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January 3, 2007
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Geoff Ogilvy, thanks for joining us here at the Mercedes-Benz Championship as we kick off the inaugural FedExCup season. Maybe some opening comments about your 2006 year which included winning the U.S. Open and the birth of your first child. If you could just reflect on that a little bit.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, it was a good year. Obviously I talked about it a few times, but it just kept getting better. The Match Play was a big win and the U.S. Open was a big win, and then I had a baby, which was an even bigger win.
Yeah, I'm going to have to play pretty well to beat last year's year, so I'm looking forward to it. I feel like I'm playing better at this time of year now than I was this time last year, so that's a good sign. But golf's a funny game. It can come and go, so hopefully it comes.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Maybe some initial thoughts on the FedExCup.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, it's going to be interesting to see how it pans out. I'm sure it's definitely going to create some more interest stories on Sundays, towards -- like leading up. It's actually going to build up to a crescendo, and it has not done that in a while. I don't think anyone really knows how it's going to shake out, and I think it's going to be fun. It's going to build momentum during the year, and I think people will get really excited about it by the end of the year so it will be a pretty big deal.
Q. How does being U.S. Open Champion play for you in Australia?
GEOFF OGILVY: Pretty good. It was pretty good. They haven't had a major winner for 10 or 11 years so that was pretty exciting down there. The initial reaction was pretty big. Then we went down and played the golf tournament, so that was exciting. We added a lot more people to the golf tournament. It was good. It was really good.
Q. How does it affect you in terms of the demand for your time for this, that and the other thing?
GEOFF OGILVY: In Australia, I was quite busy. Here, not so bad. I do a few more of these, and I have a few more things on every week, but it's just a bit of time management. At first it took me a bit -- not by surprise, but normally I could come in and no one would even know I was at the golf tournament until Saturday, if I was playing well, and now maybe that doesn't happen. There's a bit more going on. It's just a bit managing your time. It's not really too hard.
Q. Can you give us a specific idea of what it was like for you, for example, at the Aussie Open, compared with the previous years? TV show, radio show, how busier was it?
GEOFF OGILVY: The amount of people there was remarkably more than there had been recently anyway. Back in the day when Greg was winning, there was a lot of people, but it was bigger. The atmosphere was quite impressive. There was a new promoter this year, the guy that promoted the Australian Open Tennis forever, Paul McNamee is a promotional genius. He took control so a lot of things helped to make it a better tournament. There was a lot of good things that happened this year for the Australian tournament. So I just think I was a bonus. I was just sugar on top, I just helped it out I think.
Q. With so much attention on the Aussies here, which you guys have been bombarded with questions for the last year about taking over this damn country -- oh, sorry, take that out, is it strong enough now to help resuscitate that Australasian part of it?
GEOFF OGILVY: This is the first summer, Australian summer back there, that they acknowledged that we were decent at golf. (Laughter).
For the longest time, they thought every time we had an Australian Open with great fields, the press would write the whole time about how bad the field was. It wasn't that bad. It just didn't have any foreigners in it. But the Australians are decent players. You guys have known it, but they didn't know it and this year they actually acknowledged it. The last couple of years, we've won six or seven times a year and come away with some majors and big events, Adam and Stuart winning big events. They are finally acknowledging that we have some decent players, and we don't need a whole bunch of these international guys to have a good field. It helps and adds flavour to it, but it doesn't mean the field is lacking because an Australian is in it. It actually makes it strong. It's a positive over here and a negative in Australia. (Laughter).
This was the first time they were saying, you guys are doing a good job over there; well done, we might come watch you play. (Laughter). And it probably helps, it's just getting a bit of a high profile in Australia, just the build up.
Q. Because THE TOUR Championship has shrunk quite a bit, hasn't it, in five or six years?
GEOFF OGILVY: When a tournament over here was a $300,000 tournament and there was 30 of them, Australia had 13 $300,000 tournaments, because the economy could support that. The economy could still support 13 $300,000 tournaments but it cannot compete with $5 and $6 million tournaments. The PGA TOUR starts, what is it, the third of January, and it finishes, if you go through Target, that's two weeks ago. It's not PGA TOUR but it's a PGA TOUR-type event, and there's events right up to two weeks ago. The European Tour plays 51 weeks a year. The Australian just ran out of dates. It's hard to compete date-wise more than anything. It's always going to be a little spot for four or five decent events in Australia, because it causes Australians to play good golf. And the climate is great; guys will always want to go down there that are sick of the snow and play in the cool weather. I think the low point of the Australian Tour has happened, low point, losing a lot of tournaments. As more tournaments and more players go down there, I think it's on its way back.
Q. Will you play any events after The TOUR Championship?
GEOFF OGILVY: Depends, I might need to keep my card -- actually I won't have to keep my card. (Laughter).
I don't know, maybe. I live in Scottsdale. Depends. I might go back to Australia and have some time off or if I'm in the States, I'll play some West Coast ones. No question I'll play some of the West Coast, because it's near home and I like playing on the West Coast. I'm not averse to playing after THE TOUR Championship. I don't know if I will. I don't know if I'm playing, what I'm playing in May yet, but I'm not averse to it. I won't play seven but I might play a couple.
Q. Do you plan to play more tournaments than you normally would January through mid September, or the same number as last year?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know. I really don't. I've been thinking about that. Really I'm a bit confused. Florida is a little different. I was all set on how I used to play Florida and how I used to approach everything, build up to The PLAYERS Championship, take a week off and go to Augusta and go to Hilton Head and then you build backup to the U.S. Open, and everything fit in nicely, and now a lot of stuff has been moved around so I have not got completely organised. There's a skeleton of a set schedule, and I just haven't really fine-tuned it yet.
I know what I'm doing on the West Coast. Florida, I might play four or I might play one, I don't know yet, you know. Probably I'll play two.
Q. One of the points of the FedEx series was to get guys to play 25 events in eight and a half months instead of ten months.
GEOFF OGILVY: That's going to be one of those things that happens, if the FedEx -- if it's structured right, that will happen long-term, but it's not going to happen first year because we don't know how it works yet. We know how it works on paper, but we don't know how it's going to play out. If it's going to play out that the more you play, the better off you're going to be, then that's going to happen, but we don't know that's going to happen yet.
Once we see had a happening and more guys are going to add some events to their schedules, I'm sure -- and look, if guys who -- if I did, say, hey, look I'm going to put the clubs down and not hit the shot from September 16th until Maui, I'd be quite happy to play four or five more events than normal, you know what I mean? But a lot of the reason you take a lot of time off during the year is because we're playing until two weeks ago.
I could see myself playing more. But, this is the first year I've come in with a couple of wins in the last year, in the U.S. Open last year, so I can see myself playing less, too. I don't know, hopefully people play more; that's the point of the whole thing, isn't it?
Q. You were at the Target, and now you're here. I just wondered, are any of the players talking about the FedEx? Like you're going to play here; are they discussing it or just normal, playing their own game as they always do?
GEOFF OGILVY: No one is really talking about how it's going to shake out during the year. People are talking a little about the end of the year, like the playoff kind of deal. Most guys are a bit scared, six tournaments in seven weeks, to be honest with you. No one has ever had to do that. Not had to; I mean, you're going to kind of have to. Everyone is going to want to play Akron, you're going to want to play the PGA.
Guys who want to improve their position will play Greensboro, and you have four in a row if you're playing well. That's the only thing everyone is talking about. That $10 million carrot at the end, that's a pretty big deal. That's a lot of money for anybody.
Q. What's the most you've ever played, amateur or pro, Australia or here, in a row; four or five weeks?
GEOFF OGILVY: I would have played more than that, but I can't remember. It's a while since I've played. The tough runs are like, I've played 10 and 11 weeks, like five in a row, week off, five in a row. Not going to do that again. (Laughter). I'm not too much fun after 10 or 11 weeks.
Yeah, I'm much better off -- I mean, three in a row is probably my limit now. Three in a row, week off, three in a row, week off. That will probably be my limit, and I will probably want to take a couple of weeks off. Doesn't really affect your golf, but by the end of year you're so tired, you want some time off if you've played too many. You want to stray fresh. Vijay, he needs to play ten weeks in a row to be any good. He plays 12 weeks in a row, he wins four. He takes two weeks off, he misses two cuts. I need to play a bit but not overplay.
Q. To listen to a lot of discussion of Australian golf over the last few years and looking for the replacement of the Great White Shark, the Great White Hope has seemed to be Adam. From you guys -- people talk about him being the most potential and blah, blah, blah. Now that you have a major and he has some big events, is there any type of friendly one-upmanship or internal competition among Aussies and how you guys move up the ladder?
GEOFF OGILVY: Not really. There's no really, ha, ha, look, I won a major, you didn't. Because I'm sure he's going to win plenty. I'm sure there's a bit of like, jealousy that I won and he didn't --
Q. Like a Monty and Paul Lawrie type thing?
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, they don't like each other. (Laughter).
Q. I think they are fine. Just if you thought Scott was going to win a major --
GEOFF OGILVY: Not really at all, actually. We play a lot of practise rounds with Australians. I play a lot of practise rounds with Adam. Neither of us likes to lose to each other in practise rounds, just like to beat each other in golf tournaments. It's going to help actually with a bunch of Australians sneaking up to the Top-30 or 40 in the world. There's five or six guys starting this year, I know there's probably -- Adam is already fourth in the word, but Stuart -- wouldn't be surprising if he ends the year Top-5 or 6 in the world. There's a few other guys who could be right up there by the end of the year, Australians.
It annoys you -- you're happy if an Australian wins. If Adam wins a tournament, you're pumped for him, but you're like, oohh, I have to win another one to catch up. It's good, it's a healthy rivalry. I don't think there's anything unhealthy about any of the Australians. I think that's part of the reason we play so well, one guy wins and you want to win more.
Q. Greg never really had that.
GEOFF OGILVY: Greg was playing against Greg a lot of times. Finchie was around. Elkington was around, but Greg -- I guess Faldo was his main rival, but he wasn't really an Australian, was he.
Q. Still isn't.
GEOFF OGILVY: He got his rivals in other places. I don't know, we're all still trying to beat Tiger, aren't we. He's the true rival of everybody. He's the best.
Q. You said the $10 million carrot. Is that the biggest motivation to the FedExCup, even though it's money you won't see for a while?
GEOFF OGILVY: We'll probably see it at some point. It's not the biggest motivation, but that's a lot of money. (Laughter).
And for someone like me, or Adam or Tiger, even, really, somebody who has 25 years who -- they are able to cash it, that $10 million is going to be such an astronomical amount of money when you actually see it, it's cool. It's money that's going to -- well, it's retirement stuff. The retirement scheme has been restructured. That's a pretty good-sized carrot, isn't it?
Q. Did they project it out for you what it would be?
GEOFF OGILVY: I'm sure a financial guy could do it. What, it doubles every ten years at 10%? Depending if you're investing it, if you make 10%, it will double itself every seven or eight years. I have 30 years before I retire, so $30, 40 million, that's pretty good.
Q. If you had your choice, this year, of winning the FedExCup or winning a major, which one would be the --
GEOFF OGILVY: That's not -- you can't realistically ask that question.
Q. I'm can realistically ask it. You don't have to answer. (Laughter).
GEOFF OGILVY: The FedExCup is going to be a nice feather in your cap, but I don't think there's a golfer in the world who wouldn't rather win a major.
Q. Is your mind-set going to be different from the West Coast Swing last year, maybe a subtle pressure to rack up points early?
GEOFF OGILVY: As I said, after this week, and then after Sony and after a few events, it's all going to take shape of how it's all going to play off and how it's going to work. 20th place, is that really good or do you need a 12th, or is 30th okay, or is there enough of a difference between 20th and 40th? We all have such a feel for how we're doing on Sunday what check you're going to make, because you do it every week and the same prize break down, you know you need a low score to get a good check.
We don't really know how that's going to work yet. I haven't seen all the numbers of how the points break down, but after a few weeks it might become really apparent, hey, look, playing tournaments is good, so I might at that point, hey, look, I might play three or four in Florida or I might add a few more tournaments in.
It's going to be nice to be in the position way up on that FedExCup early so you can like -- like anything, the Money List, it's always nice to be up on it early. I'm sure guys will look at it and I'm sure schedules will get adjusted relative to points more than they used to relative to the Money List, if that makes any sense.
Q. Just to get off FedEx for a minute, how is your temper different since winning the U.S. Open to, say, maybe last year?
GEOFF OGILVY: Not really. I just hide it better.
GEOFF OGILVY: It's a lot better. But it's just getting older. You've got less energy, so you just stop wasting useless energy. It just becomes a waste of time. I still get as annoyed as anybody out there but I just catch myself quicker. Just a waste of time, just get on with it.
I've won plenty of tournaments with 15 bad shots in the first 12 holes. Tiger won The Masters after being 4-over after 12 holes. If you bogey, just stop worrying about it and try to birdie the net next hole. Try to get realistic about your position in life, hard to get too angry about it. When you're 22, you don't think about it, at all; today is the only day that is ever going to matter.
Q. Did you ever try and work on it from a standpoint of, that's just your personality and the expectations you have, etc., and if you try to be Mr. Easygoing out there, it doesn't fit and you're even worse off. Just learn to manage it what you've got.
GEOFF OGILVY: When you don't think you have a problem, you get to the point where you realize you have a problem and then you get to the point where you know you have to fix the problem and then you get to the point where you know how to fix the problem. There's a process, there's no like, that's it, I'm going to be great.
When I'm 21, listen, everyone is wrong and I'm right. And at 25, you're like, well, I'm actually wrong or I don't know how to be right. And then at 30, I'm working this out.
And everyone goes through that process. Some guys work it out when they are younger and some guys don't ever work it out. So I just think it's growing up. And that's not just golf, that's life.
Q. So at Accenture, when you won the Accenture, you said you used to say things to yourself that if you said to other people, you wouldn't have any friends.
GEOFF OGILVY: It's incredible, everybody does it on the golf course, like abuses themselves. You're doing it every day, eventually you're going to start believing it. And I would have hit someone if they said stuff to me that I was saying to me. (Laughter).
But everyone does it. You don't realize how much of a negative effect it has until you actually step outside Geoff Ogilvy and look at it; what are you doing. You want to say nice things. You have a choice, you can say abusive things or nice things, nothing at all. Nothing at all would be better.
Q. The abusive stuff sounds better, doesn't it.
GEOFF OGILVY: It's easier to be negative and angry and useless and how much better is everyone else than you and what are you doing out here. It comfortable for everybody. It's uncomfortable to actually say, hey, I'm playing pretty well.
Q. After a double-bogey.
GEOFF OGILVY: After doubling the first hole the first day. (Laughter).
Q. Did having a child change any of that?
GEOFF OGILVY: It changes perspective a little bit. It has not changed my attitude on the golf course. I think there was no epiphany, but there was that growing up and working out what actually works out for me and why it works and what makes me play well. Having it just made me even realize that 3-footers don't matter that much in the big picture. Plenty of guys win tournaments missing 3-footers, and the baby is not going to care when I go home at the end of the day. She doesn't know much about anything at the moment but when she does, she's not going to care.
Q. Do you watch golf when you're not playing?
GEOFF OGILVY: A little bit. I watch, if I play in the morning, I'll watch the afternoon coverage. If I have a friend in contention, I'll watch but I don't sit there and watch the Thursday coverage of a golf tournament I'm not playing in.
If it's on, I do, but there's usually something else that I'm doing. If I'm watching TV, it will always be one of the three channels I'm flipping to in commercials but I'll be doing something other than not watching TV, usually Thursday afternoon, I'm not playing golf, or I might be playing golf, I don't know.
Q. This is your second tour of the golf course. Do you notice any difference from last year to this year, any subtle changes?
GEOFF OGILVY: The greens are softer this year. Last year, they were -- I'm the biggest advocate in the world for firm greens but the trouble with last year, the greens were firm and the fairways were soft. So you land them short and stop, and you land it long, it went over the back, wicked. This year, it's all the same, it just all soft, which is fine. I like it firm, but it's been raining a lot and it's the rainy side of the island and it's never going to be rock hard.
It's much more playable this year in that respect. The greens are fantastic compared to the ones that were here two years ago.
Q. Do you like this place? Do you like the way this is set up?
GEOFF OGILVY: I think this is a fantastic golf course on a very extreme piece of land. It's on the edge of a piece -- it's really close to being a piece of land that you maybe shouldn't have a golf course on. They did such a good job. Everyone hits fairways all day and you hit a lot of shots because the greens are big. I think it's a good golf course; I enjoy it. How could you not enjoy looking at the views? They are awesome. They were smart in the way they did it. It could have been a complete nightmare if it was narrow with long carries, but how they made it, they were smart about it.
Q. Tiger should be here to pad his stats.
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, if I play 100% this week, zero percent next week, I'll be 50 percent for two weeks. It's so narrow at Sony.
Q. What is your relationship with Judy Rankin?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's quite simple. My wife's sister married Judy's son. So he's kind of my brother-in-law. Judy's son, he is my brother-in-law. So she's my aunt-in-law? If there is such a thing, she's my aunt-in-law.
Q. What's your relationship with her?
GEOFF OGILVY: She's my aunt-in-law. (Laughter).
It's good. She was at the Christmas dinner table this year. I think Judy is awesome. Wise lady. Gave me advice on the U.S. Open before I teed off. Yeah, I really enjoy Judy, yeah.
Q. What advice did she give you?
GEOFF OGILVY: She said, it was very prophetic in the end. She said everyone always opens the paper on Monday morning and is always very surprised at the score that wins the tournament. She actually left a message. She talked to my wife. She said: Tell Geoff, don't ever be surprised, don't think you have too many, you'd be quite surprised what wins the U.S. Open. It was quite prophetic.
Q. Did you know much about her as a player before you became her nephew-in-law?
GEOFF OGILVY: I've heard of her, but because she's been announcing so long, that's probably why I heard of her more and then you get the golf information because of it. I wouldn't have heard of her if she didn't announce the golf but now I know. It's quite a strange little small world connection. My father had actually talked to Judy at a golf course before I met Juli.
Q. Have you ever seen any old clips of Judy?
GEOFF OGILVY: A couple, but I haven't watched a lot. She was a great player. Still plays pretty good.
Q. What have you had to do with the people that you endorse products for since you won a U.S. Open? Have you had to make more appearances, are there more demands on your time? Do you get to demand more money to do it? How does that all work?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know how that all works. There's been some more demands but not really. Pretty easy, really. I mean, no, they have been great actually. It's been good. No more -- I've signed a few more things than I used to.
Q. Signed, you mean in terms of autographs?
GEOFF OGILVY: Autographs, yeah. I'm sure I'll probably -- 2007 will have more demands than 2006 did. There was a few more but nothing too arduous really. I didn't have to fly around the country or fly anywhere crazy and do crazy stuff. It was all pretty good.
Q. David Graham always said that winning the U.S. Open to some extent ruined his career because he tried to make so much out of winning the U.S. Open that he kind of burned himself to a crisp.
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, he was a fairly hard worker anyway. He probably was burning himself out before he started by how hard he actually worked which is why he won the U.S. Open.
But it's a conscious decision to not do that from my part. I couldn't run all over the place. I've decided to run almost nowhere, so it's not about cleaning up this year. It's about cleaning up in ten year's time.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thanks.
End of FastScripts