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August 18, 2006

Geoff Ogilvy


KELLY ELBIN: Reigning U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy joins us after a round of 4 under par 68, two day total of 7 under par at the 88th PGA Championship. Geoff, thoughts on playing with the marquee group again and dealing with the conditions out there.

GEOFF OGILVY: It was good fun again. Obviously they were a bit more vocal today than yesterday. I guess they had had a bit more time to get themselves into the mood by the afternoon. It was fun. I guess the rain started kind of dribbling on the 7th and 8th and it was on and off the rest of the day. It wasn't that really annoying rain where you didn't know whether to have the umbrella up. It didn't get very wet but it was always raining.

I played very well. I had a good front nine. I played well on the front. I bogeyed 11 and 12 were my only bogeys. I got a bit unlucky on the 11th I hit an 8 iron about 20 yards further than I can hit an 8 iron and it went 20 yards too far.

Then I birdied 13, which not many people out there did because that's a pretty tough hole. All in all, it was good fun and I'm happy with how I played.

KELLY ELBIN: How about the length of the birdie putts from 4 through 7?

GEOFF OGILVY: The 4th, I hit a sand iron in to about eight feet maybe.

5 was a two putt birdie, hit driver, 2 iron about 20 feet.

6, I hit driver, 5 iron to about eight feet.

7, I hit driver, 3 wood just over the back and got it up and down. I chipped it down to a foot, two feet.

11, as I said, 3 wood on the fairway and hit 8 iron from 170 and it flew about I hit 8 iron about 160 and it went 178 or something, which was kind of bizarre. I couldn't get up and down and I chipped it all the way across and two putted.

12, I drove it in the right trees, which is not the right spot to be. I hacked it out to the fairway, hacked it just to the front of the green and two putted for bogey.

13, I hit 4 iron to 25 feet and made a pretty good putt. It breaks a lot, that putt. It was a fun birdie.

15, I hit 2 iron into the right rough and hit 9 iron, a pretty good shot about 12 feet behind the hole and made it.

Q. Two questions if you don't mind. Firstly, you just finished playing two days with the top two players in the world. What does it do for your confidence to know that you outplayed one of them and played just as well as the other?

GEOFF OGILVY: It can only help in the future, whether you play well or badly in a group like that. Experience wise, a lot of guys would kill for experience like that. I'm pretty fortunate that I get to play two days with those guys. One, you learn a lot by watching them play, and two, you learn a lot how to deal with all the stuff that goes on in their world. Their world is a bit different from my world. They can keep their world, but it's fun for a few days.

Yeah, you can't help but get confidence. Then you can't really be that disappointed if you don't play great in that situation, but if you play well it can only help you in the future. I'm pretty happy with it.

Q. The second question is when you look at the leaderboard it's very bunched. People always talk about Tiger lurking. How do you think it feels to be the defending U.S. Open champion, to have those guys looking back and saying the defending U.S. Open champion is lurking and you've put yourself in that position?

GEOFF OGILVY: I can promise you no one is that scared that I'm on the leaderboard I don't think. It's got that feel of one of those weekends you're going to have to play really well because it's going to be soft after all of this, and it was soft already.

I guess the rough will be heavier, but if you drive it in the fairway on nearly any hole out there, you've got a pretty good chance for birdie because the greens roll so perfect so you can go right at it. The pins will be tougher, but I think a few more rounds like the first two rounds is going to be pretty necessary.

I don't think they're going to take a whole lot of notice of my name I don't think, but you never know.

Q. I was wondering what you thought had kind of brought your name, made your name a little bit more famous, the U.S. Open win or being paired with these two guys?

GEOFF OGILVY: It's probably made me more famous in Chicago. You did hear a few comments walking from green to tee, here's the poor guy who has to play with these two, which I found quite funny. I would have thought it was quite an envious position to play with those two, not an unlucky thing.

In Chicago I'll probably be more famous for doing this, but hopefully in the golf community I'll be more well known for winning the U.S. Open, I don't know.

Q. You joke about putting your name up there may not scare anyone, but it seems since St. Andrews last year you've done a nice job putting your name up there in the majors. Just curious, do you seem to focus better when you get here or what's the theory on your success?

GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know, people were asking me that. I really enjoy the majors and I really look forward to them. They're generally played on pretty good golf courses, which I like. I think everyone likes playing on good golf courses. I'm not alone there, I guess. I don't know, I tend to have a better attitude in the majors that I do in a normal tournament, I think, and they only come around four times a year. You only get one chance to win them each year. A regular Tour event you can be going a bit awry after six holes and there's another one next week, but these things there isn't. It forces me into the attitude I probably should have every week. It probably raises your focus. You probably prepare a bit better. I think about preparation for the majors. I don't really think about preparation for a regular Tour event, really, as such.

It's just a conscious effort to do what you need to do with the tournament in order to play well, whereas a regular Tour event maybe you're working on your game for a major that's coming up. They've been my focus, and once I played well there at St. Andrews, then I played well at Baltusrol, I felt like I could do it, two in a row there. And then I've played well in them this year. I don't know if I can explain it, but that's as good as I can explain it.

Q. How have you avoided falling into the trap of feeling like you have to play like an Open Champion?

GEOFF OGILVY: Well, you can look at it from two points of view, and I just looked at it from the point of view that I've won a major championship, and that's really good. A lot of great players haven't won them yet or haven't won them. I guess a lot of people can tend to have a hangover after winning one. It wasn't really a conscious effort to not do that because I think if you try not to you're going to try too hard and do something wrong. I think taking a month off after the U.S. Open was a good thing. I didn't rush straight back into playing again. I did have four weeks off before the British Open, which might not have been ideal preparation, but I didn't do too badly there.

I don't know. I'm still the same guy I was the day before the U.S. Open started. That's the way you've got to look at it. I won a big tournament, sure, but hopefully if I hadn't won the U.S. Open, I would have played well here. I don't know.

Q. Two part question. Did you feel as relaxed out there as you looked?

GEOFF OGILVY: I was pretty comfortable. It's weird. I mean, I said it to you earlier in the week. It's like public speaking in front of 20 people is quite an awkward thing to do. Public speaking in front of 1,000 people is fine because it's all just a blur. There's just so much craziness and background noise and stuff going on. But it's just kind of a big blur in the background and you're just probably focused a little bit better and you get on with it. I quite enjoy it, too.

Q. Secondly, do you walk off allowing yourself to say, "I'm as good as these guys, at least tee to green"? Or do you still think you have some work to do?

GEOFF OGILVY: Well, I think to be fair, I think Tiger hit the ball at least as well as me or better the first two days. I'm sure he did. We both hit the ball better than Phil did. Phil showed his magic around the greens quite a lot. I've got a fair way to go until I'm as good as these guys. I'm playing well at the moment and I played the same as Tiger for two days, but he's got a pretty good track record. He's just won his 50th tournament. I've got about 47 to go there.

No, I think if you ever got half as good as Tiger, you'd be a pretty good player.

Q. What was the most interesting thing said over two days in that threesome, particularly if it was said between Tiger and Phil?

GEOFF OGILVY: I didn't hear anything that they were saying to each other actually. I don't know, they were talking I guess they were talking about normal stuff, schedule or what club did you hit there or I don't know. I don't think they were talking about where they were going to go to dinner tonight. I don't know, I didn't really listen too much, to be honest with you.

Q. As bunched up as it is near the top of the leaderboard, how conscious are you and other players of when Tiger starts climbing up the board as he did today?

GEOFF OGILVY: Not really. I mean, you can't really you can't let it affect who the person is and the score doesn't really matter. I mean, I know everyone thinks that everyone looks at Tiger and then everyone falls apart. It doesn't really happen like that, he just plays better most of the time.

I mean, you just look at the numbers on the right hand side of the scoreboard more than the names. You might appreciate that it's going to be a little harder to beat to win the tournament when he's up there than when he's not. There's not many times when he's on the leaderboard with two rounds to play and he's not winning it. So obviously you appreciate it that it's going to be a harder thing to do than if he's not there. But I don't think it affects the way you play. I don't get scared. I don't know if anyone else gets scared. I get scared when there's turbulence in the plane, but I don't get scared when Tiger is on the leaderboard.

Q. I know that you go to China in September with Allenby. What's the expectation for your China trip? Will you go to the Great Wall or something?

GEOFF OGILVY: I'm looking forward to it. I've never been. Hong Kong is as close as I've been, so Beijing is going to be a lot of fun. I'd like to see the Great Wall. You can see it from the moon, so it's probably something to see, isn't it? It's probably pretty special.

Q. Could you tell me how much they paid for you for the trip?

GEOFF OGILVY: I'm not sure actually. I'm not sure about that.

Q. Just wondering what your schedule is the rest of the year and how it maybe you're altering it because of not only being the Open champ but your wife expecting and that kind of thing? What is your outlook for the rest of the year as far as playing?

GEOFF OGILVY: My schedule between now and the TOUR Championship is the same as it was all year before the U.S. Open. I'm playing next week in Akron and then pretty much I am taking a trip to China, but regular tournaments I'm not playing until the TOUR Championship. That was based on Julie having a baby. I'd love to play a few more, but, I mean, you don't have a baby every day. I guess it's a time when it would be really nice if I could play a lot of golf tournaments, but it's just not worth it. She's about five weeks due after next week, and if you miss it for some just because you've just gone off to play another golf tournament, you never forgive yourself, so I'm taking off until the TOUR Championship, and then I'm going to play a couple in Australia and a couple here.

Q. You were only a couple back going into the weekend of the U.S. Open. Do you think it will be harder to win this time just because you won't be able to sneak up on anybody?

GEOFF OGILVY: As I said, it's probably almost answered by that last time. I think the number that people are having, not I don't think I won because they didn't look at me on the leaderboard. Everyone there is trying to have the lowest score they can and everybody there had the lowest score they could that week, and I just happened to be one shot lower.

This is going to be as hard to win in a completely different way. I mean, the U.S. Open is hang on, hang on for dear life and just hope you make less bogeys than the next bloke. This one is going to be it's feasible one of these guys at 6 , 7 , 8 under could shoot 7 or 8 under tomorrow. You'd have to play a pretty special round, but it's possible. I know a couple of guys have had 66 out there. Davis was way low yesterday.

I mean, it's feasible that someone shoots 7 or 8 under, and if that happens tomorrow, one of the 8 under guys does that, 16 under, that's a long way to go. This is going to be as hard to win in a completely different way because you have to keep making birdies and less of a hang on kind of thing, so it's going to be a different kind of deal. It's pretty hard to win these majors, I think.

KELLY ELBIN: Geoff Ogilvy, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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