Ogilvy a Major Winner Within Range

By Associated PressAugust 10, 2007, 4:00 pm
PGA ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- The U.S. Open that Geoff Ogilvy won is better remembered as the one Phil Mickelson lost. Or the one Tiger Woods wasn't there for.
 
If Ogilvy somehow winds up with major victory No. 2 at this year's PGA Championship, it will be free of those sort of asterisks.
 
The Aussie shot 2-under 68 on Friday to wind up three shots behind Woods, the only major winner within five of the world's best player with two rounds left at Southern Hills.
 
'It's not really that ominous,' Ogilvy said of the, well, ominous task of catching Woods over the weekend. 'He's just a great player. He's done pretty well when he's the leader after two rounds and even better after three. But at some point, he's not going to win.'
 
Woods, who tied the majors record with a 63 on Friday, is 7-0 in majors when he heads into the weekend with the lead. Of the six major winners Southern Hills has produced, none have had to come from behind after the first two rounds.
 
If there's someone, anyone, in this field who might puncture those records at this tournament, Ogilvy seems like as good a choice as any.
 
What most people forget about his U.S. Open victory at Winged Foot last year was how hard he had to work through those brutal conditions to be in position to take advantage of Mickelson's double-bogey on No. 18.
 
Long before Mickelson started with his theatrics, Ogilvy had chipped in from deep, mangled rough on the 17th hole to save par, then overcome a bad break on the 18th when his tee shot came to rest in a divot. He needed a 6-foot downhill putt to save par on that hole. When he did, he thought he'd finish in second for sure. Instead, he won because he wound up as the only one of the half-dozen or so contenders to finish the day with a par.
 
Some say any one-time major winner can't wait to win his second so his membership in that exclusive club will be validated. And some might say that goes double for Ogilvy, given the role Mickelson played in his victory, and given the fact that Woods wasn't even there for the weekend after missing the cut.
 
Ogilvy doesn't buy into it. Or if he does, he doesn't really care.
 
'I don't really mind about validation,' he said. 'It'd just be nice to win it. It would just be nice to win a golf tournament. The fact that it was a major would be really nice. I mean, I guess you get into more elite company when you've won two.'
 
For him to win his second this weekend, he'll have to overcome a steep hill that was made even steeper with his bogey-bogey finish. For a short time, Ogilvy was actually tied with Woods at 5 under after making four birdies in six holes that included a 25-footer on No. 16, which is playing the fifth hardest so far this week.
 
Then, those late bogeys.
 
'It's hard to talk to a guy five minutes after he bogeys the last two holes. I'm a little bit annoyed,' Ogilvy said. 'But I'm happy. If you had asked me on the first day if 3 under would be a pretty good spot, I would say, yes, that's pretty good.'
 
Now, all he has to overcome is Woods, and the 100-degree weather, and the crooked, shotmaking track that is Southern Hills.
 
It all seems quite daunting.
 
But Ogilvy has overcome big odds and big-name players before, whether he gets his due credit or not.
 
'It makes it easier, because now you've got nothing to lose if you don't win because no one expects you to,' he said.
 
'And if you do,' he said, 'you make history.'
 
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    Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

    By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

    After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

    The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

    The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

    Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

    “I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

    In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

    “It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

    The Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement or the end to the lawsuit.

    Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

    “It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”

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    PGA Tour Latinoamerica moving season finale to Doral

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 2:36 pm

    PGA Tour Latinoamérica announced Wednesday that it will play its season finale, the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship, at Trump National Doral from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

    The limited-field event will feature the top 60 players on the circuit's money list competing on Doral's Golden Palm Course.

    “We are very happy that we will continue playing the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship in South Florida, and Doral is a tremendous community that we know will open its arms to our players and this tournament,” PGA Tour Latinoamérica president Jack Warfield said in a statement.

    The PGA Tour ended its more than 50-year relationship with Doral and the resort's Blue Monster course back in 2016, when Cadillac's title sponsorship of the World Golf Championship lapsed as then-candidate Donald Trump was mounting his bid for the presidency.

    “We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in December 2015, referring to Trump's campaign rhetoric concerning Mexicans and Muslims.

    The event was moved to Mexico City in 2017 and renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship.

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    PGA Tour Latinoamérica's release states that the move to Doral "keeps the event in this part of the Sunshine State and allows the tournament to maintain its ties to The First Tee of Miami as a charitable recipient and sponsor." Melreese, the city's only public golf course, is home to the First Tee of Miami, which naturally opposes Beckham's efforts to close the facility and repurpose the land.

    A November referendum will ask voters to decide if the city should negotiate a no-bid lease with Beckham's ownership group, which seeks to create a $1 billion dollar complex comprising of the proposed stadium, youth soccer fields, a park, commercial and retail space, and a hotel.

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    Im wins Web.com Player and Rookie of the Year awards

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 1:22 pm

    Sungjae Im on Thursday was named the Web.com Tour's 2018 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

    Im won twice on the Web.com this year, taking the season opener in January, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, and the season finale in August, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, to become the first player in history lead the circuit's money list wire-to-wire.

    Im is the first Korean-born player to win the Web's POY award and, at 20 years old, its youngest recipient.

    In a player vote, Im bested Anders Albertson, Sam Burns, Kramer Hickok and Martin Trainer, 2018's only other two-time winner, for POY honors, and Burns, Hickock, Trainer and Cameron Champ for ROY honors.

    “My first year on the Web.com Tour was an incredibly happy time for me,” Im said, “and it’s pretty surreal that I was able to win the first and last tournament of the season. I honestly thought I would spend about two to three years on the Web.com Tour before making it to the PGA Tour, so I’m happy to have achieved my goal so soon. I’m grateful to have earned the Player of the Year honors and I hope to finish the remainder of the PGA Tour season on a good note.”

    In his first PGA Tour start, Im tied for fourth at the Safeway Open, earning $241,280, a little less than half of the $534,326 he amassed in 25 starts as the Web's regular-season money winner.

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    Former DJ advisor found guilty in embezzlement case

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 12:38 pm

    A federal jury has found Nathan Hardwick, a former advisor to Dustin Johnson, guilty of embezzling $26 million in funds from his now-bankrupt real estate closing firm, Morris Hardwick Schneider.

    Per Golf.com, citing Law.com, a 12-person jury convicted Hardwick of "one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 21 counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to federally insured banks."

    As for where exactly the money went, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, once again citing Law.com, has the details:

    "The alleged spending included $18.47 million on gambling, private jet travel and women from 2011 through August 2014. The prosecution submitted two binders of documentation as evidence that Hardwick spent $4.39 million on “female social companions,” including one testifying witness who claimed to have met him through SugarDaddy.com."

    "Other alleged expenditures described in testimony include more than $7 million at casinos, more than $3 million with a bookie, $680,000 for a luxury condo at The St. Regis Atlanta, $273,000 on a diamond ring, $186,000 on a deposit for a party on a private island, and $635,000 on a trip to the 2014 British Open for golfing buddies that included a customized jet and round at St. Andrews."

    Johnson in 2014 sued Morris Hardwick Schneider over a $3 million loan he believed to be an investment. Instead, Johnson argued, the money was going to make up for shortages created by Hardwick's embezzlement. Johnson later amended his suit to argue that Hardwick, who previously served on the board of the Dustin Johnson Foundation, was being used as a "pawn" by the firm's other partners. 

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