Ogilvy Gets His Due

By Brian HewittMarch 5, 2009, 5:00 pm
The Comebacker this week is mostly about Geoff Ogilvy getting his props. Seems that his meteoric rise to No. 4 in the world and his stunning dominance of the WGC-Accenture World Match play have finally gotten the attention of the entire golf world.
 
There was also a post or two (or three or four or five), surprise, surprise, at The Comebacker about the return to golf of a guy named Tiger. Turns out people are waiting for him to walk on water.
 
Without further ado:
 
Jonathan writes: Why dont you look at Ogilvys entire body of work, rather than just the tournaments when he plays well? Tiger gets judged on everything he does, every shot, every round, every fairway hit or missed, whether hes in contention or not. What if you gave Ogilvys game a Tiger treatment? You would see how many times he has never been in contention over the past several years. Ogilvy missed six cuts last year. And his best finish in a major was T9 in the U.S. Open. Hes missed the cut in the last two British Opens
 
THE COMEBACKER: And blah-de-blah-de-blah. Sheesh. Give Ogilvy a break. Hes the hottest player in the world. Nobody said he was Tiger Woods.
 
Alookkin writes: Finally an article written by someone who knows golf and recognizes how good and accomplished a player Ogilvy is. He is by far the best Australian currently on the Tour. Maybe even surpassing Greg Norman, since Ogilvy has won a major on U.S. soil and I expect he'll win a few more before he's done.The American media has missed the boat on this guy since 2006Could it be because he has no interest in the publicity machines that drive the so called elite players who read their press clippings before even putting a ball on 1st tee?
 
THE COMEBACKER: Not quite ready to place Ogilvy above Norman yet. But youre right about Ogilvy not caring about press clippings. Hes good with reporters. But he doesnt need to be stroked by the media. Hes a very regular guy.
 
Philip writes: You could also mention that to warm up for the PGA Tour, he (Ogilvy) won his first major event on home soil in December by winning the Australian PGA Championship. The man is on fire.
 
THE COMERBACKER: In the immortal words of Golf Channel kolleague Kraig Kann: If hes on fire, put him out.
 
Larry writes: Hard to imagine how they could increase Tigers exposure. It's about 99 percent now. Thank goodness it went down to 75 percent after he was out. They even have to show him sitting drinking water. Well at least they didn't show him walking on water.
 
THE COMEBACKER: If he does, we will. And so will everybody else. The Comebacker is getting a little tired of criticism of too much Tiger coverage. We dont hear anybody criticizing CBS News for too much coverage of the President.
 
Fred writes: No Majors this year for Tiger....Please, everyone, give it a rest until he walks from the 17th tee box to the 17th green at the Players....then you have something to talk about.
 
THE COMEBACKER: And then Nike will have a heckuva commercial for its golf shoes.
 
Hoemans writes: Enough already....Glad he lost...Is it Tigervision or television?....Give me a break....
 
THE COMEBACKER: Glad he lost? If Tiger had beaten Tim Clark, he would have played Ogilvy in the round of 16. Who wouldnt have wanted to see that?
 
Bill writes: PLEASE shut the hell up about Tiger.
 
THE COMEBACKER: NO.
 
Bob and Fay write: Don't get me wrong, Tiger is the best, but don't be so critical of those of us who express our opinion of his coverage by the media.
 
THE COMEBACKER: Fair point. But is this Bobs opinion or Fays?
 
Ann writes: Everyone saw the crowds he drew. Maybe he should have practiced on that course a couple of more times like most of the other golfers did. However, first time out he may not have wanted to push it but he sure seemed to walk back to the tee after that out of bounds with no limp or grimacing. So that was great to see.
 
THE COMEBACKER: Hey, wasnt this supposed to be a Comebacker about Geoff Ogilvy?
David writes: So what is wrong with Phil? Maybe the Tour just does not rank alongside family anymore. Maybe he has realized he will never be No. 1 and is just playing for the cashWhatever the reason, treat him like the others. You did not analyse Jim Furyks fall from grace, or Vijays or Adam Scotts. Let him enjoy his life.
THE COMEBACKER: If Lefty is, indeed, just playing for the cash, he should thank his lucky stars theres plenty of it left to play for these days.
Earleene writes: Will everyone please quit bashing Phil? No one would think of doing that to Tiger. Personally, I would rather watch Phil play badly than watch Tiger and his big head and crass caddie any day of the week.
 
THE COMEBACKER: Not sure I get the big head reference. Did Tiger get a new driver or something?
 

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Garcia leads as Valderrama Masters extends to Monday

By Will GrayOctober 21, 2021, 3:52 pm

Weather continues to be the enemy at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where Sergio Garcia remains in front as the tournament heads for a Monday finish.

European Tour officials had already ceded the fact that 72 holes would not be completed this week in Spain, but players were not even able to finish 54 holes before another set of thunderstorms rolled in Sunday afternoon to once again halt play. Garcia remains in front at 10 under, having played seven holes of the third round in even par, while Lee Westwood is alone in second at 7 under.

Officials had previously stated an intention to play at least 54 holes, even if that meant extending the tournament to Monday, given that this is the final chance for many players to earn Race to Dubai points in an effort to secure European Tour cards for 2019. Next week's WGC-HSBC Champions will be the final event of the regular season, followed by a three-event final series.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


Garcia, who won the tournament last year, started the third round with a four-shot lead over Ashley Chesters. He balanced one birdie with one bogey and remains in position for his first worldwide victory since the Asian Tour's Singapore Open in January.

Westwood, who has his son Sam on the bag this week, made the biggest charge up the leaderboard with four birdies over his first eight holes. He'll have 10 holes to go when play resumes at 9:10 a.m. local time Monday as he looks to win for the first time since the 2015 Indonesian Masters.

Shane Lowry and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are tied for third at 6 under, four shots behind Garcia with 10 holes to play, while Chesters made two double bogeys over his first four holes to drop into a tie for sixth.

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Austin wins Champions tour's playoff opener

By Associated PressOctober 21, 2018, 9:35 pm

RICHMOND, Va. -- Woody Austin knew Bernhard Langer was lurking throughout the final nine holes, and he did just enough to hold him off.

Austin shot a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory Sunday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Langer, the defending tournament champion and series points leader, made the turn one shot off the lead, but eight straight pars kept him from ever gaining a share of the lead. Austin's birdie from 6 feet on the closing hole allowed him to hang on for the victory.

''It seemed like he couldn't quite get it over the hump,'' Austin said about Langer, who also birdied No. 18. ''I'm not going to feel bad for the guy. The guy's kind of had things go his way for the last 12 years. Now he sees what it's like to have it happen.''

The 54-year-old Austin finished with an 11-under total for three rounds at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. He won his fourth senior title and first since 2016, and said windy and cool conditions that made scoring difficult played to his advantage.

''I was happy to see it. I really enjoy a difficult test,'' he said. ''... I enjoy even par meaning something. That's my game.''

Langer closed with a 70. The winner last week in North Carolina, the 61-year-old German star made consecutive birdies to finish the front nine, but had several birdie putts slide by on the back.


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


''I made a couple important ones and then I missed a couple important ones, especially the one on 16,'' Langer said. ''I hit three really good shots and had about a 6-footer, something like that, and I just didn't hit it hard enough. It broke away.''

Austin dropped a stroke behind Jay Haas and Stephen Ames with a bogey on the par-3 14th. He got that back with a birdie from about 5 feet on the par-4 15th and then got some good fortune on the final hole when his firmly struck chip hit the flag and stopped about 6 feet away.

''I always say usually the person that wins gets a break on Sunday,'' he said. ''That was my break.''

The 64-year-old Haas, the second-round leader after a 65, had a 74 to tie for third with Fran Quinn (69) and Kent Jones (70) at 9 under. Haas was bidding to become the oldest winner in the history of the tour for players 50 and older.

''Disappointed, for sure,'' Haas said. ''Not going to get many more opportunities like this, but it gives me hope, too, that I can still do it.''

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 move on to the Invesco QQQ Championship next week in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

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After Further Review: American success stories

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 8:35 pm

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the global nature of Koepka's rise to No. 1 ...

Brooks Koepka is an American superstar, and a two-time winner of his national open. But his rise to world No. 1 in, of all places, South Korea, emphasizes the circuitous, global path he took to the top.

After winning the CJ Cup by four shots, Koepka was quick to remind reporters that he made his first-ever start as a pro in Switzerland back in 2012. He cracked the top 500 for the first time with a win in Spain, and he broke into the top 100 after a good week in the Netherlands.

Koepka languished on the developmental Challenge Tour for a year before earning a promotion to the European Tour, and he didn’t make a splash in the States until contending at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

It’s a testament to Koepka’s adaptability and raw talent that he can handle the heights of Crans-Montana as well as the slopes of Shinnecock Hills or rough of Nine Bridges. And as the scene shifts to China next week, it highlights the global nature of today’s game – and the fact that the best in the world can rise to the occasion on any continent. - Will Gray


On the resurgence of American women  ...

American women are on a nice roll again. Danielle Kang’s victory Sunday at the Buick LPGA Shanghai was the third by an American over the last five events. Plus, Annie Park and Marina Alex, emerging American talents looking for their second victories this season, tied for second. So did American Brittany Altomare. Two years ago, Americans won just twice, their fewest victories in a single season in LPGA history. Overall, women from the United States have won seven times this season.

The Americans are making their move with Stacy Lewis on maternity leave and with Lexi Thompson, the highest ranked American in the world, still looking for her first victory this year. Yes, the South Koreans have won nine times this season, but with four LPGA events remaining in 2018 the Americans actually have a chance to be the winningest nation in women’s golf this year. With all the grief they’ve received the last few years, that would be a significant feat. - Randall Mell

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In Buick win, Kang overcame demons of mind and spirit

By Randall MellOctober 21, 2018, 3:33 pm

Danielle Kang beat three of the most formidable foes in golf Sunday to win the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

Anxiety.

Frustration.

Anger.

Kang overcame these demons of mind and spirit to win for the second time on tour, backing up her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship victory last year.

“I’ve been going through a lot mentally,” Kang said.

Kang birdied four of the last eight holes to close with a 3-under-par 69, coming from one shot back in the final round to win. At 13-under 275, she finished two shots ahead of a pack of seven players, including world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and former world No. 1 Lydia Ko (66).

It hasn’t been easy for Kang trying to build on her major championship breakthrough last year. She started the fall Asian swing having missed three cuts in a row, five in her last six starts.

“I had to go through swing changes,” Kang said. “I had the swing yips, the putting yips, everything possibly you could think of.

“I was able to get over a lot of anxiety I was feeling when I was trying to hit a golf ball. This week I just kept trusting my golf game.”

Through her swoon, Kang said she was struggling to get the club back, that she was getting mentally stuck to where she could not begin her takeaway. She sought out Butch Harmon, back at her Las Vegas home, for help. She said tying for third at the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week felt like a victory, though she was still battling her demons there.

“Anxiety over tee balls,” Kang said. “People might wonder what I'm doing. I actually can't pull the trigger. It has nothing to do with the result. Having to get over that last week was incredible for me. Even on the first round, one shot took me, I think, four minutes.”

Kang, who turned 26 on Saturday, broke through to win last year under swing coach David Leadbetter, but she began working with Harmon while struggling in the second half this year.


Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos


“I was actually very frustrated, even yesterday,” Kang said. “Things just weren't going my way. The biggest thing that Butch tells me is to stay out of my own way. I just couldn't do that. If I had a short putt, I just kept doubting myself. I couldn't putt freely.”

Kang said her anger and frustration built up again on the front nine Sunday. She made the turn at 1 over for the round. She said her caddie, Oliver Brett, helped her exorcise some anger. After the ninth hole, he pulled her aside.

This is how Kang remembered the conversation:

Brett: “Whatever you need to do to let your anger out and restart and refresh, you need to do that now.”

Kang: “Cameras are everywhere. I just want to hit the bag really hard.”

Brett: “Here's a wedge. Just smash it.”

Kang did.

“Honestly, I thank him for that,” Kang said. “He told me there are a lot birdies out there. I regrouped, and we pretended we started the round brand new on the 10th hole. Then things changed and momentum started going my way. I started hitting it closer and felt better over the putts.”

Kang said the victory was all about finding a better place mentally.

“I'm just so happy to be where I'm at today,” Kang said. “I'm just happy that I won.

“More so than anything, I'm finally at a place where I'm peaceful and happy with my game, with my life . . . . I hope I win more. I did the best I can. I'm going to keep working hard and keep giving myself chances and keep putting myself in contention. I'll win more. I'll play better.”