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January 27, 2005

Joe Ogilvie


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Joe, for joining us and coming over here to PGA West to see us in person. We appreciate that.

JOE OGILVIE: No problem.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Great round today, great two rounds this week, 64-63. Let's hear about it.

JOE OGILVIE: I played really well yesterday, but it was an easier 64 than it was a 63 today. Yesterday it seemed like every club I had was a perfect club. Today it seemed like every club I had was an in-betweener. I've been working on my in-between shots, but I haven't been very good at them. Today it all kind of came together and I was able to hit it pretty close.

After the 6th hole -- I had chances to birdie 6 through 16. I think I either made a birdie or hit the cup on every birdie putt.

I played well, hit it close and made the right putts, which you have to do when you shoot 63.

Q. I think the stat was, this is your third best opening 36 holes in PGA TOUR history.

JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, they just told me that on The Golf Channel. I guess it's 17-under, so I guess it's not that surprising. I'm just surprised that I did it, I guess, more than anything else. But no, 63-64, I think that's probably my lowest. Maybe on the Nationwide Tour I did one better than that.

I played well, and I just feel very comfortable. I missed the cut in Hawaii, skipped last week, but I left Hawaii thinking, "I think this is going to be a pretty good year." I've never played the Hawaii golf courses very well, but they just seemed easier this year, so I think I'm swinging better. I think I've eliminated a couple different things in my golf swing, and this is the start of a good year.

Q. Are you surprised you did it, because this isn't necessarily a tournament you think fits you in terms of birdies, or are you surprised because you haven't seen it coming? Obviously you feel like you're pretty good with your game right now.

JOE OGILVIE: You just look at the history of golf (laughter). I don't think I'm going to be in any encyclopedias of golf. That's the main thing. I'm a very good putter, and I've kind of relied on my putting for the first five years I've been on Tour, and that's been my saving grace. If you look at my stats from last year, they weren't very great. I think I was 145th in greens in regulation and 145th in accuracy, so something had to be good, and I think that's my putting.

I think this year I've made some strides on hopefully my ball-striking, so it should be a little bit better.

Q. You ended your round today in style. Tell us about that.

JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, I came off a bogey on 17, and I hit a good drive on 18, and I hit a lot of fairways. I don't know how many fairways I hit, but I hit a lot of fairways today. I really didn't have any hard shots, but I had a 208 yards to the front, 218 to carry to the right side, I think I had 220 to the pin or something like that.

I was on the putting green before I had played, and there were two huge palm trees you have to go over or around to get to that pin, and I decided, I said, even if I have a 3-iron in my hand, or 4-iron, I'm going to hit the 5-wood just to make sure I hit it really, really high. That's what I did, and it came off pretty well. I hit a high, solid cut, which is not my forte, but I kind of, I guess, caught it on the right jerk. It landed 15 feet maybe, 20 feet, and a real quick putt and just kind of poured it in. It was certainly a great way to finish.

Q. Looking back at your quotes from last year after New Orleans, and I know that you said after the last round that you did kind of start thinking about the money toward the end, is this shot going to cost me this and all that. Obviously you played a good round, four birdies. It's not as if you blew up, by any means, and Vijay had this incredible round. What did you take away from that, and how much differently would you play with the lead here if you got to the weekend with it?

JOE OGILVIE: Well, when you have the lead here, it's kind of like a false lead, because literally you saw Duval's 59. Unless you're up by 13, which is almost impossible, no lead is safe here.

You know, New Orleans, English Turn, it's not a very difficult golf course, but it's a little more difficult -- well, it's a pretty easy golf course here. We're not going to play there anymore so I can say that (laughter).

So I kind of felt no lead is safe, either, especially when you have Phil playing well. Vijay just came out of nowhere type of thing. But on this golf course, I think I played well there. I felt very comfortable playing with Phil and Charles Howell the last day. And this is my sixth year on Tour, so I know all the guys. If I continue to play well, I'll know everybody I'm going to play with the last day, and I'll feel comfortable. I'll know I'll have to make a ton of birdies, but I'll feel comfortable.

Q. On TV you talked about talking to Phil in the scorer's tent afterwards and that he had told you that you might have thought about going for 15 in two; is that right?


Q. Can you go through what he said to you?

JOE OGILVIE: After we signed our score cards and we were sitting there, we kind of took a breather, and he goes -- he felt comfortable because we get along very, very well. I'm actually playing with Phil at the AT & T, and he just said, let me, if I may say, it's your first time you're trying to win and everything, I really thought you made a mistake on 15 when you didn't hit the driver and you didn't go for it in two. If you go for it in two, make it, birdie, now it's your tournament. And Vijay has got -- Vijay would have tied me anyway, but he made that point, and I appreciated it.

That's one thing that when you do lose something -- when you do lose a tournament or someone beats you, you've got to go back and figure out, okay, what did I do wrong, what did I do right, and would I have changed anything. Even after Phil said that, I'm not sure I would have changed it. I'm a pretty good wedge player and a pretty good putter. I thought I was playing the percentages. I don't see anyone going eagle birdie par birdie very often when they're three down. I don't know, I might do the same thing again. I guess I'm stubborn.

Q. I think that's kind of interesting, too, in a guy like Phil Mickelson, as accomplished as he is, that's all he does. He only thinks about winning, where a guy like you, the position you were in last year, I mean, you're right there trying to get your first win. You're in a completely different mental state I would think than he is.

JOE OGILVIE: I would agree with that, and to a certain -- as much as I hate to admit it, there's a part of you that's like, okay, let's just secure your job for next year and then we'll go from there. Until you get that first win, you don't have that insurance policy. But I'm not as worried as I used to be about that. I mean, I think I'm a good enough player that I think from a mental aspect, I think I've changed. I'm not just trying to keep my card anymore.

So from that mentality, that's a good place to be in.

Q. You mentioned they bring you to the Golf Channel, you've got the second best 36 holes, and depending on what happens, you're two or three strokes ahead, so it's kind of a weird tournament situation psychologically in the sense that there are so many birdies here. How do you approach that? If you set a record at The Masters after the second round, it would be a little different than it is here, obviously.

JOE OGILVIE: Yeah, I couldn't tell you who's got the lowest, but there's not a whole lot of people who remember who was leading after the second round, that I know of, unless maybe the golf writers here will remember who was leading after the second round last year. But other than that, no one really cares about who was leading after the second round. So from that standpoint, it's a different deal.

I think you just approach it that you've got to make a ton of birdies. I came here thinking I've got to make 40 birdies to have a chance to win, which is totally crazy over five rounds. It's eight birdies a day. I think I've gotten 19 so far, if you count the three eagles as two birdies.

That's the mentality, just to go as low as possible. The greens are perfect, the courses are perfect, the fairways are perfect, everything is perfect, the weather. It's a place that you can go low, and hopefully it can continue.

Q. You talked about your confidence level being higher, more confidence in yourself. Is that a result of last year having a pretty good year? Was it a result of getting close? Anything you can pinpoint to that change?

JOE OGILVIE: I've made a couple swing changes here and there just to tighten things up. I don't know, it's kind of weird, but ever since I've had my first kid, I've felt better. Golf has gotten a little more in perspective or what it is. And then we just had baby number two three weeks ago. So it just kind of puts everything in perspective, that golf isn't the end all be all, and we're not all curing cancer here, which is weird, but you can get on the course and get so much involved in it that you think it's a -- it's been interesting. I mean, ever since I've become a father, I guess, I've felt more comfortable in my skin, out here especially. I don't worry as much about what I do on the golf course.

I'm intense on the golf course and I still probably have a little bit too big of a temper, but other than that, I kind of leave it on the golf course now. And I used to take it home with me and it used to kind.

Of metastasize.

Q. Given the 64-63, Purdy was talking earlier about he shot 68 today and he was kind of frustrated because he saw he was dropping on the leaderboard, even though he shot a decent 68. Is this a tournament where you have to pace yourself or you have to think to yourself whether there's going to be that round somewhere along the line?

JOE OGILVIE: I think you do. You've got to understand, you're comparing apples to oranges to a certain extent, because I've played PGA West and Bermuda Dunes. You can make an argument that Bermuda Dunes is maybe the easiest course, maybe Tamarisk, six of one, half a dozen of the other. LaQuinta, which Ted played today, is probably the most difficult to score on. I think most people would say that.

PGA West, depending on what day you are, we've got by far the most rough here. It's pretty hairy stuff out there. If you keep it in the fairway, you can certainly score, but if you hit it going sideways, this is going to be a tough course.

It's really tough to compare. We don't even have the cut yet. We don't have the cut until Saturday, so it's a weird tournament to try to figure out what's going on, because if a guy played Bermuda Dunes and Tamarisk the first two days, chances are he's got a leg up on the rest of the field. I've played PGA West and Bermuda Dunes. I think if I was handicapping, I'd say I've got one of the most difficult courses ahead of me.

There's always a handicap nature.

Mickelson shot 64 today at LaQuinta. I mean, that's -- I'd say technically he's probably leading. Score-wise I am, but technically I'd say he's leading. That's Duke math (laughter).

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Could you go through your birdies and eagles real quick? You started on 1.

JOE OGILVIE: No. 1, birdie, that was a great putt. I made a 15-footer, bad drive, bad second shot, decent third shot, made it up with a putt.

Then 2, I lipped out for birdie.

3, I lipped out for birdie.

5, I lipped out for birdie.

6, I made birdie from -- I think I made birdie on 6. I made it from about 12 feet.

7, I had a vicious lip-out, the par 3.

8, I knocked it a foot and a half for birdie.

9, I knocked it to a foot, made birdie.

10, I knocked it to a foot, made birdie.

11, I knocked it to 18 feet, made that birdie.

12, I left it dead in the jar short.

13, I made birdie, hit it to about four feet, chipped it to about four feet.

15, I lipped it out. 14 and 15 I lipped out.

16, birdie, I knocked it to about two and a half feet.

17, I hit a bad chip, made bogey.

Then 18, I made about a five-footer. So four or five dead in the jar. I'm putting well.

Q. Would you sit here and say then this 63 could have been --

JOE OGILVIE: Not really because the first hole I hit really terrible shots and I was lucky to make a birdie. Who knows, if I parred that hole, it's a pretty easy par 5 that might change the whole deal.

Once I started on -- one I birdied No. 6, I was kind of off to the races. 7, there's no way if it doesn't go in, it doesn't go in.

Then 8, 9, 10, they were kick-ins, so I really felt some momentum there. I'm hitting good putts, and the greens are perfect. As long as I can keep doing that, it should be good.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Joe.

End of FastScripts.

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