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January 10, 2009

Geoff Ogilvy


JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome our third round leader, Geoff Ogilvy into the interview room here at the Mercedess-Benz Championship after an 8-under 65.
Great round, some comments, please.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I played well, obviously. Different course than I've ever seen before. Just a gentle wind in completely the opposite direction that I've ever seen it. So it was different.
It made a couple of holes a lot more difficult. It made holes like 7 a lot harder, 17 a little harder. It makes 18 a little harder. But turned around and it makes some of the holes a bit easier, because all of the holes that go up the hill here are very short, so they all played a little bit downwind or a little crosswind at worst, and they are normally into the wind. So they played quite short. So a lot of irons off tees, which I've never done out here.
I hit the ball well. The score, I guess you'll see on the leaderboard, most guys would have broken par today, I'm sure of it, some pretty low ones. I haven't played this course with as many birdies out there as I did today, so I'm glad I had a good one.

Q. Frank Nobilo kidded you on this, but are you growing a beard or not shaving for a week or what?
GEOFF OGILVY: It comes and goes. It's been coming and going for three months. To be brutally honest, it's a poor excuse, but I use an electric shaver, and it plugs into an Australian plug at home, so I didn't bring it. And I have one in Arizona that plugs into an American plug, and that one there and my Australian one is there. I could go out and buy a razor, but I figured I would grow a beard for a couple weeks. And if you have a good first round, you're not going to shave (laughter).

Q. You took two months off after the BMW last year and every tournament you've won or been close. Did something happen in those two months to get your game together, or how do you explain it?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know. To be honest with you, because normally after two months, I'm horrible. My starts on TOUR have generally been poor, because I come back pretty rusty and I usually have to play my way back into form.
I'm getting better at learning how to prepare for golf tournaments, I think. I've been playing as bad as I have for a couple of years there in the last two months there leading up to the BMW; I played horrible from the British Open to the BMW, and I played great leading up to the U.S. Open.
I don't know. I went to Shanghai feeling great, which was the first tournament after two months off, played really well and got some confidence. I can't really explain it. Maybe I just needed to clear my head or something. I don't know. Maybe I had my head up by bum or something (laughter).

Q. Following that up, did you come in here expecting a big week, or is this somewhat of a surprise to you?
GEOFF OGILVY: I wouldn't say expecting. I knew I was playing quite well. But I've never done that great around here. So I didn't come with any expectations, but I came knowing I was playing quite well. Does that make sense?
It's also a place that I fully expected that 25- or 30-mile-an-hour wind every day, downwind right on the first hole, because that's the only way I've ever seen it. It's hard to expect too much when you face weather like that.
So I feel good about my game, but without any expectations.

Q. 54 holes, one bogey. In your mind, is that possible? I know you try to play every hole without a bogey, but pretty good mark, wouldn't you say?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, that's pretty good. If you told me that on the first tee on Thursday, I would have said, no, you can't do that. But the holes that I've played -- I'm playing quite well. I'm driving it on the fairway. When you drive it on the fairway, it makes a big difference. And I'm putting nicely. I don't know, some weeks, when you're playing well, it doesn't seem that hard. When you're playing bad, it seems really hard.
I'm obviously playing quite well. It doesn't seem crazy that I only had one bogey. The one bogey I had was such a soft one. Doral I did the same thing, bogeyed one of the easiest holes on the course and that was my only bogey for the week.
When you're playing well, it doesn't seem that crazy, but the guys at the back of the field are wondering how you have no bogeys. It's just how you play.

Q. Justin said he got to 18 and looked at the scoreboard and said it was deflating.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, well, I guess it would be. I've never actually been this far in front before, but I've been this far behind a lot of times (laughter). I've had a lot of deflated looks up at 18. That's the way it goes.
And yeah, my pitching has been pretty good. It's probably the only part of my game that I really work on all the time. My golf swing and putting and all that comes and goes, but pitching is something I work on all the time. I think it's one of the most important parts of golf, especially the type of golf we play on TOUR. All the best players in the world are the best pitchers of the ball, so that's a part of my game I work on a lot. I guess this week, it's been pretty good.

Q. That being said, were you surprised by the one at 18?
GEOFF OGILVY: Not really. You have to be a little careful with that one. It was three feet from being stiff and six feet from being 80 feet. So you've got to play the smart shot and try to hit it close, but hit it close or short, not close or long.
And it needs to make one bounce on the fringe and then hit the green and stop. It is what it is. I was too far back from the tee to get aggressive with my second shots and when you're 50 yards, it's a horrible shot and when you're 20 yards, it's quite a simple up-and-down.

Q. I'm curious, on 7, I think you just made a good bunker save, actually, but what did you hit in there?
GEOFF OGILVY: I hit 6-iron, which turned out to be too much club. That was the worst shot I hit all week by far, and I got lucky, it was only -- this much further it goes over the bunker and into that stuff (indicating two feet).
Because the wind was light, it actually varied a little bit from into off the left on that shot to probably straight across and that flew way further than it should have done because DJ hit further than me and his went climbing and nowhere.
I had like 190-something to the pin today, and I had 110 or something yesterday.

Q. Was that one of the biggest examples of the difference?
GEOFF OGILVY: That played the most different I've ever seen at 7 -- well, no. It played the hardest, a hole that normally, you just smash it over the tree and have some sort of 9-iron or wedge or sand wedge in sometimes. Today, you hit a proper shot and still would have a mid-iron.

Q. Was there a lot of thinking?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's generally automatic on this course, for me anyway, you pull 3-wood out on the first, driver out on the 4th, driver on the 5th, and you know what you always hit. Today must have hit six or seven different clubs off of tees. I hit an iron off 10 and 13, and I've never done any of that.
So a bit of thinking, more than probably we'd like to do (smiling).

Q. Going back to your pitch shots, it looked like the one on 15 was as good as you've had today. Did you have much of a look at the hole?
GEOFF OGILVY: I was pretty happy with that. It's a pretty awkward shot. It's not a hard shot, but it's nice to hit it to this (indicating inches), yeah. I tend to miss the green there, at least what have I played it now, 11 times; I've probably missed it ten times at least. I've only hit it on the green once.
So I hit that shot a lot. It's not that hard of a shot when the pin is on your side of the green because the grain is into you and it's easy to flop it up and stop it. But going up the tier, it's quite a different job. Yeah, I was pretty happy when I saw that was stiff.

Q. Conventional wisdom would say that those that are trailing you might wish for windy weather tomorrow, maybe have a chance to catch you. But I suspect, and I talked to a couple of guys, that you're fairly comfortable in the wind and probably wouldn't bother you that much. How much do you like playing in the wind?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I'd prefer it to not rain, but that's a comfort level thing, not really a golf thing (laughter).
The forecast was southwest, which was stronger than what we had today, wasn't it, or even more wind into the first maybe.
So everyone will be having a different course again. We don't know. As you see, we have not much wind and everyone goes low. I'd have to make lots of birdies tomorrow, but either way, whatever forecast comes is what comes; forecast, whatever weather comes.

Q. There was a lot of talk coming into this tournament about Kim and Villegas and Sergio. You're pretty much the same age bracket, but do you feel left out, or does that get you fired up a little bit?
GEOFF OGILVY: Not really. They are younger than me. Sergio, I've been a part of golf same time as Sergio has. They are younger than me and have put some good runs on the board. They are allowed to be the talk of the TOUR. I don't feel like I've missed out at all. In fact, the less I have to come in here and talk about stuff, the better. So you can keep talking about those guys, if you want.

Q. Are you saying that you don't enjoy this?
GEOFF OGILVY: No, this is fine. (Laughter) It's also fine not to do it. I wouldn't have been sad if I went home and you said no (laughter).

Q. No American has won this event since Furyk in 2001. Is there any explanation for that other than pure coincidence?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's a bit of coincidence. There's also a lot of us that have played probably more recently than a lot of the American guys. A lot of the American guys maybe finished at Disney or something like that two months ago.
We finished the Australian Open and that was three weeks ago, and they were playing in South Africa pretty recently. Yeah, that would be the only reason, maybe we've played more recently, but probably just a coincidence.

Q. I haven't had time to look at your record, but what kind of leads have you had? What did you have at Doral?
GEOFF OGILVY: I think it was two or three at Doral.

Q. But you had a nice collection of people chasing you that day, I believe.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I was looking at the leaderboard, as you get in World Golf Championships. I haven't had six shots before whatever Doral was, was probably the biggest one I've had.

Q. Tucson, do you remember?
GEOFF OGILVY: A couple maybe.

Q. How will you approach tomorrow, any differently?
GEOFF OGILVY: I'll try not to. I'll just play in whatever weather we are going to play in. I don't see any reason to play any differently. If we have the same weather tomorrow, I'll play the same way.

Q. Stuart had his series of winning here; are you getting ready to move into that Australian role, too?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I'd love to. I'm here to win a golf tournament, and I'm in a pretty good position that if I play well tomorrow, I should have a real chance to.
He won three in a row. I'm one away from that -- I'm one round away from one.

Q. Does the early start tomorrow change any preparation for this evening or any sleep patterns? You have to be back on the tee in 15, 16 hours?
GEOFF OGILVY: No, it's fine. I get woken up at 7:00 in the morning anyway. Not much sleeping going on in my room. That's fine. It's fine. I'm not going to go to bed late, but I don't go to bed late any night.

Q. What you hit on 14, is that how usually play that hole?
GEOFF OGILVY: 14, I always hit driver, and ironically today, downwind, I thought it was less of a driver than it normally is. Because driver, if you really smash it, it can go over the green or if you hit it left, it can go into some junk.
But I'm striking it well and I feel good. I hit a low, cutting kind of driver, and I felt good about getting it up there somewhere where the up-and-down would be better than a 60-yard wedge shot, and it worked out pretty good. DJ hit it off the green right after me, so it feels like the right play.

Q. With a six-shot lead, would you rather see the course play easier or tougher?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I'll just play whatever turns up, I don't know. I've never had a six-shot lead. Conventional wisdom says I want a good day and nice weather. I don't mind. I don't think you get two days in a row like this out here very often.
We always play this in a bit of wind. A bit of wind would be all right and a bit of wind would make it hard for them to go low, too.

Q. You don't have a choice in this weather tomorrow, do you?
GEOFF OGILVY: No, there is no choice. You'd like a medium day if you're really picky. Not easy, not hard (laughter).

Q. Going back to Doral for a minute. How do you recall your emotions throughout that day, pretty even keel?
GEOFF OGILVY: It was a weird one, because we stopped in the dark on Sunday night on the 10th fairway. We had been on and off. We were on and off the course three times -- we might have played -- Sunday was a really long day anyway. We definitely had two or three big delays and we were on the 10th fairway, so I played the last nine holes Monday morning.
I was tired that week because my boy was in the hospital all week that week. We had kind of a really weird week that week. I was comfortable. I wasn't freaking out or anything. It was, like you said, there was six of the Top-10 or whatever. There was such a leaderboard there, it would be a great deal to win this tournament rather than it's-mine-to-lose-kind of situation. When you come on and off the course so much, it's hard to have any time to stress about it, because you just want to play.
JOHN BUSH: Thank you, Geoff, and play well tomorrow.

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