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March 17, 2005

Joe Ogilvie


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Joe, for joining us for a few minutes and waiting outside for a minute. Why don't we begin also with some questions.

Q. Joe, you're having a pretty good year, and I know that you didn't play -- you only played 17 holes of the first round, but talk about the way you've played this year: Eighth on the Money List, you've won over a million already, and it seems the only thing that's kept you from kicking one in is that 75 round. You had a playoff last week, what's clicking right now?

JOE OGILVIE: I'm just feeling very comfortable. This is going to sound weird but I'm just playing -- I just seem to be playing golf very well. Sometimes I could be hitting it very, very well, ball is not going in the hole, short-side myself on a key hole, make par when I should have made a birdie. Make little mental mistakes that add two or three shots to the round, and that's the difference between finishing sometimes second and 14th or 15th.

So I'm just doing -- I'm putting myself in the right positions I think, and when I hit a poor shot, it's not killing me. I'm not making a double-bogey; I'm making a bogey or I'm saving a par, when normally it's a bogey or a double-bogey or something like that.

So I think from that standpoint, I'm just playing golf well. I'm not doing anything crazy, I'm putting extremely well, my caddie is a fantastic reader of the greens, and I'd say he deserves a lot of the credit.

Q. Did you stick around here the whole time or did you leave or just watch basketball? What all did you do to kill six hours?

JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, we watched basketball. That came on at noon. We watched a little bit of the steroid thing, heard the Congressional hearing on steroids. Kind of shocked that I didn't get accused of using it -- no, that's about it. That's all we did. We did the same old thing that we do every -- we probably eight way too many Goldfish, just the same thing everybody else does when they are delayed.

Q. What were the conditions like out there and what do you expect over the next couple of days?

JOE OGILVIE: Well, the conditions, obviously, they are wet, but they were, you know, outside of the rain and outside of the wet conditions, they were very, very scorable, I thought. The course is in good shape. The greens are very -- this is my first Bay Hill, and I always heard the greens were extremely firm. They are a little bit softer from what I understand from years past; we are able to hold the greens pretty well.

Conditions are somewhat scorable, but if you get it in the rough with it being wet, I always think if you've got two-inch rough and it's wet, the rough is really difficult. Here you've got five- or six-inch rough, and being wet, I'm not strong enough to advance it more than 100, 120 yards. So from that respect, it's playing difficult if you're hitting it sideways.

Q. Are you playing -- I know you enjoy some success this year, do you feel like you're playing the best golf you've ever played, is it much different than how you were playing before?

JOE OGILVIE: Well, I think I've hit it better in years past but I don't think I've thought as well and played as smart and as -- I haven't been as comfortable as I am right now. And that's what -- everybody out here is a very good player, obviously. God knows there's 100 players probably better than I am, but you have certain times where you're thinking better, you're not thinking well, you have confidence, you don't have confidence. And right now, obviously, I have confidence and I'm putting myself in the right positions and I'm not doing anything too stupid. I've been known to do a lot of stupid things and right now; those thankfully aren't happening as much as in years past.

Q. Why do you think you have been thinking better on the course, and is there something that you've kind of latched onto, some sort of thought or key in? And secondly, I'm just wondering, how much your expectations of yourself have changed maybe in the past year with all of the chances you've given yourself to win.

JOE OGILVIE: I think -- I talked to a sports psychologist for the first time last year, a guy named David Cook, and he really -- I told David I thought, "Well, I've always thought I was a pretty smart guy, but I've played really unintelligently on the golf course."

You know, he kind of came up with this thing, "You ought to try to challenge yourself to be the most -- the best strategist on TOUR to really think your way around the golf course, pin is left, hit it right side of the fairway to have the angle, that type of thing." I don't do it every time but I think I've become better and better at that. You know, that's the first question.

The second question is in regulation last week on the 18th hole, I had a 4-iron, there's some wind into us, tied for the lead. Yet before, I would be thinking, let's figure out a way to make par; that way, you know, I'm going to finish second guaranteed. I remember over the ball I thought for the first time, I thought this is pretty cool, I've got a 4-iron, I've got a really tough shot and I'm thinking let's get it really, really close to have a chance to win.

I think from a certain standpoint maybe that's -- I don't know if that was the tipping point of possibly me being a changed player but at the same time at least I know I'm thinking differently. I'm not thinking in worst-case scenarios now. I'm thinking in possible best-case scenarios. I don't expect to win every week, I don't expect to be in the position to win every week. I think there's four guys on TOUR that can say that, Tiger, Phil, Ernie and Vijay. They are gifted more than anyone else. You can put Davis and Retief in there kind of half-and-half I think. But those guys are just on a different level.

I think guys like me we are going to have four- to six-week runs where we feel very, very good and we feel very confident and my goal is to just try to extend those runs as long as possible, whether it be -- may have been four weeks in the past many. I'm hoping now I've gotten better and it's going to be eight- or nine-week runs. Just to kind of smooth out the waves, I guess, and I feel like I'm getting better at that.

Q. Last year in New Orleans you played well in the final round and Vijay passed you. Last week you play well, you put a number up there that would have won unless Vijay and Padraig had not broke the course record. Do you temper any disappointment with the fact that you played well enough to win and somebody else played better; that it was nothing bad that you did? Do you put it in that kind of perspective?

JOE OGILVIE: I don't know. You guys have interviewed a lot of guys. What did Mickelson say last four years before he won Augusta? I mean, I don't know. It's one of those things where -- I mean, Justin played well to beat me at Bay Hill and I played poorly -- or sorry, Bob Hope. Bob Hope, and I played poorly the last day.

But, I mean, I don't know. I almost felt better after Bob Hope because I played poorly, finished second, Justin played well, beat me by three. I don't know, you know, when someone else shoots 63 and beats you, you many you feel like -- you've played well enough to win but you didn't win.

I don't know, I think a win is a win and a second is a second. But you learn different things from every victory and those two, Padraig and Vijay, shot 63 and 64 to beat me but at the same time, I wasn't leading. To a certain extent, I came from behind to get to 14-under to tie them. Very Jay beat me in New Orleans I had a four-shot lead with five to play. I played even par and Vijay played 5-under.

So he came from behind to beat me. So, I guess the biggest thing I take away is that there's a lot of ways to finish second. There's a lot of ways to win.

Q. But you aren't getting beaten in these situations by someone who is 136th on the Money List; Vijay, Padraig and Justin Leonard.

JOE OGILVIE: That's true. That's true.

Q. When you're in that holding pattern, are you relaxed or do you kind of get that nervous thing going or do you want to get right out and play?

JOE OGILVIE: I think when you're playing well you want to play. You don't want to be 4-under or 3-under and then quit and then not know when you're going to play again. I'm not getting nervous or anything like that, it's just kind of like, let's go play. I think everybody's like that. Everybody wanted to go play.

Q. Give us your opinion on appearance fees, the topic has been bandied about the last couple of week. One prevailing thought is the rich will get richer and it will benefit a few of the top guys and maybe cut into the purses and that kind of thing. What is your opinion on that is and is there a prevailing mood about it just among say the rank-and-file over there in the locker room, whether it's good, bad, otherwise?

JOE OGILVIE: Well, this TOUR was fundamentally based on no appearance fees. So I think the majority of the guys would say they are against them.

But, you know, it's one of those things where it's going to be dealt with. I think it's got blown out of proportion and to a certain extent; it will probably go away. I really think that. I don't think there's a whole lot -- I don't think there's a antibiotic future in appearance fees on the PGA TOUR and rightly.

So I think our fan base is a pretty sophisticated fan base, and part of why we are who we are is because we don't have a guaranteed contract when we play. I mean, Tiger might make zero dollars this week. Probably won't make zero dollars with Nike but he will make zero dollars if he doesn't play well and make the cut, as well as Joe Ogilvie, as well as whoever plays. I think that's a pretty -- I think that's gospel on the PGA TOUR. You know, if you get away from that, the public is going to look -- the public is going to frown upon that and the fans drive the sport.

And you can't pay Tiger enough money to play in a PGA TOUR event. It doesn't matter from his standpoint.

Q. Do you think the guys buy some of the reasoning, say, IMG, that these aren't appearance fees?

JOE OGILVIE: It's IMG's job to go out and get their clients' money. If I'm in IMG, I'd try to do the same thing. But, you know, it is what it is. I understand with a they are saying and if they did it, whatever, in October, if they did a Pro-Am for MasterCard in October and they said, well, you know, you could look favorably to play in the MasterCard, but doesn't say you're going to sign up and play in the MasterCard.

I don't know. What Ford did was interesting, but at the same time, I don't think it would have changed anything if those four guys wouldn't have played. I mean, Vijay was going to play anyway, I think Sergio was going to play anyway. But I don't think the story would have been rewritten if those four didn't play because the story was so good with Tiger and Phil playing the last group and they weren't a part of it.

So, you know, I think it will go away.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Joe.

End of FastScripts.

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