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September 14, 2011

Geoff Ogilvy


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Geoff Ogilvy, thanks for joining us here at the BMW Championship, the third leg in the 2011 FedExCup Playoffs. Maybe just some opening comments. You obviously managed to get through the first two events and now play your way into the BMW Championship. Some comments about the week?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I'm glad I'm here, I guess. I wasn't guaranteed in here after missing the cut in New Jersey and dropping a few spots. So I played okay in Boston. It turned out that I was right on the edge and I had to make a putt on the last, which I didn't really -- I could only half guess at the time because of the attention that was being paid to that last putt, but I didn't really know. But it's nice to be here again, one more tournament, get another chance to see if I can get to Atlanta, so it's good.

Q. What do you mean by the attention being paid to the last putt? Did you see the people start coming out to watch?
GEOFF OGILVY: Well, there was Golf Channel representation, and Doug was next to the 18th, a lot of people that wouldn't normally be standing in front of the stands next to the 18th green were standing there. They seemed quite intent on what I did on the last hole. When you're finishing 25th, that doesn't normally happen. I knew I was kind of somewhere near it, yeah.

Q. It might have had sent a text to Doug with lots of exclamation points and frowny faces and smiley faces.
GEOFF OGILVY: She does overpunctuate her text messages, yeah. I didn't really -- I gathered the -- I gathered that I was going to be close. I didn't know exactly if I made that putt that was going to be it.

Q. Thoughts on the course this week?
GEOFF OGILVY: It's Cog Hill. It's hard, it's very long. I don't know. What sort of thoughts? It's kind of the same as last year, just long and hard, really, quite narrow in spots. I guess to play it well you've got to keep it out of the fairway bunkers. The fairway bunkers are pretty much in play on almost every hole. And the greens, you can get some pretty crazy putts if you miss the pin by a long way on the greens. So I guess a lot of these greens you're better off to miss the green on the pin side of the hole rather than be a long way away on the greens. Does that make sense? You have these putts over these big hills where you can be chipping out of the rough and have quite simple chips from near the hole. So I guess going straight at the pin in a lot of situations is better plan playing the smart shot.

Q. You're a course design aficionado. Does this rank amongst your favorites?
GEOFF OGILVY: No, it doesn't, no.

Q. What's your favorite on the U.S. Tour?
GEOFF OGILVY: Favorite regular tournament would be Riviera or Pebble Beach probably. Pebble is pretty special. Riviera is pretty good of the regular ones. Of the major rotation, I mean, the U.S. Open rotations and the British Open really, Shinnecock, Oakmont, Pinehurst, St. Andrews.
GEOFF OGILVY: Winged Foot, yeah. The regular ones, Riviera and Pebble would be my favorite ones, too. And Kapalua, too, to be honest with you. Kapalua is an amazing achievement architecture wise considering the extremity of the land. I think it's a very enjoyable place to play, not only because I play it well. It could have been an absolute train wreck, that place, but it's turned out to be a really great place. Considering where it is, it's amazing. That one gets an honorable mention.

Q. I'm guessing you didn't think at the beginning of the year that you'd in this position Presidents Cup wise with injuries and everything that you've gone through. I wonder if you could talk about that and where you find yourself at this point and obviously the difficulty that Greg has got ahead with the potential for some Aussies not in the top 10.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I mean, I guess it's -- from my perspective it's frustrating because I was really happy with where my game was at say in January. Messed my finger up, hurt my shoulder later on in the year, had kind of a strange digestive sickness there for a while. So it didn't really go very well for me this year.
So I have dropped down to 10th, I think, starting this week. So I have to have a reasonable week, I think, to hold my position. And obviously there was probably periods this year where it looked like Australia could have qualified about five maybe automatically with Robert and Aaron and me. So to only have three in at the moment, it'll probably only end up three -- it could end up two or it could end up three. He may have to -- it makes it harder for him, I guess. If he had five Australians already in it, maybe he doesn't have any other Australians to pick. So it's been frustrating for me because it's the last year I would like to play poorly is the year that the Presidents Cup is being played in Australia.
And from Greg's perspective it's obviously making it difficult for him. His communication has been really good with -- well, at least with me and I think most of the other guys, and he's been right on top of it, and you get the feeling he's been watching pretty closely all year because he does seem to be very in touch with what we're doing over here. I'm sure he'll end up making the right choices.

Q. Does it mean any more because it's Royal Melbourne? I'm guessing that's one of your favorites, also. Could you talk about that, as well?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, obviously I grew up about 400 or 500 yards from Royal Melbourne probably, pretty close. I used to go and watch all the golf tournaments there, used to go jump the fence and pay no ticket and go and watch -- watched Tom Watson win the Australian Open there in 1984, Greg Norman won a few Australian Opens there. They had a big tournament called the Bicentennial Classic in 1998. It was probably the biggest golf tournament in the world in 1988. It was $500,000 first place in 1988, which was unheard of at that point, yeah. Nicklaus played, Freddie played, everyone, like Crenshaw was there. It was huge.
So Royal Melbourne is pretty special just because of that, my history there. And the fact that it's The Presidents Cup in Australia, yeah, it's definitely not one that I would like to miss. It would be a pretty amazing week. I'll probably be around there regardless -- whether or not I was in the tournament I'd be there anyway. I've got a house that actually backs onto the golf course at Royal Melbourne now, so I would like to play, yeah.

Q. What won the Bicentennial Classic?
GEOFF OGILVY: Rodger Davis beat Fred Couples in a playoff. Brett Ogle finished third.

Q. How do you remember this stuff?
GEOFF OGILVY: That was quite a vivid -- I have quite a vivid memory of that one. I have the tape of that one. I remember watching the video a few times. But everyone was there. It was probably one of the best fields Australia ever had. As I said, Nicklaus was there, Crenshaw was there, I remember Sluman being there, Freddie was there. Everyone was there. Greg, obviously. It was a great tournament. Yeah, Freddie had a one-shot lead or something and Roger had a late birdie or something, and they went into a playoff. Roger won it on the first playoff hole, and he was a legitimate top-10 player in the world, I think, Rodger Davis. Maybe not at that point, but he'd got to about that point in that period. So yeah, it was cool. 1988, I was 11.

Q. The par-3, 12th hole, I wondered if you could kind of take us from the tee shot to the green on that particular hole.
GEOFF OGILVY: That's all there is on a par-3, isn't there, a tee and a green? It's a downhill hole. I don't know exactly what it measures, but it's usually about a 220-yard shot but it'll play slightly shorter than that because it's downhill. Quite a long way, really. Kind of a crazy green; big bunker front right, big bunker front left. The green runs out on the right if you know what I mean, so when the pin is on the left, if you hit it pin high slightly right of the pin, you end up being over the green, so if the pin is left you really have to go straight at it, and if the pin is to the right you really have to be careful you don't go left and go in the bunkers.
It's a long, downhill par-3 that you've got to hit a really quality shot that you have to control because the ball hangs way out in the air because it's downhill and it gets windy around here sometimes. It's a hole you'd never be disappointed to make a 3.

Q. I'm doing a story with what's on the table right now. For you Presidents Cup would be sort of a subplot. This is the second year in a row we've come in here with six guys with two wins, no kind of dominant Player of the Year guy having emerged. I was wondering if you could talk about that and whether you think that's going to be the model we're going to see over the short term without any clear-cut flesh-eating monster atop the polls.
GEOFF OGILVY: Flesh-eating monster?

Q. Just making sure you're paying attention.
GEOFF OGILVY: I guess. I mean, this is how it was, wasn't it, pre-1997? This is kind of how it was from the '60s and '70s, it was Jack and Johnny and Weiskopf, I mean, they had their big years. But for the most part golf has been like this, hasn't it, ten guys win twice and the odd guy wins once? There's no obvious Tiger Woods out there at the moment except for Tiger Woods. If he works it out again, he might start being the dominant Player of the Year like he was before. If Rory plays like he looks like he can sometimes, he clearly looks like the best sometimes, but then DJ comes out and makes us look silly sometimes. Luke has done nothing but prove that he's No. 1 in the world for the last nine months. He's been very impressive really, hasn't he. Kuch continues to finish top 10 every time he tees it up. There's just a lot of good players.
It is hard to see a stand-out. It's hard to see another Tiger Woods, but before he came along you couldn't see that happen. No one even envisioned that happening, so I'm sure it'll happen again, but we might have a few years of spreading the wealth.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Geoff Ogilvy, thank you.

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