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February 16, 2010

Geoff Ogilvy


LAURA HILL: We'd like to welcome Geoff Ogilvy defending champion of the Accenture Match Play Championship. And you're a dad again for the third time, so congrats on Harvey's birth on February 11th.
GEOFF OGILVY: Thank you.
LAURA HILL: Give us an update on how things are going, and kind of I guess preparations heading into this week are a little different when you have a new baby.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, obviously we've spent the last few weeks waiting for a baby, and he turned up on Thursday, which was really nice. Everyone is happy and healthy, and everyone is perfect. So it was really, really nice. I feel like I've kind of started, played a couple of tournaments. I feel like I've continued my off season, and this is almost the start of it. It's been really a nice three weeks. I spent it at home with my kids, and I they got to meet their new brother and stuff, it's really nice. Coming here pretty refreshed, so I'm ready to go.

Q. Where do you feel the state of your game is?
GEOFF OGILVY: I really like where my game is. I played Abu Dhabi. I probably didn't touch a club for two weeks after Abu Dhabi, and then last week I went to the golf course a few times, not a lot. But I was happy with where my golf is at. When I got to the golf course it felt quite good. And I didn't feel a reason to go out.
In the old days I would have hit balls even when I -- I just hit balls because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. But I went down to the golf course and felt pretty good, so I didn't overdo it. So I spent a bit of time obviously with the family. So no, I didn't practice a lot, but I feel like my game is in a good spot.

Q. Are your expectations as high as they were?
GEOFF OGILVY: If this week doesn't go well it won't be because of how I'm playing today. It will be because someone plays better than me.
I've come to this tournament in two ways, in '06 I ended up playing really well. And last year I came here I didn't like how I was playing. And by Sunday that's the best I've ever played.
So it's a tournament that you have absolutely no idea how it's going to go, really, until you kind of get into it. You can play well and lose. You can play bad and win. Obviously it's been very good to me.
But if it doesn't -- if it goes -- I feel like if I'm playing well it can go either way. But you can also be 7-under par after eight holes and end up losing, as well. So I feel like I'm playing very well.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GEOFF OGILVY: Down through ten holes. I stayed around for about ten holes. Was it ten or 11? It's a weird tournament. I obviously enjoy coming to this tournament because it's been good to me, three out of the last four years, but it's still -- it's an element -- there's an element that's slightly out of your control. 72 holes is a big picture to paint, you know. You can have a bad first nine holes and still win the tournament. It's happened probably -- at the Masters about 12, I was 4-under after nine holes. It's not the end of your tournament if you have a bad few holes.
This, if you have a bad nine, first nine holes and suddenly you're out. Bye. See you. You're five or six down, four down, whatever, and you're gone.
So it's a tournament that you almost can't have result expectations. You can feel good about your game. But I don't think you're in complete control how you end at the end of the week.

Q. If you are to describe your success, how much of it is physical and how much of it is inside your head? How much is the attitude, I guess?
GEOFF OGILVY: I think this tournament is a lot attitude, I think match play more than stroke play. Golf is so much in the head. For most of us it's pretty important, the attitude, the mental part of it. But this is -- the mental aspects of match play is something I really enjoy. 72 holes is such a big -- such a long event because there are periods of where you're pretty relaxed and chatting with your playing partners, and if you miss the green and make a birdie you're not that fluffed about it, you just go on.
In match play it's black or white. You win the hole or you lose the hole. There's a result on every hole. So you can have a must up-and-down on the first hole of the week. You feel like it's a must, because you're down one after one. And there's much more relentless little pressures. There's 18 little events. And you're trying to win more of those little events than the guy you're playing.
72 hole tournament is different. It's like painting a picture, you've got all this -- it's a big project you've got. Whereas this is 18 little projects.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, a little bit. So I find that it's more mentally taxing and more mentally challenging. But more enjoyable, that aspect of it is more enjoyable. Because there's quite a few matches I've won, standing at the first tee, wondering how I was even going to hit the fairway, because I didn't like the way I was playing. And there's other matches that I had a great time.
The last three matches that I played last year Stewart -- Rory, Stewart -- Rory putted unbelievable, I had a great match with Stewart. We were betting the last few holes -- it was almost like the standard of each match got better. It was great fun. It's just a fun tournament when you -- it's fun to blow someone away, but it's almost more fun when you make a birdie and he makes a birdie on top of it. And then you go the next hole and you both do it again. It's just satisfying in a way stroke play tournament can't get until the 70th hole. Here you have multiple opportunities to come up with a shot under pressure in this tournament. And you have it ten times a day. It's fun.

Q. How much do you know about Alex Noren?
GEOFF OGILVY: I know him a little bit. He's a really good player. He's been getting better every year, one of the stronger players in Europe now. I'm sure -- you look at the draw and you wonder where you would like to have sat in the draw to see your way through the tournament. And you think this side looks like the tough side. Then you look at it differently and say that looks like a tough draw. It looks strong all over the place. So I don't think there's a fly in the ointment. And Alex has been playing very well. I haven't played with him yet, so I'll be learning along the way.

Q. Are you going back and forth from the house or are you staying down here?
GEOFF OGILVY: I'm staying down here. It's just too far. It's about a half hour too far. And it's hard enough to warm up when it's 45 degrees -- it's cold in the morning, and you add two hours in the car, when you've got to do it every night, four hours in the car is a ways. If it was an hour I'd think about it. If it was an hour it would be almost as close as the hotel we used to stay at. From where we live it's probably a good two hours, so it's a bit much.

Q. Is it tough to stay away from Harvey at this time?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's hard. It is what it is. It sucks. I've had three weeks at home with them. In the last few months I've spent a lot of time with my family. It's been really nice -- at least I'm relatively close.

Q. When did you tell Julie you were coming home?
GEOFF OGILVY: She knows the deal. Hopefully it's Sunday night. But the other bonus is if I go out early at least I get to go out and spend time with them.

Q. Considering the venue of this year's majors, how do you look at where the --
GEOFF OGILVY: Hopefully, it's exciting for everyone. Augusta is a given. Pebble and St. Andrews -- Pebble comes around every ten years; St. Andrews comes around only five.
As a kid you grow up thinking of the U.S. Open and Pebble is one of the first places you think of, I think. It's one of the places where you think, "Wow, I want to play an Open there." It's reputation grew in 2000 because of how special an Open that was.
St. Andrews, when you think of golf in Britain or the British Open, you think of St. Andrews, or I do. How cool that town is, how cool a place that is. It's one of my favorite places in the world, and I enjoyed every minute of '05. And I've been looking forward to it since I finished the 18th hole in 2005.
I didn't play in 2000 in Pebble, so I've been looking forward to that. The first time I went to Pebble, I was thinking how nice it would have been to play here in June. You know, get the ball rolling a little bit, less rain, temperature a little bit warmer.
The Whistling Straits was the surprise packet for me over the last ten years of a course that I went to thinking what are we going to turn up to here. I was really impressed. I really enjoyed Whistling Straits, the PGA, whenever that was, '04. I thought that was a wonderful tournament with a really, really good golf course. I couple of funky holes on it. They still didn't work out where he was going with the 18th. But the rest of it -- if you can create that in Wisconsin, it's just a bit of, I don't know, the technology -- those four courses it would be hard to beat that for a year. I think everybody is probably looking forward to it

Q. Can you expand on what makes St. Andrews so special for you?
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, I mean, it's where golf supposedly began. I mean, there is a couple of different theories. The Dutch have got their hand up. Golf as we know it is St. Andrews. The whole town is golf. Everyone who is anyone who's ever played golf has been through St. Andrews and played golf. It's just the place is such -- is so central to the sport. And the fact that I think the golf course is so strategically superior to anything else that we play anywhere the world -- it's a course that truly wasn't actually designed -- it just evolved that way. It's truly the only golf course that seems to separate the best golfers in the world every time it has a tournament, I think it is -- how do you even describe how good that is? With the exception of John Daly, who is obviously a freak talent and an amazing golfer, the No. 1 golfer in the world who has basically won every single time he's played there.
If I was building a golf course, that's what I would want, because it shows you if you are the best player you have to have every shot. You have to have every shot and be on top of your game to win here. That's what happens, and that is where I want to play. That's why I enjoy it.

Q. I know you had a couple of close shaves earlier last year. Can you recall which one did you think, wow, I got out of jail? Does one stand out?
GEOFF OGILVY: Matched against Jengo in the second round, I definitely got away with one. I think I was two down on 15 and I hit it about a hundred yards left. I went to the green and hit it about a hundred yards left. Somehow I managed to half. I think maybe I won -- I won 16 to go down one down, maybe. A had a big putt to stay one down on the last. He drove it in the ferry bunker and didn't hit a good shot out of the ferry bunker. Basically I almost didn't have to putt on the 18th to get to the 19th. Then he hit it in the desert. I kind of got let off the hook. I should have lost that match. I was really uncomfortable with my golf swing. I was hitting it all over the place. I was incredibly fortunate to get through that.
The next day I started fighting it a little bit. Saturday morning, all of a sudden I felt so good about my golf game. That's the fortunate one.

Q. When you win a match early, and you feel like you're a bit lucky, is that almost better to build the momentum than to blow away your first and second round opponents?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yes and no. There is plenty of examples in this tournament of guys -- the two times I've won the tournament, I've been extra holes my first two matches. I think it's definitely better if you have -- if you blow guys away, you don't have any of that must-make putts. Those must up-and-downs. That's not true match play. The true match play mindset is having to hit a shot on top of a guy, having to hole a putt on top of guy. If you're blowing a guy away, you're probably not having to do that. So maybe if you go deep in your first few matches, you may better off.
I felt both La Costa and -- last year I felt so like I'd been gifted all these pressure opportunities over the first three or four rounds that practice and experience -- you could play a whole year and not get that many must-make putts and close the deal experiences that I think benefited me later in both of those weeks. I think the first time I didn't go extra holes was Saturday afternoon at La Costa.
Last year I was going deep every time. The first time that I was relatively up in a match was Sunday, the last match.
I think if you blow a couple of guys away, maybe you -- I think match play you do your best when your mission on every shot is to hit this ball in play, like stay in the hall. If you're blowing guys away, perhaps you are less like that, because you're just free wheeling it. I mean, I've won the tournament and guys have won it all -- I mean, David Toms blew people away. When he won, it never went past 14 holes. He was mashing people that year. So there's two ways to sort of --

Q. I think it was Poulter actually where he --
GEOFF OGILVY: He won the final like 11 and 10 or something.

Q. That was part of a rally.
GEOFF OGILVY: Six and five?
LAURA HILL: Anything else for Geoff? Thanks. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

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