Ogilvy Trying to Right Aussies Wrongs at Augusta

By Associated PressApril 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Nothing could drag Geoff Ogilvy out of bed before dawn when he was growing up.
Nothing, that is except the Masters.
On one day each year, he would be awake and settled in front of the television at 4 a.m., a full hour before coverage of the Masters even began in Australia.
'There's such a mystique about it,' Ogilvy said Monday. 'It's just so hard to imagine a place like this when you grow up in Australia and see it on TV. It's so far-fetched.'
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy tied for 16th in his Masters debut a year ago. (WireImage)
So, it's seemed at times, was the idea of an Aussie winning at Augusta National.
The Masters is the one major championship the Australians have yet to win. Worse, it broke the heart of Greg Norman so many times the entire country still feels the ache.
The Shark was the dominant player of his era, a two-time major winner who held the No. 1 ranking longer than anyone until Tiger Woods came along. But it's his agony at the Masters that is his trademark.
Norman was a 4-iron into the gallery on 18 from winning in 1986. A year later, Larry Mize beat him in a playoff after an unbelievable chip from 140 feet. Then there was that debacle in 1996.
Taking a six-shot lead into the final round, Norman imploded with a 78 and finished five strokes behind Nick Faldo.
'I remember hitting balls that day, because it inspired me to not do that,' Ogilvy said. 'It's a weird way to get inspired, but I just got so fired up to practice that day because I thought, `If I ever get there, I don't want to do that.' Because that was hard to watch.'
There were no meltdowns when Ogilvy finally got to Augusta last year; he finished 16th.
Two months later, though, he found himself the winner of the U.S. Open after another famous player's Norman-esque collapse.
Phil Mickelson went to 18 at Winged Foot needing just a par to join Tiger Woods as the only players in the last 50 years to win three straight majors. But he overcut his drive, hit a tree with his second shot and found a plugged lie in a bunker with his third shot. His double bogey left him a stroke behind Ogilvy -- and made the Aussie a major champion.
Far more was made of Mickelson's meltdown than Ogilvy's victory, but Ogilvy didn't care.
'I didn't read a paper or watch TV for a few weeks after the U.S. Open on purpose, because I preferred to just sit at home and look at the trophy,' he said. 'Maybe if I win another one or two down the track in my career, it will give that one more credibility.
'But the trophy is making a nice little dust ring on my shelf at the moment.'
It's not as if Ogilvy was some one-hit wonder, either. Two months shy of his 30th birthday, he has three PGA TOUR victories. After his win at Winged Foot, he finished 16th at the British Open and was ninth at the PGA Championship.
This year, he's finished in the top 10 in three of the seven events he's played, including a tie for third at the CA Championship two weeks ago.
While Mickelson and Tiger Woods are the obvious favorites this week, Ogilvy is someone who certainly could give them a challenge if he plays well.
'Half the battle in majors is feeling like you can win,' he said. 'Because the first time you tee it up in one of these things, just playing in it is overwhelming. Thinking you can win is the first hurdle to being able to actually do it.
'You'll feel better about it on the weekend because I've been there kind of recently,' he added. 'Rather than a guy who has not been there or hasn't been there for quite a while.'
And he's not the only Aussie who could be a factor on Sunday, either.
Unlike Norman, who carried the flag for the entire country, there's a crowd of players from Down Under who could contend at Augusta. There are seven Australians in the Masters field, including Aaron Baddeley, who won the FBR Open in early February, and Adam Scott, who arrives fresh off a win over fellow Australian Stuart Appleby at the Houston Open.
Last year, Mickelson won his second green jacket after winning in Atlanta the previous weekend.
'I feel great about my game, but I'm certainly not predicting a win at Augusta. Although I'm feeling better now going into it than I did at the start of the week,' Scott said.
Indeed, all it takes is one good week, and Australia's long drought could finally be over.
'It's actually not a drought because it's never rained at all,' Ogilvy said, drawing laughs.
'Someone will do it,' he said, turning serious. 'Five years ago, there's one or two guys who might do all right in the Masters. There's five or six Australians that I could see legitimately wearing a green jacket on Sunday, and that's more than ever before.'
If Ogilvy or any of his fellow Aussies could break through this week, an entire country would rejoice.
Those painful memories of Norman wouldn't quite disappear, but they would certainly fade.
'Any tournament would be good to win,' Ogilvy said. 'This would be unbelievable.'
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    Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

    Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

    Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

    "Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

    "It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

    Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

    "I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

    "I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

    He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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    Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

    Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

    Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

    What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

    Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

    Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

    Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

    Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

    Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

    Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

    Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

    Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

     Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

     Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

    ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

    NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

    In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

    Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

    Monday, May   28

    Individual   National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29

    Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

    11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

    Tuesday,   May 29

    Semifinals,   Team Match Play

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Wednesday, May   30

    Team Match   Play National Championship

    4-8 p.m.   (Live)

    Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

    Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

    College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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    Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

    By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

    Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

    Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

    Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

    Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

    Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

    While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: