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Geoff Ogilvy's game trending in the right direction ahead of Australian Open

Ogilvy making a point in today's media conference (Photo: Justin Falconer )
Geoff Ogilvy has been one of Australia’s most successful golfers over the last twelve years or so but, currently ranked 232nd in the world, it would appear he is well below the golfer he was earlier in his career.

That is not how Ogilvy sees it however. The former winner of eight events on the PGA Tour including a US Open and three World Golf Championship events is attempting to win the Australian Open for the second occasion and feels such a win is not beyond him.

“I feel capable of playing better than I ever have. Whether that actually eventuates for scores or not, I don't know, but I feel like I know my game better than I ever have, so I’ve probably got a better idea of how to get myself out of ruts when I get into ruts and kind of how to maximise the good stuff.

“As I said, there are so many factors and shooting good scores for four rounds or even for like a whole year, it’s not just your golf, it’s on the course, off the course, your body, your health, it’s everything.Golf-wise I feel better than I ever have, so hopefully it manifests in good scores. We’ll see."

Ogilvy has just come off the back of one of his better finishes on the PGA Tour in recent times when 4th behind Rod Pampling at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Las Vegas.

“I was trending the right way.  I had a pretty rough year all in all, like the 12 months I guess from this week last year, if you like, but April or May it started turning around.  I could tell; the scores maybe didn’t look much better, but I was trending in the right direction.  I didn’t make the playoffs. The FedEx playoffs, so I had like a forced six or seven weeks off.

“So, the trend line was going in the right direction and then I had to take quite a long time off.  I lost a bit my first couple of tournaments but I feel like I got back on the trendline - does that make sense - last week.

“I knew good weeks were coming. I liked where my golf was at.  But again, you never know when you’re going to have one.  I was probably close to the lead on Sundays a couple of times, maybe tied at one point or one behind.  We were always a couple too far back from the guys in the last group. I think, but I got a feel for contention a little bit again and that is the part that I’ve always enjoyed the most. 

“I left with a good confidence boost and more contentment with golf because I’d just contended.  I mean, I’m much happier contending than not contending, it’s much more fun doing that; so, nice.”

Ogilvy, like all Australian players, is passionate about the Australian Open and would dearly love to win the event for the second occasion having won it first at the Lakes Golf Club in 2010

“It would be really nice. This is actually going to be my last tournament for the year until January, and this is a major for us.  We probably get a bit blasé about the Australian Open when we’re over there (in the US) and we’re playing and we’re not really thinking about it, but as soon as we get here, especially, for every Australian but it hits me every time I come back to this Tournament, how important this Tournament is for us.

“It’s a major for the Australian players I think. It would be a greater Christmas break if I could win this, the last Tournament of the year and kind of spring board off this for next year.”

Ogilvy will play with Jordan Spieth and Australia’s leading amateur and the US and Asia Pacific Amateur Champion Curtis Luck in the opening two rounds of the event and while he spends much of his time in the Us he is only too aware of the performances of Australian amateurs in 2016.

"They’re so good now, aren’t they, it’s incredible.  I think the coaching is - the whole thing about preparing a guy to get on tour is much better than it used to be.  It was really good when I did it but it’s clearly a lot better now. 

"Golf Australia is much more on the same page with the golfers.  Before there was a bit of a AGU versus amateur golfer kind of, don’t turn pro, don’t turn pro.  Now it’s like:  How do we make it better for you when you do turn pro?   I think the mentality in Australia is really good like that.Yeah, they’re great. 

"I watched Curtis Luck play the last five or six holes of the US Amateur, probably. I can’t say I watched the whole week, but I definitely watched the last five or six, which was obviously really exciting.

“Then he won the Asian one too, so he’s in the Masters twice, right?  That’s a hard thing to do for anybody.  Double exemption in the Masters. So, yeah, I’m excited to play with him, it will be great.

“The gap (between the professionals and amateurs) is really only in experience, not in skill now -  which is still big, but their skills are probably almost better.  Some of these guys swing it great, they hit it great.  As Rod (Pampling) said, they’re almost pros now before they are pros.

“The scores I keep seeing show up, like last week obviously there was Coletta, he nearly won right?  He’s a great player too, right?  So, it would be less of a surprise than it was in 99, I would say.











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