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June 22, 2011

Geoff Ogilvy


DOUG MILNE: Okay. Well, Geoff Ogilvy, thanks for joining us for a few minutes prior to the start of the 2011 Travelers Championship. If I saw correctly, this is your first trip back here since 2001. If you could just talk a couple opening comments about how you're feeling going into the week and the decision to come back in 2011.
GEOFF OGILVY: The decision to come back was -- I'm not quite sure why I haven't been back really in the last 10 years, because as I got here, I remember how much I liked it here in 2001. So I'm not really quite sure why I haven't been coming here.
But it got put on -- I missed pretty much the whole part of the year between the Masters and the U.S. Open pretty much because I had my shoulder. So I started playing again at Memphis the week before the U.S. Open. I pretty much, mentally anyway, ticked every box pretty much between there and the end of the year because I felt like I'd missed so many tournaments, and I really wanted to play.
So as I said, I didn't really remember how much I enjoyed it here, but after a day and a half here, I'm wondering why I haven't been back here more often. So yeah, it's nice to be here. Hopefully it dries up a little bit.
DOUG MILNE: Just some comments on how you find the course. Obviously a new range since you've been here, incredible range. Just a couple comments on the course and then we'll open it up for questions.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah. It's a great course. It's better than I remember, actually. It's -- every hole is different. I mean 10 years later I can remember every hole, which is a good sign for a golf course.
When you play a lot of golf courses, a lot of it blends in together, but this one has got a lot of unique golf holes, a lot of fun golf holes. It's not overly long, got some fun short holes. Obviously that finish, 15, 16, 17 is a great stage for golf, a golf tournament to finish.
No, I enjoy it. It's an enjoyable course to play. It would be -- it's a pleasant walk. It's not hard work. Everything about it is nice.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. With that we'll go ahead and open it up for questions.

Q. Geoff, making the transition from a major championship is such a mental grind and exhausting week at times to a TOUR event. What part of that transition is perhaps the most difficult for you?
GEOFF OGILVY: For me I didn't have to grind for too long last week. So it's probably not going to be too difficult this week. But say after the Masters where I had a really good week and I attempted to play the next week in San Antonio, it's kind of strange. You kind of -- you're trying really, really hard to be intense, but it's hard because you put so much effort -- especially the Masters because you've been thinking about that one for eight months. There's such a buildup to that tournament like no other tournament has. So the week after that you kind of get a bit flat in the middle of the week. You really want to be intense, but it's hard. You find a way once you get on the golf course, but it's hard.
Here for me this week it'll just be like kind of normal because as I said it wasn't an extra long week for me last week. But it can work both ways. Usually if you play an extremely hard golf course for a week and play okay, golf seems easy when you comes somewhere else. All the stress goes away, a lot of feelings or nerves or pressure that you might feel in a major might feel less so at another golf course, might be a little bit easier. It can probably work both ways. So for me this will just be like a normal week, as I said.

Q. How close are you to 100 percent?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's getting better every week. Memphis I was still semi worried about it. It was still kind of there in the background. And then last week it got better every day. And yeah, today I didn't even think about it.
So I mean when I first -- my first three shots in the morning, maybe it's just age, like a few different parts of my body hurt. But after about 10, it seems to go away and it's back to business as usual. So hopefully it was a one-off kind of weird deal and the shoulder that recovered and I'll never hear from it again hopefully.

Q. (Indiscernible) before you were injured as far as winning and everything else?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah. I missed a good part of the season, unfortunately. And the problem with injury, you don't just miss tournaments. You miss golf altogether because I couldn't really do anything. So it's kind of like coming out of an off season, you feel like a little bit.
But yeah, I mean the more tournaments I play, you don't forget how to play golf. I didn't really play that bad last week. It just didn't turn out very well. So your expectations are getting back to where they would have been before, yeah.

Q. Geoff, having played last week and being a former U.S. Open champion, what does 16-under at an Open mean? What kind of perspective --
GEOFF OGILVY: It's hard to measure. I mean it's not as good as Tiger's 12-under at Pebble because the next best at Pebble was 3-over. You know what I mean? Winning by eight shots is astonishing, and he was in front basically after nine holes and never relinquished; and he was always way in front. Like he wasn't just in front and then had a great Saturday or something. He was way in front the whole week.
He played two groups in front of me on Thursday and Friday, and he was 13-under. He might have been nine or ten shots in front after 35 holes. I mean he was just miles in front. I think he was. He was ten shots in front after the 17th on Friday. I mean that's absurd. So it's a ridiculous.
I don't think it should be remembered as far as relative to par. I think it should be remembered by how many shots he won by and how he was so clearly the best player in the field last week that it was evident by lunchtime on Friday that the tournament was pretty much all over. It was a pretty impressive performance, especially backing it up after the Masters.

Q. Why do you think there's been sort of lack of dominance of American players, at least among the top ranking? And secondly, of the young players coming along, who do you kind of, at least on this side of the pond --
GEOFF OGILVY: Lack of dominance in the last two years you mean, because the previous 12 were dominated pretty substantially by an American.

Q. Where do you see it going?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's hard to say. I mean golf is getting more -- it's more normal now. It's like the last 15 years were abnormal. It was pretty strange to have a guy that much better than everyone else and to win that many golf tournaments. Even when Nicklaus was winning everything, he was beating Trevino, multiple major winner. Not multiple major winners every week. Trevino, Watson, Miller, Weiskopf, I mean all-time legends; Seve later in his career, Arnold and Gary at the start of his career. I mean he was a dominant player, but he wasn't as clearly dominant as Tiger was. Now, maybe he was playing against better players or what.
But the last 15 years have been weird. I think it's getting back to normal now with 10 or 15 players shuffling around at the top of the team. It feels like there's going to be -- there's more multiple major winners playing golf right now. Like in 10 or 15 years it would be quite feasible to see Rory have won 8 and Martin to have won 5. You can see a lot of players winning multiple majors who are playing golf at the moment. The last 15 years has been harder to see that. Don't you think? I don't know. That's the way I would see it. So I would say it's actually back to normal now. I think before it wasn't.

Q. Who are those guys in their early 20s, say 25-and-under that really kind of jumped out, of the American group?
GEOFF OGILVY: Of the American players? Vijay has got some rounds on the board. Hunter is obviously playing well. He's not under 25 anymore. Who is under 25?
Rickie? Well, Rickie obviously plays well a lot of times. He's got more than enough game to win lots and lots of golf tournaments over the next 20 years.
I mean Dustin. He's obviously played well. Who else is under 25? I don't know. I'm not very good with ages.
A.K., Anthony. It depends. If he gets organized on the golf course, he could win as many golf tournaments as he wants.
Who else? I mean worldwide, I think Rory, Martin Tyler are the two obvious young guys. I mean Martin is probably not even under 25 anymore. I don't know. The obvious guys who are going to be around a long time, you know.

Q. There's a young Australian that's not too bad either.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, Day's playing very well. Yeah, he's come a long way from this time last year. He showed a lot of promise at 18 and 19 and lost his way for a couple years, but he's back to normal now. Not many players have ever finished second two majors in a row, especially at that age. So yeah, he could conceivably be top five in the world for the next 20 years, too. It's a pretty good patch in golf, as far as the Americans go.

Q. Do you feel golf is more global now?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yes and no. But I mean it wasn't that long ago that an American couldn't win the Masters. When it was Bernhard Langer and Faldo and Seve and Sandy Lyle and Jose every year. So it goes in stages, I'm sure.
There might be five 19-year-old college kids hitting balls today that we've never heard of that will win a major in four years' time. I mean five years' time we might be what's happening to the Europeans, why are the Americans winning everything? It's impossible to predict what's going to happen.

Q. I'd like to talk to you about a couple of holes on the back side, strategically how you play them. First is the short drivable par-4, 15. How do you approach that hole?
GEOFF OGILVY: I'll probably go for the green. At least try to get it to the front edge with a 3-wood if it's downwind or driver into the wind. It's quite a difficult layup to lay it up short and you're way back, and there's no guarantee from back there anyway. And if you actually do drive it in the water, you're dropping it and chipping. You trying to get up-and-down for par. You can still make par a lot of times. It's very similar to 17 at Phoenix. And we all just try to go for the green at 17 at Phoenix because the punishment -- the reward is worth risking the punishment. I mean worst case you're going to have a short hitch putt for par probably if you drive it in the water. But you could make 2. So I think it's worth going for it which is what makes it -- a short par-4 would be boring if everybody laid it up. It's fun with people go for the green.

Q. The other hole is 17.
GEOFF OGILVY: 17 I'll try to hit a ball in there somewhere -- obviously get over the first bunker and hit it just short of the left fairway bunker maybe and have 5-wood or a 3-wood, probably a 5-wood and have 150 in or something. Obviously try to keep it left of the water. Some sort of fairway wood and then a short iron.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Geoff, we appreciate your time and best of luck this week.
GEOFF OGILVY: Thank you.

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