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October 6, 2009

Geoff Ogilvy


Q. Do you think they are slower because of the nature of the event?
GEOFF OGILVY: I think they are slower because of the area and they have had fog for three months. If they did have problems with patches on the greens they could not get too aggressive and probably had to water a lot. They are a good surface.

Q. Are you anticipating playing with Adam?
GEOFF OGILVY: Maybe. I don't know. We have a lot of ideas that are getting thrown around. Our team historically has split up well in every aspect. Greg and Frank have got everybody telling them who they want to play with and what they think and everyone's opinions and there's a lot of experience.
Vijay and Ernie have played in every Presidents Cup, I think Vijay has played in every Presidents Cup. Ernie missed because of his knee.
It's still a work-in-progress, the pairings.

Q. What's the alternate-shot, why has it been such a problem?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know. Last time the pairings were pretty decent. Maybe the U.S. guys do it every year, we do it every two years.
It's a very awkward format, alternate-shot. I don't think we should read too much into it. Maybe we'll dominate it for the next ten years.

Q. How do you think Adam will respond to the challenge of being thrust into the spotlight this week?
GEOFF OGILVY: I think he'll do all right. He's been in the spotlight for quite a while. He played pretty well last week. He's been happy with the way his golf has been coming along for a few months. It's all relative, obviously, but he wasn't playing his best at the start of the year obviously. He started coming along towards the end of the year, and I think he was quite happy last week, if he had made a few putts here and there; a few more putts. He putted okay. If he holed a few more putts he would have been right there at the end.
He's pretty happy. I think he's pretty comfortable to take it on.

Q. Do you think it's fair when people say, maybe he needs to get his priorities straight and golf needs to be higher on the list than globe trotting?
GEOFF OGILVY: Everyone has their theories. I don't know how he spoke to you guys, but to us he's pretty passionate about his golf and that's all he wants to be. He does a bit of flying around, but he's done that, and until this year, he was still playing great.
He is as dedicated to being a good golfer as anyone else. But I don't think that it's fair.

Q. You had a great start, you won Mercedes and Accenture. Is it tough to just keep going month after month at that same level?
GEOFF OGILVY: I guess. I found it hard. I don't think it should be. You obviously cannot play -- Kapalua, both those tournaments I played really well. You probably can't play that well all the time. I mean, no one does. But I think that I could probably play a little better than I have probably since June.
U.S. Open onwards I haven't played very well. I think I should be expecting more than that. I guess all I can do is sit down after this at the end of the year and work out why I maybe haven't played as well as I would have liked and maybe play better next time.

Q. How important is it for the International Team to win, just the stature of the event?
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, I think the event would definitely benefit from us winning a couple of times, especially over here on the U.S. soil.
The Ryder Cup was a big event up until the 80s, but until Europe started winning regularly it didn't become what it was and no one knew who was going to win, and it became a real battle, a true bit of animosity on both sides, some good stories one year from one side. And I think what happened at Brookline added to the whole thing.
And it's history; if it's all won by the same side, that sort of stuff doesn't happen. I'm sure the Internationals, if this event goes on for a hundred years, it will balance out. I think it's about time we started.

Q. An interesting point made by Greg this morning that, as captain, it's his job to support the team and he's been through a fairly tough time with the shoulder and announcing the separation over the weekend; do you want to give back to him now?
GEOFF OGILVY: He's a big boy and he can handle everything that's going on with his life. His shoulder, he's very happy with the way it's going. He's doing it to prolong his golf career really. He seems to be fine. I'm sure he would love to have the use of both hands this week, but he'll have to be a left-handed captain.
As far as the other stuff, it has not been discussed until I walked in this tent and I don't even think it's an issue.

Q. Do you feel that as an Australian, it's a bit more special to play for Greg Norman as the captain?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't think it's more special for an Australian. I think it's pretty special for all of us. Gary was special because he's a legend of golf, Hall of Famer, nine majors, career Grand Slam winner. I mean, not many of those get around.
Greg is a contemporary hero kind of thing. I never saw Gary in his prime. I grew up watching Greg and his successes and failures and the whole lot. He was Australia's hero. Just to be on the same bus as him every morning and in the same room having dinner is a pretty big thrill. And to have him kind of guiding you through it's pretty exciting.
I assume it's the same for non-Australians as well. I think anyone of our generation -- Ryo, he was five in '96; he was born in 1991. Amazing. So most of us, yeah, Greg is a hero.

Q. Let's say as an Australian, obviously there's no team, there is a World Cup, but there's no Australian team event and this is as close as it gets for you representing your country?
GEOFF OGILVY: Probably. Probably it is. We play -- the amateur stuff was cool, but when it's amateur stuff, it's the best amateurs, but amateur golf really doesn't get visibility outside of amateur golf.
So this is pretty nice. You definitely feel like you're playing for your country for sure.

Q. Do you think the Aussie guys who play on the U.S. as their home tour should be allowed to play in The Ryder Cup?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't think many Australians would be too interested, to be honest with you. I think The Ryder Cup is what it is, because of the world history between the U.S. and Europe and everything. Everything about it is perfect like it is.

Q. What do you think about the layout of the course?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's a beautiful place. Stunning. The history is interesting. Wasn't there a famous match here, and it was one of the prides of San Francisco and it got kind of run down and got mistreated and misappropriated funds or whatever and they kind of saved it a few years ago. So it's a pretty cool story and it's a great facility for a city to have. Every city needs a place like this.
So, yeah, it's a great place. We should play on the West Coast more often. It's a good market.

Q. What catches your eye as a pro golfer, is it the trees or shape of the holes? What's distinctive to you?
GEOFF OGILVY: A good hole is a good hole. It's hard to explain what you like about a golf hole. A good hole is a good hole. It really helps when it's in a setting like this, you have pretty trees, although I kind of wish they didn't cut all the low branches off.

Q. They knocked a lot of trees out when they redid it.
GEOFF OGILVY: Golf courses are stunning when they are left to go crazy, but I guess that's unrealistic. It's just a natural-looking place. It looks like it's basically -- they basically have just been cutting the grass and maintaining it really. We play so few courses like that that it's nice to have a course that it's probably really close to what Venturi and Ward played.

Q. Do you think the rivalry is maybe too friendly?
GEOFF OGILVY: That's almost an oxymoron.

Q. Like Seve had a chip on his shoulder and wanted to prove that the Europeans -- do you feel like the Internationals feel like they don't have anything to prove?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't think we have anything to prove. You've got guys like Vijay and Ernie on the team; that's pretty solid. We definitely don't have anything to prove.
Maybe. There is animosity between Europe and the U.S. in history that just adds to it. It's a more traditional rivalry, Europe and the U.S., whereas the International Team, it probably took a few years to develop an identity because a bunch of the guys haven't played together before, Australians and South Africans.
As I said, I think it will take -- if we win a couple of close ones that go our way, all of a sudden the other team will -- events develop history after seven or eight Ryder Cups.

Q. Obviously in Europe it's a big deal when they don't win; I don't get the sense that back in Australia you're getting much grief if you don't win The Presidents Cup.
GEOFF OGILVY: Historically, it was The European Tour versus the PGA TOUR. That's kind of why it created what it did. It's different now, but it was an, "Our tour is as good as your tour" argument.
I guess maybe to Bothy's statement, we all play over here and the friendliness is there. When the Europeans came over, they had never seen the American guys before, it was Nicklaus and Floyd and Trevino, how are we going to beat those guys.
And now we all know each other, so it's a different dynamic. We all sit around and we want to win this tournament pretty bad. I don't know if we want to win it any less than the Europeans, but the desperation that they feel -- I don't know, I haven't sat in The Ryder Cup locker room, but we want to win this pretty bad.

Q. After Fancourt, such a compelling event, there was a tremendous look forward to this. Have you seen that now, is it as highly-anticipated after South Africa?
GEOFF OGILVY: I don't know, you guys are the ones that anticipate. I've been looking forward to this. The players, playing for Greg, being part of a team and getting a chance to win one finally on U.S. soil; you guys create the anticipation. We all want to play it for sure.

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