed the fairway to the right on the opening hole and couldnt reach the green, missing an 18-foot par putt. He found a bunker with his tee shot on the second hole, blasted out to about 6 feet and missed that putt.
 
Just like that, his lead was down to three shots over Kim, who birdied two of the opening three holes.
 
And even after Ogilvy appeared to steady himself with an up-and-down birdie on the par-5 fifth, followed by another good pitch to 5 feet for birdie on the sixth, he was grinding.
 
He hit the wrong club on the seventh, came up short and took bogey. Then he missed his target some 20 yards to the right on the par-3 eighth and took another bogey.
 
Ive never had a six-shot lead before. Its a pretty uncomfortable feeling, to be honest with you, Ogilvy said. I got to the green and saw I had a one-shot lead ' I figured it was mostly gone ' and it felt like a normal tournament again. I just told myself, Its a great spot to be after 63 holes, get on with it.
 
And he did.
 
After watching Kim made another birdie to go out in 32, Ogilvy hit 3-iron to the front edge of the green and rolled in the eagle putt. That put his lead back to three, and he didnt come close to dropping another shot the rest of the round.
 
From then on, I was a different person, Ogilvy said. I played almost the best I had all week the next six holes. It was the right time for a great shot, and I happened to make the putt, which was a big bonus.
 
Singh (2007) and Els (2003) were tied for the lead after the first round when they went wire-to-wire. Ogilvy took the outright lead on the 14th hole of the opening round and never trailed over the final 58 holes of the tournament.
 
Love, who only qualified for the Mercedes by winning the last tournament of the season at Disney, got up-and-down from the rough right of the 18th green for birdie to tie for second. His tie for second should move him up to about No. 55 in the world ranking, important as he tries to qualify for the Masters.
 
Justin Leonard went 50 holes without a bogey until dropping a shot on the 13th hole. He shot 70 to finish fifth.
 
All of them were playing for second on the back after Ogilvy rediscovered his swing and his focus with the eagle on the par-5 ninth. The 31-year-old Australian followed that with a 20-foot birdie on the 10th, the took advantage of the easy holes with birdies.
 
Starting on No. 12, where he hit wedge into 5 feet, Ogilvy made four straight birdies inside 8 feet, and played conservatively on the last few holes. It was a scenic and peaceful walk as he walked downhill the last two holes toward victory, the Pacific on the horizon and the sun making Molokai appear closer than the 10 miles across the Pailolo Channel.
 

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    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

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    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

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    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


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    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

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    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

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    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


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    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

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