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July 1, 2010

Joe Ogilvie


NELSON SILVERIO: Joe Ogilvie, thanks for joining us here at the AT&T National, good opening round. Why don't you just give us some general thoughts on it.
JOE OGILVIE: Well, this is a golf course that you obviously have to -- you have to hit the fairways, keep the ball in front of you, and if you're going to miss them, you'd better miss them really wide relative to where the spectators are walking. Fortunately I think I hit 10 out of 14 fairways. The fairways I did miss, I had decent lies. I think the rough will get probably incrementally easier as the week goes on, as it dries out and we have no humidity. But it's still pretty tough.
I don't know how many greens I hit, but I had a lot of chances for birdie. I made some putts. I made about a 20-foot par putt on No. 18 that kind of kept the round going, and then I made about a 35-footer on 7 that would have probably been about 10, 12 feet by had it not gone in. It's nice to see a few balls go in the hole.

Q. What's been the key to today's turnaround? Was it putting or ball-striking?
JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, I've been hitting the ball well for probably -- relatively well for four or five weeks, but I've been putting it extremely poorly. Last week at Hartford I had two de-greeners, and that's never a good thing, to have one. I usually have one maybe every three years, and to have two in the same tournament -- for those of you at home, de-greeners is where you hit the green and putt it off of it. (Laughter.)
So this was a lot better. I'm feeling more and more comfortable over my putter.

Q. Most of the players hadn't been here before this week. Have you ever played this course before?
JOE OGILVIE: No, first time was on Tuesday.

Q. And first off the tee this morning?
JOE OGILVIE: First off the tee. Yeah, I was the first guy off the tee. In fact I had the same exact tee time yesterday during the pro-am.

Q. Do you like that?
JOE OGILVIE: I do, yeah, especially on Friday, because if I miss the cut I can get out early and catch a 1:00 flight, and it gets me home before dinner. (Laughter.)
It's good. Whenever you tee off early, first off, number one, I play quick, so I don't wait; number two, you have fantastic greens. You have great conditions. The only thing that's probably a little bit more difficult playing that early is that it's cold, ball is not going to go as far, and the rough, it's a pretty heavy rough because the dew is pretty thick that early in the morning. Other than that, I'd take it every week, playing that early.

Q. A lot of the players have heard about Aronimink, and when they got here it wasn't quite what they thought.
JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, I think that's probably fair. I think that's probably fair. They've got some -- it's an old classic-style golf course, number one. Number two, you've got holes like 17 where it's not -- 17 I wouldn't consider classic. But it's not a bad hole, it's just sort of a scary hole more than anything else. Having that left part shaved, they didn't make mowers that short back in the early 1900s.
It really fits my eye. I think it's a -- to me it looks like Baltusrol. I don't know if anybody else feels that way, but it looks a lot like Baltusrol, at least the last time we played the PGA Championship there. So you have a lot of wedges here. You've got your opportunities to make some birdies, but they could put the pins where -- they could put 18 pins where you just can't go for them. They could set this course up extremely difficult.

Q. I want to ask about 17, how close you hit it, because last I checked no one has been inside 25 feet today.
JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, well, I wouldn't think they would be. I think that that's a -- I think that's a hole that -- and they're going to play the left pin according to one of the rules officials. I think that's a hole that if you're going to play the left pin, you play it at 125, 130 yards. It doesn't need to be 180 yards. I think today it was 198 pin, 183 front, and if you pull it at all, you've got, I think, 193 to carry that left side. And if you hit it 1921/2, you're dropping. So probably making double.
It's just a hole that you're not going to hit it very close, and if you do, it's probably a mistake.

Q. You're starting so early, maybe you have a different reference for this, but it's been a while since Philadelphia has hosted any PGA event like this. I'm wondering what your perception was of the galleries.
JOE OGILVIE: Well, they were great on Tuesday and yesterday. I played with Ron Jaworski yesterday, so I mean, our galleries were a little boisterous. Philadelphia is one of the great sports cities, so it's certainly great to be here. Merion will go over fantastic for the Open obviously, but this is fantastic. This just looks like a big event.
Some golf courses look like they can hold big events. This is one of them. And I think the fans make it a big event. I'm assuming -- we don't play here obviously every year, but I'm assuming these fans are pretty educated in golf even though we don't come here year after year, so it's fun to play here.

Q. You played in four hours and eight minutes. Talk about playing fast. Is that a by product of being first out, threesomes?
JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, and we would have been a little bit, a shade under four, but we waited on our 17th hole and we had a big ruling on the last. I maintain that -- my group shot -- let's see, we shot somewhere around 214, 215 shots between the three of us. You ought to be able to play in under four hours. I don't think it's that much of a leap of faith to play in under four hours when you only hit 212, 214 shots. You'd be kicked out of Aronimink if you played in four hours and 15 minutes in foursomes, so you ought to be able to do it in threesomes.

Q. You monitor your other players in terms of where they drop or ball crossed a hazard or if you see them ground their club and call that, and the rules state that you have a minute to hit the shot, 40 seconds for the next two guys. Shouldn't you be calling penalties on each other if you're taking a minute and a half, Commissioner?
JOE OGILVIE: Well, that would certainly be -- that would add to the color of the program, wouldn't it? That would be interesting. Well, you think about it, that's the only part of golf that's not really black and white, right? Most of the rules are -- if your ball is lying on the hazard line, you're in the hazard. If you're ahead of the tee marker, you're ahead of the tee marker. If you go out of bounds, you're out of bounds. Timing and how long it takes you to play is one of those rules that it is sort of up to where the rules officials hit that button, right? That's the hardest thing. It's not like in the NBA every foul you can make an argument that, well, maybe they shouldn't have called that. In golf if we did that you could make an argument, wow, that was a little dodgy there, although it would be really fun. It would have to be on HBO because I don't know if it would be for the kids' ears.

Q. Since we're on the topic and just for grins, who is your dream threesome as it relates to pace of play?
JOE OGILVIE: You know, actually I don't think I'd want like John Daly and Chris Riley, because I'm not used to playing with players as fast as I am, so I would tend to get in their way. I'm used to guys waiting -- I'm used to waiting on guys to hit, and I'm used to also saying, God, how long does it take to lay up? So it would give me less material if I played with really fast players all the time. It's good to have some material.
NELSON SILVERIO: Joe Ogilvie, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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