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March 24, 2008

Geoff Ogilvy


LAURA NEAL: Geoff, congratulations, 2008 CA Championship winner, your second World Golf Championships title. It took a little bit of extra time, but you did it. Talk about what this title means to you.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, this is pretty nice, obviously. These are some of the biggest tournaments in the world, these WGCs. They're the best fields we play in probably, outside of THE PLAYERS Championship and maybe a couple of the majors. They're incredible fields. Everybody is here.
The leaderboard was obviously the leaderboard that you like to see. It's a pretty stellar looking leaderboard over those last nine holes, so satisfying beating those players and pretty satisfying winning a big one. That was pretty nice.

Q. Did you ever think you'd be able to win without making a birdie today?
GEOFF OGILVY: No. No. I thought 18- or 19- under or 20-under really, I mean, who knows. Vijay was playing great, started off birdieing the first hole -- our first hole this morning. Yeah, I thought -- there were some tough holes. 13 and 18 are tough holes, and you can mess a few holes up there, but I did think I needed to make -- I didn't think nine pars would do it.

Q. Did you think that the par that you made on 13 might have been the one to --
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, that's the one that stands out. The rest of it was kind of boring, two-putting from 30 feet. But that one was anything but boring. That was a horrible shot, funny chip shot. I had to move cables, and the cables leave a dent, so there's no grass behind the ball, but an inch further back -- you never practice -- it's a weird kind of a lie. It would be easier if it was just grass everywhere because you know you have to swing hard at it. This one looked like I could hit the ball first or not. I obviously didn't read the lie very well the first chip, and then the second chip was traveling. I guess that's why you want to hit it straight (laughter).

Q. When you say horrible shot, you meant the first chip?
GEOFF OGILVY: The first chip was horrible. The second one wasn't great. It came out a bit hot, but it was very lucky to go in. It was probably not that lucky to hit the flag, but it was very lucky to go in. You quite often see guys hit chips like that that slam into the pin and stop a foot away or something. That's quite a common occurrence, but for it to go in is pretty fortunate.

Q. After you made the chip shot did you think, okay, well, something good is going on here and maybe this is my day?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's definitely a nice feeling. You can't let yourself go thinking it must be my week because I just holed a shot like that. But it definitely is a nice feeling. I got away with playing a horrible hole with a par. And Vijay, who was the competition that was right in front of me at the time, because I was playing with him and he was playing quite well, he had a putt from 10 or 12 feet for par and I had a chip shot for par and I made it and he missed, and all of a sudden we had a big flip around from what it could have been. It made me feel better about everything going to the 14th tee.

Q. If you had to take a guess at how far past the hole that would have gone on 13 had it not hit --
GEOFF OGILVY: At least 15 feet probably. It was moving pretty good, I think.

Q. What club did you hit at 13 for the tee shot?

Q. And what happened? Did you just kind of --
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, it was quite a hard wind right to left. All three of us missed the green to the left. You can't feel the wind on the tee there because you've got the big buildings and the trees but you know it's there, and it's really hard to hang a ball out to the right when you can't feel wind. It's one of those awkward ones. We all three hit bad shots. Two of the par-3s aren't easy to hit.

Q. Could you speak to the notion of holding off that varsity group behind you and ending Tiger's streak?
GEOFF OGILVY: Holding off the group is pretty nice. There was a fair bit of some talent on the Top 10 of the leaderboard. It's pretty nice to come in in front of them, ending the streak. It was going to end at some point. I'm very glad that I did it. It's a nice place to do it, too, because he's obviously owned this place for the last few years. He just had one of those weeks that -- I can't speak to how he played in the last round, but the third round he hit the ball better than I did, he just made nothing.
At some point they stopped going in, and I guess they stopped going in for him this week. Yeah, it's nice.

Q. When that chip shot went in, did you flash at all to the one at Winged Foot on the second to last hole?
GEOFF OGILVY: Not instantly, but I thought about it before I hit my tee shot on 14. I thought about it, I'm sure. Well, when you think about -- whenever you watch people win golf tournaments, you often see something like that happen to the guy who wins somewhere along the way. It happens quite regularly, and so you can't help but think, well, last time I won a big golf tournament I did that on the 17th hole. Maybe there's symmetry; I don't know. It was a flash. I didn't think about it for very long, but I'm sure it came into my head for a minute.

Q. Did you see Adam's go in and spit back out, speaking of odd shots and providence, the shots he hit?
GEOFF OGILVY: The last hole I played, on 10? I didn't see it but I heard some sort of weird commotion, but they had to come over and fix the hole because we're not allowed to fix the hole. I wondered how he hit it to where he hit it. I didn't know it was him, I knew it was one of the three, until now, but that's unlucky.

Q. Take us through 18. You played that fairly aggressively. Was there a thought of maybe not using driver off the tee?
GEOFF OGILVY: To me, driver takes -- today, anyway, takes all the trouble out because I can hit it over all the water and I can't get it to the bunkers. So today it's probably the easiest the tee shot can ever play for me, which is nice. I can carry most of the water except for way left, and I can't hit the bunkers, 315 to 320 to run through, so it was quite nice. If there's no wind it's quite an awkward tee shot and I would have thought about it. If I can get it over the water I've always preferred to smash it hard and hope for the best because it's a wider fairway the further I hit it.

Q. Second shot?
GEOFF OGILVY: Second shot I hit it exactly where I wanted to hit it. I would have preferred it just a little bit further up the green, but all morning I felt awkward -- I had three or four yardages that I didn't like which were right between clubs, which is exactly what happens in the last three or four holes of golf tournaments, you're never quite comfortable with your distance.
But 18 I was pretty happy with the number that I heard, with the way the conditions were. I could have hit 8-iron and not hit it over the back. I could aim it quite right of the pin and it was going to be safe. I was just happy with the club, and it went right where I wanted.

Q. I know you had your hands full that last nine, but of the posse chasing you, at any point did you look up and notice Tiger making a little bit of a move and was in position in case you had any kind of a mishap?
GEOFF OGILVY: I noticed he had made a couple birdies. I wasn't studying the leaderboards, but you've got to have a look, more out of spectator interest, to see what these guys are doing. We were actually quite a long way behind. We were a hole -- over a hole behind probably in that stretch of 14, 15, 16. I don't know why. I got a ruling on 13 and maybe we just dropped a little bit. I couldn't hear anything so I didn't know what was going on.
Yeah, it's interesting to see what they're all doing. It's fun to watch and see what he does because he always finishes quite strong.

Q. You slept on the lead four nights this week. Just talk about the week and just kind of resiliency you showed, a long week, lots of good players chasing you, just how much it means to do it the way you did it this week?
GEOFF OGILVY: Leading all week is nice. I've never even approached that. I mean, I was probably leading after four holes. I was about 3-under after four holes or five holes on Thursday, so from four or five holes in I knew I was playing well and I knew I was right there. And I probably played the best -- my standard of play, the way my game has felt, best on Thursday and the worst today probably. You know what I mean?
I played so good on Thursday it was silly. I could have -- I missed three or four putts or I could have made a really good number in the wind. I really felt good about my game Thursday. Friday was pretty good, Saturday was okay. And by this morning I felt like I was hanging on a little bit. But maybe that's just what it feels like sometimes on the last nine holes of a golf tournament.
I played well all week, and it's nice to wake up every morning with the lead and then go to bed every night with the lead still there. It's nice.

Q. You've talked about course setup and stuff, articulated some thoughts on that over the years. You're the third straight guy to win here hitting less than half the fairways. You made one bogey this week. I don't know what that means. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Good for you, but I think you know what I mean there.
GEOFF OGILVY: There's a lot of holes, I mean, the fairways hit stat can be a little bit -- like 16, you go for a green, that's a fairway you're going to miss but it's the right play. That's four fairways that I missed that I would have maybe hit.
I don't know, I mean, the fairways bunkers are very playable. If you hit it in a fairway bunker, especially after they pat them down, they're actually a nice place to be. There's no massive penalty being in a fairway bunker. The Bermuda rough, when you're in the thick bit, it's horrible. But when you're in a not-so-thick bit you can advance to the green and at least give yourself a chance for up-and-downs or pars.
The greens weren't firm enough or they weren't fast enough this week, especially after round 2. They really get fiery if you start getting flyers over the greens out of the rough, but actually to hit it out of the rough and stop it on greens and stuff, it's just one of those things.
I don't think it's a bad thing that you can miss fairways and make birdies. You should obviously have to think about where you should hit your tee shot, miss them in the right spots, get penalized for missing fairways on the wrong sides. But out here if you miss the fairways on the correct sides you've got a chance. I don't know, I mean, maybe I just had one of those weeks where I just always had good lies and always had a chance.

Q. I was wondering the last time you went through 72 holes with only one bogey?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know if I have. I can't remember doing it. So no, I can't remember doing it ever.

Q. And even with that kind of run going, because of the way your driving wasn't quite on, did you ever feel comfortable with the fact that you were getting away with pars?
GEOFF OGILVY: I never really felt like I was getting away with them. There's a certain -- there's five or six holes out here that are really hard and really key holes. 3, 4, 13, 18, holes that you really have to hit proper golf shots on. You can't miss the fairways. You've got to hit real golf shots. Every single time I played one of the really, really tough holes, I hit proper golf shots. I hit the 18th green four times in a row. Well, I was on the fringe, I think, maybe Friday. Actually I missed the 18th fairway on the second round, but it was in play, it was not a bad spot. Today I got a lucky chip and I played 13 quite well.
I hit the key holes well, and then the other holes, like the 1st hole you can miss the fairway, get away with it. Sometimes you get a shot at the green. The second hole, it's a smash driver up, and sometimes the rough isn't that bad.
The holes there were important to hit good shots off the tee, I did most of the time, and maybe when I was slashing away at a few of the drivers -- some of these holes you just want to get as close to the green as you can, get as far up you can. Maybe sometimes you bounce it through a fairway and get into the rough, but really it's not that bad a spot.

Q. When Tiger is on one of these runs like he was on, for other great players like you, you have your pride and your own dreams and goals. Can it be a bit oppressive?
GEOFF OGILVY: Oppressive? It's not oppressive really that he wins all the time, because it's not like if he wasn't winning them, I would definitely be winning them. It's frustrating that everyone in the world basically says no one else is trying, including half the people in this room. You guys aren't trying, you guys aren't good enough, this guy is just making you look silly. That's frustrating because we are trying. He's just good. He's very good at winning a golf tournament. There's a lot of good players, so he's very good at closing the deal.
Since day one he hasn't lost many tournaments when he's gone out on Sunday in the last group. He's such a special player that it doesn't frustrate -- when he gets on a streak you know it's going to end and I know I'm going to win more golf tournaments, and I can handle that. It's the chitchat about, is he going to win every golf tournament this year. That's frustrating stuff to hear.
But the fact he's winning, it's quite fun to watch him win sometimes. It's fun to watch other people win. It's fun to watch the streak and it's fun to watch the fans get so excited about stuff. The frustrating thing is that people think that we're not trying and we're flying the white flag. I don't think that's true in any case, really.

Q. It's been a while since you won. Could you talk a little bit about what that was like, and now the feeling of having won again, looking forward?
GEOFF OGILVY: It has been a while. Last year was a frustrating year because I got up thereabouts quite a few times and never really got it done obviously. It's been a frustrating time since the U.S. Open. I mean, I've played okay. I've had periods of good play and bad play. I've had two babies since then. Well, my wife has had two babies since then. I contributed somewhere along the line (laughter).
So that's been an adjustment, and just trying to work out how to balance golf and family and home time and travel and how to get all that worked out, whether that contributes to not winning golf tournaments, I don't know. Priorities off the golf course change a little bit.
It's nice to -- sitting down this off-season -- finishing last year, I had a reasonable year but I wasn't that happy with it. I sat down and set about having a better year this year and working on things that I didn't like, not really rededicating, because it's not like I'm not dedicated, but finding a balance with the family and the golf and getting it all worked out, because you know you can get it worked out, and I really feel like I did that this off-season, had a really good off-season and feel like I'm playing pretty good, yeah.

Q. Speaking of family, have you had any contact with your parents this week?
GEOFF OGILVY: Early in the week.

Q. I was just wondering, were they going to stay up until 2 a.m. to watch the finish today? Was it on live?
GEOFF OGILVY: My dad probably was in bed. My mom would have been in front of the computer. If it was on TV she would have been watching. If it wasn't she would have been watching the screen on the computer. She doesn't sleep much when I play.
LAURA NEAL: Geoff, congratulations. Thanks so much for your time.

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