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March 8, 2006

Geoff Ogilvy


DAVE SENKO: Geoff, maybe you can get us started, you had a little bit of time off, you went home, you mentioned, maybe just talk about the reaction of going home after winning the match after a couple of weeks off.

GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know, it was nice. I mean, it's only the second time I've been able to take a week off after winning a golf tournament. It was pretty nice, same week as last year, big tournament in Australia, everyone in Australia was pretty happy. It's a pretty big tournament for an Australian to win so it was good fun.

Q. Obviously you had a pretty good run here last year, what are your memories of playing out here last year?

GEOFF OGILVY: I played good last year. I felt like I let one go last year actually. I had a pretty good chance. I bogeyed 11 and 12, and I think I had one birdie coming in and just could not quite make it. And coming in the last thing, I needed to make birdie, drove it in a sandy divot and made a big mess.

The year before on this golf course, I played pretty decent, too. I didn't play very well, I didn't challenge for anything, but I think I ended up finishing 14th or 15th, so I like coming back here, anyway.

Q. A lot of players, young players, have said this, and Padraig actually said it this morning that it's nice to win the first one, but it's maybe just as important to win the second one because now you've proven that the first one wasn't a fluke; especially given the nature of your second victory, do you feel that way now?

GEOFF OGILVY: I never thought my first one was a fluke, but it's nice to win the second one. He's right, the second one is kind of justification for the first one, I guess is what you're saying. So, yeah, it's nice, and especially a bigger one, pretty reasonably big tournament, a World Golf Championship. So it was really, yeah, the second one was just as special as the first, if not better, yeah.

Q. In your past as a junior or amateur player, had you played a lot of match play, and have you always been a pretty good match play player?

GEOFF OGILVY: I haven't played any since I turned pro, really, just the odd couple of things here and there. We play a lot as amateur, and I was always pretty decent, but I don't think I was a stand out player. You get those guys who are just special match players. Maybe I'm one of them now but I don't think I ever was special, but I was always decent.

When we're just playing, every time anyone ever plays golf with their buddies, they are playing match play. It's not a game you forget how to play. It's not even that different, just a slightly different mind set. Every time I've gone on the golf course with my buddies for the last 15 years, you play match play of some type usually. If it's not a tournament, you play match play with your buddies.

Q. If you continue to have this kind of success, have you allowed yourself to think about the possibility that you're setting yourself up to make the Presidents Cup team, and are you looking forward to that possibility?

GEOFF OGILVY: I guess winning a match play tournament helps on that. That's still 18 months away. It would be nice. It would be fantastic to make that team. It's not the be all and end all for me, but if I made it, I'm sure it's a fantastic week to play.

Q. The promo for Inside the PGA TOUR next week showed you in a stairway playing the guitar. Tell us about your guitar playing skills.

GEOFF OGILVY: Probably an 18 handicap probably on the guitar. (Laughter) I enjoy it though, it's fun. It's a bit like golf. It's one of those very intimidating things to start learning something like guitar because the scope of everything you can learn, you almost can't it's just too big. It's kind of like learning a language, a bit intimidating, so much to learn and guitar is the same way. I like that aspect of it, but I'll never be great at it. It's always something I can work on, there's always something I can get better at. It's fun. 18 handicap at best. I bogey every hole on the guitar. (Laughter).

Q. You're turning into a media start. How did the tape of the show go? Have you seen it?

GEOFF OGILVY: I'm not much for watching myself on TV. It's like listening to your voice on a voice recorder; it's no fun, is it? Watching yourself is even worse, because you're thinking, "I don't look like that, do I?"

Q. How did the taping go, did you need a lot of takes?

GEOFF OGILVY: For the guitar?

Q. For the whole thing?

GEOFF OGILVY: If there was more than one take, it was their fault, not mine, which is often the way with the TV people, the lighting is wrong or something is wrong. I don't know if I'm a media star. The week after you win, you're usually in the highlight. Everyone will forget my name is three weeks and everyone will go on with it.

Q. What's the best song you've learned on the guitar?

GEOFF OGILVY: Stairway to Heaven is the obvious one to play on the guitar, that's the first thing you have to learn once you can semi play the guitar. That covers all bases, it's quiet and loud and solo and everything.

Q. That's setting the bar pretty high right off the bat, isn't it?

GEOFF OGILVY: That was a year or so into my learning curve. But that's the benchmark that I guess you can almost call yourself a guitar player if you can play that I guess. A lot of Led Zeppelin stuff.

Q. Do you take comfort in the fact that you can go to John Daly or a lesson if he's playing that week?

GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know if I'll be taking any guitar lessons from John, but he's pretty good, he can sing a bit.

Q. You can hit him up for some tips.

GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, maybe, you never know.

Q. What are the particular things about the setup here that you think suit you best?

GEOFF OGILVY: It's a golf course I think that tests every part of the game. I mean, when everyone turned up here, I don't think it was everyone's favorite golf course at first but I think it's grown on people, because you have to hit the ball well, you have to chip well and you have to putt well and you have to use your brain.

There's a lot of golf courses that we play that it really doesn't matter what you do the first two shots on the hole. It's really the second two shots that matter, the third and the fourth shot, because the greens will be soft and you can hit the green from anywhere out of the rough and just swing away and go at it and not really use your brain too much.

Here you have to hit some solid shots, and if you can't hold shots into the wind, you can't get on the green, and you have to be able to move it both ways and you have to be a good chipper around here. Not that I'm great at any of that, I just think my game, I'm okay at everything. I don't think I have anything really, really great, and I don't think I have anything really, really bad and I think that's what this course asks for.

Q. When you think back to 2004, there was like fear among players that this course could be a beast and get out of control. When you look back now, was that fear misplaced or did they just soften it a little bit?

GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know if they have changed it much. Maybe they were faster the first year, the greens, but we play nothing like this really. Greens like this where if you miss, it goes down the hills. I think the grass is more established and the grain maybe a little bit less severe than it was the first, year because the grain was really hard down the hill so you could not chip it up the hills very well the first year.

I think it took people by surprise because the other one across here, we all go out the first few days, it's windy, and Carl Pettersson was leading by 10 or something after 27 holes, and I thought anyone breaking par out there was impressive. Todd Hamilton won that year. It ended up being playable. I think the first time you play, it's scary, but after you learn where it miss it and where to hit it, it's not quite as scary as it looks.

Q. With this course disappearing off the schedule, will you miss it?

GEOFF OGILVY: If I play well again this year, I probably will. You don't like to see courses that you play well at go away.

I've never played PGA. I'm sure it's a great course. It's been around for a while, a pretty established place. They have had majors and Ryder Cups. It's obviously pretty decent. So, yeah, if I play well again here, I guess you don't like to see golf courses that suit you disappear off the schedule. That's just what happens I guess.

Q. Last week at Doral Jesper showed up wearing a tie and an outfit he called "retro punk," so are you trying to get in there on the fashion pages with him?

GEOFF OGILVY: No, this is modern day argyle, isn't it, I think I'm a long way from wearing a tie. Wearing a tie, that's bizarre, but he looks like he's wearing a school uniform. (Laughter). It's amazing. And he always doesn't matter, everyone has caught up to him with the tight pants and bright colors, so he has to go an extra step now that he's not standing out.

Q. These events in the month of March have been won many times by many Australians, and there's some particular theories. Why do you think that Australians, Greg, Steve, Adam a couple of years ago at THE PLAYERS, Stuart has won here, why do they play so well in Florida?

GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know. We play on a little bit of bermudagrass but not a lot. I don't know, maybe we don't maybe we're just happy to see a bit of warmer weather after the West Coast cold weather. Australians don't do too well in cold weather.

I don't know, maybe we play well, Greg is obvious because he lived here probably, and Stuart lives here. Maybe the guys who live here. I don't know, maybe it's because they live here and they are comfortable. But half the Tour lives here, so that doesn't really work, either.

Q. How much does being a good wind player have to do with it?

GEOFF OGILVY: A lot here. Honda, every Honda I've played from Heron Bay and here was definitely important because it's windy. Bay Hill, not so much because it doesn't get so windy in Orlando, but in Sawgrass it matters for sure. Last week it matters. I guess all except for Orlando it matters. Melbourne especially, you grow up playing in the wind a lot, so there might be a little bit of that in it.

Q. How much since the Match Play, how much has your recognition factor gone up like at airports?

GEOFF OGILVY: I've never done a pretournament press conference anyway, not in this country.

Q. Did you get spotted by people?

GEOFF OGILVY: No, not really, not yet. I didn't venture out too much last week actually from home. I stayed at home quite a lot.

I don't know if I'll be really on the radar of too many more people. At golf tournaments, the recognition will go up. It won't be like signing a hat and a little kid running off and saying, "What was your name?" There might be more recognition.

I think it takes a lot of weeks like that, you know what I mean, like David Toms and the recognizable guys who are not like the superstars but the recognizable guys, they are on TV every week, you know what I mean. They are always Top 10, Top 5, and they have been doing it for ten or 15 years. I think it's being up there a lot.

I mean, I don't think too many people recognize I don't want to pick on today he's probably not the most recognizable guy and he's won the British Open. Craig Perks, he won THE PLAYERS Championship, he could probably go anywhere even here today, and no one would notice him. It's a shame, but I think it's consistently being at the top. I'll be recognized this week and next week everyone will ask my name again.

Q. You got a three year exemption for winning the Match Play?

GEOFF OGILVY: I think so, yeah.

Q. For a player like you at this stage in your career, is the exemption as important if not more than the money?

GEOFF OGILVY: It's probably important. I don't really think about it because I never really thought I was going to lose my card. I don't know if that's a cocky thing to say, but I just didn't think about it, I don't. It's obviously going to be nice.

Q. Not necessarily a release that you've got X number of years?

GEOFF OGILVY: Not at all, that wasn't it. The best part about it was it gets me in a position to finish quite high up on the Money List. It gets me back to Kapalua. It gets me up in the World Rankings, all those sort of things, rather than the exemption.

This year, I guess the nice part about being exempt is you can start in January and it doesn't matter how much money you make. But it kind of does because if you don't finish in the Top 30, you don't get in all the majors. So you can have an exemption without having a great exemption.

The big tournaments is what I really chase, you know, being able to sit down in December and say, okay, I'm in the Masters, all the majors, the WGCs, I can really plan my year around those. This year and next year because of my World Ranking, I can do that, and that's the best part about it I think.

DAVE SENKO: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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