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July 16, 2008

Joe Ogilvie


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Joe Ogilvie, that for joining us, you're the he defending champion this week, your first PGA TOUR title, maybe your thoughts on returning to Milwaukee.
JOE OGILVIE: It's in great shape. I think on the average there's a little less rough this year, and I don't think it's as thick as it was last year. The greens, with all of the rain they have had, it's probably a little softer, but as long as we don't get any rain, it should play similar to last year. The first two rounds were low last year and trailed off on the weekend and I think probably the same thing will happen this year.

Q. Just start by talking about the feeling coming back here when you first arrived. It's got to be a different feeling knowing that you won last year and that you're the defending champion.
JOE OGILVIE: Yes, it's very, very good vibes. I came here yesterday late afternoon and played nine holes and felt extremely comfortable on the golf course. I felt like -- I didn't feel like I still had the lead, but at the same time, I feel like I'm playing very, very well and I should have a good chance to be in the mix on Saturday and Sunday.

Q. Do you feel any added pressure coming back to Milwaukee, and what's it like, all eyes are on you going into this tournament?
JOE OGILVIE: Well, I think all eyes are on Kenny to be honest. I think that I'm playing -- although I haven't played like Kenny, I think I'm playing very, very well. I haven't scored worth a darn lately but I have a lot of confidence in my game right now. Kenny has diverted a lot of those eyes away from me and onto him and that's nice, too. I certainly look forward to playing tomorrow and getting this week started.
Playing with the vice chairman of U.S. bank today, that's great. There's a lot of big perks, but that's sort of a big perk in my opinion. I'm really looking forward to that certainly.

Q. Give me a hole that you've really got to watch out for on this course.
JOE OGILVIE: Well, I think certainly the par 3s here, if you can play the par 3s at even par, they are the hardest holes on the golf course. No. 3 notwithstanding, you've got -- 3 and 5 notwithstanding, you've got 7 that's difficult and 11 that's difficult. Those two holes in general, if you can play around even par, you're going to be in pretty good stead.
The rest you just have to be very, very tidy on the easy holes. 18 you have to play 3- or 4-under for the week and certainly No. 15, you've got to play under par, a couple under. It's tough to get there, because of the creek but you've got to play the easy holes well and the par 3s and maybe I'll throw No. 4 in there, is a tough hole. You've got to play those at even par.

Q. Just curious your thoughts on Kenny's decision to skip the British and play here, and also if you would ever consider doing something like that.
JOE OGILVIE: Well, I think it's certainly a great decision for this tournament. I don't know what Kenny is ranked in the world now but he's probably Top-10, Top 15. So it's great having a Top 15 player in the world here.
You know, the majors are always something -- there's only four of them, and when you're playing as well as he's playing, he has a pretty good chance to win at Birkdale. But at 47 or 48 years old, and he's been out here a hell of a lot longer than I have, and he's had a hell of a lot more success than I've had. What he's learned is that if he has a schedule and does it, he has success, and he doesn't deviate from that plan. Kenny is very, very disciplined.
I would be in Birkdale if it was me, but you've got to applaud him. He's certainly helping out Milwaukee and he's helping out U.S. Bank and he's bringing a great story to this. You know, it's great whenever you watch the GOLF CHANNEL or you watch people debate whether he should or shouldn't do this. You know, that's what writers and that's what journalists and TV personalities live for. So he's brought an added element to that, too.
Although I wouldn't have made the same decision, I think it's the right decision for Kenny Perry, and that's the most important in the end.

Q. You mentioned some of the holes that you have to play under par. As a whole, do you look at this tournament, do you think you're more inclined to take more chances out here, maybe fire at a few more pins, especially when the weekend roles around?
JOE OGILVIE: It really depends on the green. I think on Thursday we're going to have relatively soft greens Thursday and Friday.
But last year on the weekend these greens got exceedingly firm. And although you would like to it fire at pins, you really couldn't.
So your aggressiveness, and I'm fairly aggressive, is going to be dictated by how firm the greens get. If the greens get very, very firm like we saw last year on the weekend, no one shot a really low number, and if that happens this year, you know you're going to have to play pretty conservative.

Q. Will weather be a factor?
JOE OGILVIE: Heat's not going to be a big deal unless it gets really, really hot and they won't be able to get the greens as firm as normal. They will have to put some water on them and sprig them and cool them off.
I think Sunday I saw where it's supposed to be in the 80s, getting down to 66,65 at night; so if we have no humidity that day, it will be almost exactly like it was last year. We had zero humidity on Sunday and the greens were extremely firm, a lot firmer than they normally are here in Milwaukee. It played really fun.

Q. (Who would you give better odds)?
JOE OGILVIE: Probably me, because if you bet a hundred on Kenny, you'd probably only win ten. (Laughter) I mean, there's not a whole lot of risk/reward there. If you bet a hundred on me, you might win a thousand.
I think I would rather -- Kenny's probably even money. He's got Tiger Woods-like odds this week. You know, you'd probably have to bet the field to get better odds. But I'm not condoning gambling in any way just for the record. (Laughter) Especially if you're under 18, 21, whatever it is.

Q. Coming back to Milwaukee --
JOE OGILVIE: You know, it's fun, because normally, you know, I don't really care -- I'll stay at different hotels and whatever and eat at different restaurants, but I'm pretty much doing every single thing that I did last year. Staying at the same house and had dinner at the same -- or had custard at the same place we did last year last night.
I'm doing everything pretty similar, and it's just fantastic. I love coming up here and the people are nice. Dan does a hell of a job here, and I like the golf course. It's a golf course where you -- where I only hit probably 18 drivers for the full week, but you know, I'll hit a lot of rescue clubs off the tee, lot of 5-woods, and we just don't have that very often on the PGA TOUR now. Normally you take driver out of your bag and bomb it, and here you have to think a little bit off the tee which is fun.
I'm certainly looking forward to playing and looking forward to getting this thing started.

Q. Are you superstitious --
JOE OGILVIE: No, just means I don't want the outcome to be any different than the year before. So yeah, I guess there is a little superstition there.

Q. (No mic).
JOE OGILVIE: You know, I grew up on a very similar golf course. Mine was a little bit more undulating but very, very similar, tree-lined, not very long, but a course that was just really fun to play. And you know, I think around here, certainly the course is very, very fun to play and it's always in great shape. It's a municipal golf course, but you could make an argument that it's one of the best-conditioned golf courses we play all year, as well.
The City Parks Department here at Milwaukee does one hell of a job, and it's just nice to play. I think whenever the PGA TOUR and the U.S. Open or big golf tournaments come to municipal facilities, the buzz is different. I think the people who are in the cities just feel like, kind of like welcome to our golf course, thanks for playing our golf course, and the community really has a sense of ownership to it, and that's something that we are seeing more and more and is a trend that we'll be going to more and more municipal facilities hopefully in the future.

Q. With the Brett Farve situation --
JOE OGILVIE: Well, I played with Jerry Kelly last week in a practice round, and Jerry is good friend with Brett's brother. He said that -- Jerry told me before it broke that, you know, he was going to look at other places. I think it's certainly something we look at. Everybody likes Brett Farve, just one of those guys that seems like a pretty cool guy.
It's one of those things, he could go play for the Cowboys and people would still think he's a Packer. Well, maybe not the Cowboys. But I think he's always going to have a legacy as a Packer and we certainly talked about it, yeah.
Apparently he's a big Republican because he went on FOX News, as opposed to ESPN. Kind of interesting. Kind of an interesting venue, I guess Greta Van Susteren --

Q. He wanted the Hardball question.
JOE OGILVIE: Well there you go. Why not go on Rachel Ray and talk about cooking or something?
We all follow it. We like to follow sports, that's for sure.

Q. (No mic).
JOE OGILVIE: I'm not educated enough on the subject. You know, what do you do? What do the players want? I don't know what the players want. If I poled my wide receivers to say what do you think, they would say we want Brett Farve, so you sign Brett Farve. Seems to be a no-brainer. If you're a general manager you are probably going to get killed if Brett Farve goes to another team and plays well. I mean, literally; they like their football up here.
If he goes and has success, I wouldn't want to be that general manager. I'd have to hire a lot of security.

Q. (No mic).
JOE OGILVIE: Yeah but I certainly think that if you're an opposite-field event, I would want to be opposite the British Open. Because the British is going to end at two o'clock Eastern time, and so you know, most people don't think about watching golf at ten o'clock in the morning.
So you're going to watch the U.S. Bank, and your golf lovers are going to watch U.S. Bank. So I think to a certain extent, yes, the golf universe is going to be focused on England but the American golf world, while they certainly are focused on it, they certainly have their eyes open this week, and normally an opposite-field event, they are not as open.
Plus, we have got the hottest player on the PGA TOUR at this tournament. We've got arguably the second-best player -- well, the best player that's able to play right now in the world. That's kind of a story. You know, while Kenny Perry isn't the biggest name in golf, he's probably the best player in the world right now, and he's right here in Milwaukee.
So I think that's going to be a focal point of certainly the GOLF CHANNEL and certainly a lot of the American media. They are going to be watching what Kenny does, and he's going to have some pressure on himself to perform better certainly.
There's no doubt about it, I think it really helps and we are trying to sign U.S. Bank to a long-term deal and to have that kind of commitment from Kenny Perry I think goes a long way. U.S. Bank, you talk about great sponsors, Warren Buffet has only bought two banks in the last six months, and it's U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, so pretty strong.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Joe, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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