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August 22, 2017

Geoff Ogilvy

Old Westbury, New York

MARK WILLIAMS: We'd like to welcome Geoff Ogilvy to The Northern Trust, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs.

Geoff, this is the ninth time out of 11 that you've made it to the FedExCup Playoffs. You made the first date; missed the last couple. What's it feel like to be back here at the Playoffs, first time in three years?

GEOFF OGILVY: Mostly it's a relief I guess because of how I got here. Last week stressed me out a little bit more than I imagined it would be, it would have done. I didn't really think about 125 until I think I missed the cut in Canada and dropped a bunch of spots. I don't know where I started at, mid teens probably, 115 or something and dropped like five or six there.

Then I'm like, well, only got two starts left and Reno is small points. So I kind of thought about it a little bit but I was pretending to myself, I guess, that it didn't really matter that much because 126 to 150 card is not the end of the world; and I probably could have wangled a couple invites on top of that and played a reasonable schedule but it would have been a different schedule. It would have been the smaller events and probably no PLAYERS Championship.

Yeah, it surprised me how it kind of -- how high-pressure last week was; Q-School-feeling like. Even kind of worse than my Q-School in some respects, because my Q-School when I went to Q-School in 2000, I already had my card in Europe. So it was kind of a win/win. You know, make it, play over here; miss, I'll play in Europe again. I already had a job, right.

So yeah, a bit of -- relieved the last Sunday night, especially. But now, I mean, with -- in the good old days, I would have -- pre-FedExCup, I would have finished wherever we would have been, Disney or Tampa or whatever used to be the last tournament and gone home and had a bit of an off-season and gone on.

But now, I've got, I wouldn't say a realistic chance but a realistic chance to technically win the FedExCup, right, which is the nice thing about these Playoffs. I mean, I have a good week here, I get to Boston where I've played well before, I have another good week there, all of a sudden I get to Chicago and anything can happen, right.

It's kind of reset-the-brain-time, like, almost start again, kind of thing, and I'm obviously playing quite well. So if I can, as I said, put in a couple of good weeks these next two weeks, I can turn what was an average year into a great year in four weeks.

MARK WILLIAMS: You go into the Wyndham Championship 125 in the FedExCup standings. Wonderful performance there, I think T-16 and moved to 116 in the rankings, and now you have a chance to win the FedExCup.

You mentioned in some interviews that you had a renewed enthusiasm for the game. Just talk about how meaningful that was last week to play as well as you did, and what the feelings were actually like during the week.

GEOFF OGILVY: Well, there's two things. One, I have over the last kind of 12 months discovered kind of why my -- at least my ball-striking would go wrong. When it went wrong my whole life -- I mean, we've all got tendencies, and I've had kind of a stubborn tendency to get a little bit stuck, especially with the long clubs. I'm sure you hear that from a lot of guys -- and miss my driver to the right, and it wouldn't matter what drills I did or what I worked on, it wouldn't go away. It would always come back.

And the more balls I would hit, the worse it would get, if that makes sense, because I was kind of drilling in obviously some sort of wrong concept or idea. I feel like I'm on top of that now, and so the first bit of excitement comes from that.

I feel like there's no reason, at least from the ball-striking sense, that the next ten years can't be great, or even better than it ever has been. I'm starting to hit way more greens. I hit it close a lot last week.

So I'm pretty -- I'm very bullish about the next sort of ten years of golf. And because of that, having a proper -- having proper status next year was very important to me, I think because I feel like I'm potentially on the brink of playing a really good patch of golf, and I wanted a real card to be able to do that. Not one of these years when, am I in, am I not in. I mean, some of the tournaments, you might not get in until a Monday or Tuesday, and that's not a real way to play golf. It's a tough way to play golf.

Because of that I'm quite excited about the next little period. So that made last week more important to me I think. But it still surprised me. I was a little bit -- I was pretty toe-y on the first tee on Thursday, and I only had even par, which wasn't a horrible score, but clearly it wasn't great. And the first time I had actually looked at projected FedExCup standings for the whole year after a first round and I was projected to 132 or something. I was dropping seven spots, and that kind of woke me up a little bit I think.

Friday all of a sudden, I was kind of doing nothing, and bogeyed the second hole, which was my 11th, to go 1-over for the tournament. When the cut was going to be 3- or 4-under, I was kind of back against the wall, not in a very good spot really. And somehow, I found that whatever you want to call it, that place mentally that was perfect, conducive, to great golf.

Hit a great shot on 3, made birdie. Hit a great shot on 4, made birdie. Got lucky off the tee on 5. Hit a cart path and it went way down. It wouldn't have been horrible where it would have ended. It would have been a 5-iron out of the rough, but turned out to be a wedge out of the rough on a par 5.

And then I was really back in the best state of mind I had been in on a golf course for a long time. And I think it's the state of mind you'd love to set yourself every week, but sometimes you need extenuating circumstances to create it for you and it created it for me.

And after that, I played great. I played great on Saturday, and the front nine on Sunday was a really good front nine. It wasn't lights out. I got up-and-down 2, 3 and 4 -- 3 and 4 are especially great up-and-downs to kind of keep the birdie on the first -- like the momentum from being under par early and then after that, I played great. I holed out on 8, which was amazing.

Yeah, which made the back nine a little bit easier I guess because I got way in front of the mark I probably needed, and it kind of let me have a couple double-bogeys. Obviously I wasn't trying to have double-bogeys. I went for a shot on 11 that I wouldn't have gone for if I wasn't 6-under after 10. At that point I thought I could finish really high up on this tournament, and forget 125. I mean, let's get deep into the top hundred.

So I took on a shot that I probably shouldn't have taken and it got really unlucky. Kind of clipped a tree and went behind a tree and so that was a double.

17 was a weird double. I missed a wedge by a foot and it went underground in the bunker to a spot where five would have been a really good score. But I made six and it was kind of -- and then hit two great shots at the last and had a 12-footer for birdie or something on the last.

So the 17th double, was kind of like -- it's almost like, the universe telling me, hey, it's not going to be that easy, like if that makes sense. Like nothing's ever that easy, I don't think. And the whole back nine I was pretty content that I had put myself in a position where I was -- Top 15 was taken care of, if I just played sensibly on the back. But 17 was a bit of a wake-up call. 18, actually, I had to hit two pretty good shots. I was very, very relieved at 18.

MARK WILLIAMS: As you said, you're here at The Northern Trust with a chance to win.

Q. Golfers can be pretty hard on themselves when things aren't going great. When you have a test like you had last week and you pass it, do you allow yourself to pat yourself on the back? And as a veteran player, how do you kind of tell yourself, you know, good job?
GEOFF OGILVY: I mean, I told myself good job but it was less of that and it's more -- it's nice to know that it's still in there when I needed it.

I guess it's not the only reason we play but it's a big reason we play and it's the most satisfying thing that we can do is -- golf is at its hardest when you need to play well. You always have your best rounds when you don't need them, right. They just turn up, right. Putts go in, when you not, not care, but it doesn't matter if it misses, kind of thing.

But when you absolutely have to play well, and you do, it's a pretty satisfying feeling. And it's confidence-building I guess because I don't -- I've come down the stretch in tournaments and in majors and stuff, and that was probably a harder-type pressure to play under last week than one of those sort of situations; a completely different type of pressure, and a very uncomfortable type.

I'm sure you've all talked to people who play Q-Schools. It's a pretty uncomfortable situation. It's like getting a root canal. You have got to do it to get rid of the toothache, but it sucks the whole time you're doing it. It's a little bit like that. Whereas coming down the stretch at a major is as fun as it gets, right. It doesn't get any funner than that. It's nervous, nerve-wracking and pressure-filled, but it's fun pressure, if that makes sense.

Last week was -- I was pretty satisfied on Sunday and again, the best part was when I needed to play well when I was uncomfortable, I did.

Q. You were just addressing when I wanted to ask about; the nature and pressure between winning and nature and pressure of keeping your TOUR card. When you say it's fun when you're coming down the stretch to win, is it difficult to keep bad thoughts out of your mind when you're coming down the stretch to keep a card?
GEOFF OGILVY: I think the difference is, not consciously but some level of you, trying to win a tournament, you've got nothing to lose. You know, you've got everything to gain. I either win this or have a good week. If I win it, it would be great, but if I don't, it's still pretty good, right. Not perfect, but great.

Whereas playing for a card, is trying not to mess up. Not consciously but it's in there somewhere. The positive is fine but the negative is what you're trying to avoid. Whereas, trying to win a tournament, the positive of what you're trying to achieve, you know.

So instead of trying to -- you're trying to not mess up a little bit. As I said, not consciously but that's the feeling. It's like, play well and that's okay. But if you play bad, that's a failure. Does that make sense? So I was trying to avoid the negative as opposed to chase the positive. And that's an uncomfortable situation.

Q. You've talked about how pressure-filled situations seem to make you play better and bring out your best golf. Does that give you an advantage considering how pressure-filled the next four events may be and some of the guys coming in may not have played the Playoffs before?
GEOFF OGILVY: Maybe. I mean, it's just -- whatever you lose physically as you get older, you're constantly gaining in experience, and there's just no substitute for experience in some situations in golf, there just isn't. That's traditionally always been like why guys don't get to their best until their 30s and they have that sweet spot mid 30s to early 40s or something, because it takes a long time. No one can teach you how it's going to feel in those situations. You have to experience it.

And how often do you see guys lead a tournament on Sunday the first time and have a nightmare, but then the next time they get back there, they are better at it. It's not because they are a better golfer the second time. It's because they knew what was coming and they had some experience in that situation.

I imagine, look, this first tournament, this week and next week, they are kind of big, normal tournaments. You know, you really want to play well. You really want to finish up high. But as Playoffs in all sports would be, the pressure will build the closer you get to the end.

So I don't know, there's plenty of experience in this field, but it's nice to -- to kind of answer your question, because I haven't really answered it yet (laughter).

It's nice to know that just last week I played well when I needed to, and so it's pretty recent in the memory banks. So if I can get into situations here, I'll be more comfortable this week than I would have perhaps been if I didn't have last week like last week. Does that make sense?

Q. I just want to pick your brain a bit on Player of the Year vote. We've got two guys that have won a major and multiple events, Jordan and Justin. How important do you think the FedExCup Playoffs and a win or whatever could weigh up in your vote, given those two and a couple other guys aren't necessarily stand-out picks?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't think you can even have the conversation until after East Lake to be fair. You say those two guys, but if Dustin wins the next four weeks, there's only one Player of the Year. It not even close. To be fair, if anybody wins the next four events, they are in the conversation, right.

So it's kind of like looking at the FedExCup or the Money List in June. It's like, yeah, you can kind of see who the favorites are, but if you voted today, everyone probably leans towards J.T. because he just won the major. But it's only a month ago that we were all talking about Jordan Spieth being one of the best of all time. So we are very reactionary and we're very, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. Whereas in February, it's like, no one is going to beat Dustin for Player of the Year, you know what I mean.

So right now, I would say J.T. would be the favorite, purely just because he won two weeks ago. Not saying his year has been better than Jordan's, but just because of the recent success. But as I said, you can't even start talking about it until after East Lake, I don't think.

Q. So it's clear that this four weeks will be a determining factor for a lot of guys.
GEOFF OGILVY: No question. Look, if nobody in the conversation does anything this -- in these four weeks and these kind of four weeks kind of go normal and they are split between four different winners and that sort of stuff, I probably between those two.

But if Dustin wins this week, all of the sudden, you guys are starting up next week, saying, well, clearly, he's right in the conversation, too.

Q. Hideki.
GEOFF OGILVY: Hideki, too. And Brooks wins a couple of weeks, and then what happens.

So I don't think you can even start talking about it until deep into the Playoffs. In other words, yes, these Playoffs are very important for Player of the Year.

Q. Given that you are in the Playoffs now, to a certain degree, will you feel less stress maybe playing with house money a little bit, knowing that you're far back and you can be a bit more aggressive? Do you think you'll feel less stress or more this week?
GEOFF OGILVY: I will feel miles less stress this week than last week. It's not even close. Not even comparable. House money is a reasonable way to probably classify it.

I'm excited I'm here, and as I said, I don't -- it wouldn't be realistic but I have a legitimate chance to get to East Lake, and if you get to East Lake, you've got a chance to win the thing technically.

East Lake, for me now, would probably be the real goal, because top 30 is a pretty good exemption, probably the best in our sport. Sets up your whole next 12 months.

Plus, I mean, I've been to Atlanta a few times, I can't remember how many, but it's a pretty nice feeling when you get there. It's just a special tournament and that you don't get until you've been there. You get there and you're like, wow, this is kind of -- for the last 12 months, I've been in the elite of the elite, and that's a good feeling. It's probably like being in a Pro Bowl or an All-Star Game or something, and that's kind of our equivalent, right.

But yeah, a completely different level of -- I've got nothing to lose now. If I play well, great. If I don't, I get an extra few weeks off and I get to hang out with the kids and I go to The Presidents Cup as an assistant captain coming up, which is pretty exciting. Yeah, this is a one out of ten pressure, compared to last week.

Q. And I wanted to ask you about the course. Have you had a chance to see much of it at all?
GEOFF OGILVY: I haven't been out there. I've seen the pictures and the earlier reports from the guys is they really like it. It's obviously a very visually stunning place. But I'll reserve anything I say about it until I've played it. But I'm looking forward to it because everyone seems to think it's great.

Q. It was nice to have been there last week see you get your card up and get into the Playoffs, and I mean this in a nice way, but why can't you do that every week?
GEOFF OGILVY: I ask myself that all the time, Berie. Golf is hard. And as I've said, I opened up a Pandora's box or I went down a rabbit hole, if you like, with my golf swing a few years ago. Because beyond results and beyond everything, I just want to love playing golf. Outside of tournaments or anything, I just want to go to the golf course and love how I do it, and I wasn't loving how I did it.

And you -- I wanted to work out, why. Why can't a golf shot feel like I know it can feel? And once you open that box, you kind of have to go all the way through it. You have to -- no stone unturned. You have to go every direction and kind of work out, what's the root cause to my tendencies and why do they get like that. Why, when I go hit lots of balls does it get worse instead of better; which you guys see all time. Guys tell them how much they have been practicing, but sometimes they get worse and sometimes they get better.

There's reasons for that, because of in-built programming that have been there for however many different reasons: Bad lesson one time or comment from a playing partner or the wrong concept of what you're actually trying to do.

So the last few years, I've kind of been there in the rabbit hole looking for the way out and I feel like I've found it. So hopefully I can do it more often because I feel like if you get that side of it right, then it purely is just down to desire and mental ability when you get there; if all of that makes sense.

I'm now in a position where I can get my head out of my golf swing and get it into playing. And when you're into playing, that's kind of where I was last week. It's all about where the ball ends up. It's not about swing at all, because you have to. It's like, it's a do-or-die situation, if you like.

So you do it or you go home, kind of thing. And when you can play like that, I think you can play more consistently more often, and I feel like I'm set up to do that now a little bit more.

Q. Was there any -- when you sort of lost the golden parachute of the U.S. Open exemption, what were the thoughts that were going through your mind at that point, and could it possibly have contributed to doing anything detrimental to your game?
GEOFF OGILVY: No, I don't think so. I've never thought about exemption, really, until this year, really, to be honest with you.

I've had these tendencies in my golf swing, and putting, too, a little bit, and they have been there forever. And as I said, I was in a situation where the more shots I hit, the further away I got. Obviously because there was some sort of root concept that wasn't quite right. And I'm not the only one. A lot of guys are like this. Everybody's got tendencies, and when guys work out why they go wrong, then they start playing well all the time, you know.

It really wasn't about the exemption. It was about me, as I said, really at the root, I wanted to go to the golf course, wherever it was, in a tournament or at home or go take a 6-iron down the field with a few balls. I just wanted golf shots to feel like I knew they could feel, and they hadn't felt like that for a long time, and I wanted to work out why. And when you do that, it's very difficult to play well out here at the same time.

Q. What was "the why" of those golf shots going wrong?
GEOFF OGILVY: Those who say don't know and those who know don't say. It's a book. Like we don't have long enough right now, and it's personal; not personal as in I don't want to share it, but it's a unique situation to me that would take way too long to explain.

Basically, about -- it's a concept. Like it's an idea of what I was trying to achieve at impact and what I was trying to achieve with the swing and how I related to the target. There's a lot to it.

But effectively, a decent metaphor would be I was trying to eat soup with a fork. You could do it all day with perfect -- hold the fork perfectly and do that but you're never going to be able to eat the soup, right. I've found my spoon.

Q. This is a terrible segue because it's totally off-topic. But can playing partners ever impact your own performance, and if so, why?
GEOFF OGILVY: Definitely. I think a couple of different ways. One, you can just love who you play with, and that's always comfortable. You go out and play with -- there's guys out here -- I mean, I like everybody out here. But there's certainly guys I would consider more friends than others. That's always great.

There are some -- there are guys out here who will -- who want to play well, but they are rooting you along at the same time. They want -- they are kind of bringing the group along with them, kind of thing. They are great, and there are some guys that keep to themselves and are quiet; not in a negative way. Just that's how they play their best.

But generally, historically, and you guys have noticed it. When you're playing with two guys who are playing well, you tend to get dragged along with it; and when you're playing with two guys who are playing poorly, you kind of get dragged back with it. You can do, anyway, because the mood goes wrong when everyone is playing bad. And negative energy is negative energy. It's like when you're all standing on the same tees and greens, that negative energy is around. That's not a personal thing. It's just a how people are playing thing.

So yes, and when you play with great, great players, I think it's great for your game, too. Guys who are great players at the top of their game. I used to play great when I played with Tiger. I've always played great with those -- when I get those pairings, with those type of guys. I don't know, just it -- whether you're trying to impress them or you're trying to see how your best stacks up with their best or whatever it is. There's a part of you that gets inspired playing with top players.

So I think more positive than negative, you can get affected by who you play with, but there's a big effect I think sometimes.

Q. Is there an example with Tiger or somebody else, where it's like -- for whatever reason, every time I play with the guy, I shoot 66.
GEOFF OGILVY: Every time I played with Tiger, I played well. Don't know why. Well, I assume it's -- you're more into it. You're more focused. There's so many people around. I often find it's easier -- people talk about -- people who don't do this wonder how we do this in front of so many people because golf in front of people is difficult, right, for someone who doesn't normally do it. We see it every Wednesday. A 12-handicap plays like a 24-handicap because there's people around.

For us, I think it's easier when you're in that Tiger-circus, that Tiger-type circus when there's people everywhere, because it's just a general noise; and it's easier to block out 20,000 people than it is to block out two people, if that makes sense. You get that one marshal wandering around the green or you hear every little noise when you're kind of out there in a normal group. When you're in those groups, it's kind of like, you just get this big blur and it helps you focus.

Just it's a natural focus-helper I think. That's probably the biggest effect of playing with those big guys. That, and the fact that it's inspiring watching somebody do something that well, and I think it's a pretty well-talked-about idea or concept that when you play with swings and you play with great putters and great players, it just naturally kind of rubs off on you. You play with Ernie Els and by the end of the day, your rhythm is better. It happens. It's one of those phenomena. And usually great players have stuff that kind of rubs off on you, and you see how they go about it. It's just being in proximity of guys who are doing something as well as they are doing it at that time; it can't help but rub off on you I think.

Q. When you're trying to recapture something or find a new spark, it falls on you, but in your journey to find your spoon, was it you or mostly all you, or did you rely a lot on others and how do you sort through something like that?
GEOFF OGILVY: I mean, I left no stone unturned. I have a lot of hours watching people swing it. Watching YouTube, asking the odd question of all the coaches out here every now and then, like sneaky little questions when they don't know I'm pulling information from them but I am; asking players questions, and mostly, just experimenting: What happens to my swing if I do this; what happens to my swing if I do that.

Talking to physiotherapists and physical preparation people of how the body should work; why does my right hip always get tight. Connecting that with my bad moves in my golf swing; how do I change that. How do I stress my right glute and hip, whatever it would be.

It was a pretty holistic kind of approach. The more I went into it, the more I realized, the longer I did it, little light bulbs kept going off, kept going off, kept going off. And then all of a sudden I found some, like, string to join all those light bulbs and join all the dots, and everything started making sense, and it was like a cascade of good things just making sense. Well, that makes sense because those two make sense and they are actually the same thing.

So it was watching, asking, and experimenting, and as I said, I'm far from having it perfect but as I said I've got a spoon in my hand now. So really it's up to me to put it in practice. But yeah, it was -- like Hogan would say, he just looked at everybody and tried everything, and that's kind of what I've done.

Q. Yesterday we were at Liberty. It's 30-odd days to Presidents Cup. Just wonder your thoughts on how you feel Team International is shaping up, if they are going to break the streak and are they going to be able to do it?
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, we can definitely break the streak. Clearly on paper, it's going to be a pretty good team. Pretty similar to usual Presidents Cups in that the top six or seven are very comparable and then we maybe drop off, at least in a World Ranking sense at the bottom. But the difference between a 40th-ranked player and a 70th-ranked player isn't that much. It's usually form in the last few months, right.

Pricey is obviously a great captain. Everybody left Korea very excited, really pumped. With 20 minutes to go in that tournament it was a coin toss who was going to win and it went the wrong way for us. But it was close enough I think to fire everyone up and the core kind of group of guys who are on the team are going to be on the team again and they have been -- there's been more talk and more excitement about this Presidents Cup I think amongst, in the locker room, I would say, than there ever has been before.

Yeah, we clearly are -- both teams clearly can win. It's time we got it done. It will be good for the event if we can win. Not only will it be great for us but it will be good for the event. Tremendous venue. I think New York is -- I mean, some of the best sports fans in the world. Clearly some of the most vocal sports fans in the world; some of.

But it won't -- you go to Columbus or something and you go kind of in the middle of the U.S., it's going to be majority U.S. support for an event like that. But New York, I think we've got a chance to have a percentage of the crowd a little bit. There's a lot of, you want to say, non-born American, non-Native Americans live in New York.

A lot of people that maybe have had The Presidents Cup on their bucket list for the last ten or 15 years, and went, oh, I'm not going to go there; I'm not going to go there. New York, that's the one you go to, right. Especially at Liberty. I think we've got a chance that the crowd will be as balanced as we could have it in the U.S. So that will help. And it will just be great fun.

As I said, the guys are fired up. It will be a great tournament. Pricey's deserved it. Pricey's worked really, really hard over the last three or four years. It's been his thing, you know. He's very, very passionate about it and that rubs off on the assistants and that rubs off on the players. It's going to be exciting. Hopefully we can -- it would be great if we can just hand out a drumming, but like a close one that we win would be perfect, would be great for the event.

Q. Your affinity for golf course architecture is pretty well documented. I'm just wondering how much of Long Island you've been able to sample through your years and how much do you enjoy it and how much does it compare to, say, the Sandbelt area in Australia?
GEOFF OGILVY: Disappointingly enough, I haven't done kind of east Long Island, really, at all, which is disappointing. Because from what I understand, Shinnecock, and National, especially, clearly, in the conversation to be best golf courses in the world or the Top-10 courses and that's not in dispute. Macdonald and Raynor's stuff is arguably my favorite stuff. That and MacKenzie. And they had a massive influence in New York, like Macdonald and Raynor, Maidstone, too, I think.

Not enough. But I would -- from what I understand from people who I trust their opinions, it's at least as good as the Sandbelt, maybe better. I mean, Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Metropolitan Victoria, they are all brilliant courses and very close and it's a fantastic area. Long Island's very similar. But they have got National and Shinnecock. It's all subjective, that sort of thing. But it's clearly one of the most golf-Rich areas in the world.

Q. Do you feel that the universe responded to your question right last week, and did you reprogrammed your learning -- like you've been in habit practicing, your subconscious mind. Did you move from there to your conscious right now; this is why you said, this is next ten years will be better than past one?
GEOFF OGILVY: Firstly, I think "the universe," if you like, is interesting. Like it shows you what you really want, I think. I didn't -- as I say, I didn't appreciate how much I wanted this until it was almost taken away from me last week. I was very surprised, taken aback by how pressure-filled last week was for me; and that recognizing a sign like that is clearly you really, really, really, you really want to be doing this, and this is a good thing that you do and you want to preserve this at every -- at any -- because this is what I'm doing. This is what I do. What else would I do?

And as well as -- there's no question that my practice habits or the head space I obviously was in when I practiced wasn't conducive to playing better. I always felt tournaments were there to undo the damage I had done in practice. I know that sounds silly but I feel like I'd leave a tournament on Sunday really feeling like I got somewhere, go practice for a week, come back to the next tournament and feel like I was undoing all the damage I did in practice until I got to Sunday and I was good again.

I just had this cycle, where it was either the way I practiced or the way I thought when I practiced, that wasn't helping -- it was helping in some ways but not helping in the ways I needed to help, if that makes sense. And guys, if you read between the lines, you see it everywhere: A guy says, I'm working really hard, I'm working really hard; he comes out and he plays worse and he plays worse. I mean, the guy that used to be No. 1 in the world had periods like that, right.

And there's plenty of historical evidence without picking on too many names: Finchie, Mike Weird, David Duval, guys who have worked harder and got worse. So that's why it's such a cruel game and a hard game, and you do have to reprogram up here the way I approach it.

So yeah, that was definitely part of it. Working out -- the biggest key was working out how I could go away for a week or two off, and come back to the next tournament better than I was when I left the previous tournament. As I said, that's a hard thing to work out, and the guys who have that worked out, they are the guys in the top five or ten in the world.

Q. How does your preparation differ, and what do you try to accomplish on a week where you're playing a new course like Glen Oaks?
GEOFF OGILVY: Probably spend more time on the course than on the range or the putting green or the chipping green. Depends on the course. A lot of traditional or I would say common PGA TOUR courses we play, it's kind of a little bit formulaic in that the sand is similar and the green speeds are similar. We tends to not have ultra-soft greens or ultra-firm greens. The fairways are similar.

The yardage books are so amazing now that a lot of these places, you could probably play blind, if you like, and not really be that far behind the 8-ball on the first tee because of all the yardage books and relatively -- most PGA TOUR courses fit, I mean, golf goes from there to there, right St. Andrews to Indian Wells or something; pick out something. Our courses tend to sit somewhere in the middle and they are generally learnable, quick.

But an important tournament like this, like the majors or the WGCs and we show up to a new tournament or a lot of majors where it's a course that one else has played, I think that's actually a great challenge and it's more interesting. It's a challenging on the caddies and it's a challenge on the players to be ready by Thursday.

So I would -- as opposed to, I mean I'm in the Pro-Am tomorrow. If it was just a normal tournament, I would mess around here for a couple of hours today, go home and just play the Pro-Am. But this week, I'm going to play two practice rounds because it's a new course. Just spend a bit more time on the course relative to the practice facilities rather than the other way around.

MARK WILLIAMS: Geoff, we appreciate your time. Thanks for your insightful comments and good luck in the FedExCup Playoffs.

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