Geoff Ogilvy slams World Golf concept
BY iseekgolf.com | US PGA Tour | 2006 Accenture Match Play Championship | Round Three | 25 Feb 2006
Q: Geoff Ogilvy, thank you for joining us. Congratulations on a great comeback win. 21 holes over Mike Weir, maybe some opening comments. A long day for you but certainly happy to get to the quarter finals.
Geoff Ogilvy: 21 holes is how many you’re supposed to play around here, right? I got away with one big time. Walking up 15 I wasn’t very happy with the way it all sat. He hit a poor shot into 15 in the bunker and let me get away with a win there. And 16 I hit a great shot and made birdie. He plugged it in the front bunker, got a little unlucky on 7 and plugged it in the front bunker.
And I had three best shots of the day, I hit a putt, and still got it from 30 feet. I hit the best shot all day, the next best shot I hit all day on 21, hit it to four feet and eagle. I definitely got away with it there.
Q: Tell us honestly, had you basically given up on 15?
Geoff Ogilvy: I hadn’t given up, I didn’t think I had any chance. Can I say that? I didn’t think I had any chance, but I didn’t give up. Against Mike Weir, you don’t think honestly I thought even if I birdied the last four holes I’m not going to do it. Because he’s going to have a birdie on 15 – 15 and 18 are pretty birdieable holes. The way he’d been playing, he birdied 10, 11 and 13. And basically birdied 12. I mean he was playing pretty well at that point. You were there. He was playing pretty well.
I didn’t expect to be coming up 18. Once I got to 17, that 2 putt, I two and two is realistic to think about, and four of course is not. But win a couple of holes, I thought if I can get to 18 I’ve got every chance because I can go for the green and he can’t. And that’s the way it worked, it worked out all right.
Q: How many lives have you had this week?
Geoff Ogilvy: Yesterday I never felt like I was I was up for a lot of the back nine and I felt like I was probably outplaying him a little bit and he was hanging on, you know what I mean? I definitely snuck away with Campbell, as well, winning 18 and 19. And today, yeah, I don’t know. The extra holes have been good for me. I don’t remember the last time I went extra holes in match play, and now I’ve gone three days in a row.
I have to try finishing it earlier tomorrow, which I thought I achieved actually; I thought I’d finish it this early today, get a shot off 15 and we’d be done. It didn’t work.
Q: So how in the world do you explain the sequence of events like that?
Geoff Ogilvy: I mean, if you believe in momentum, I guess. Momentum doesn’t really matter that much in stroke play. It’s you against the whole field. It’s you against the golf course. But momentum in match play, it’s amazing what it can make people do. You can be playing bad all day and have the other guy kind of let you in a little bit and all of a sudden you start hitting good golf shots, which is kind of what happened to me. I started well, played bad in the middle, and then 15 on I didn’t hit a bad shot, which you never would have picked that you saw it, you never would have picked that after that point. I hadn’t even hit a good shot before that point. I hit a lot of bad shots before that point.
But, I don’t know, you get a bit because the other guy doing something bad can give you confidence, even though you didn’t do anything well, you know what I mean? You win a hole, you think I must have done something well. I don’t know, I can’t explain it. It happens in match play, once a guy starts winning holes you keep winning holes.
Q: What happened to Weir? He made a bunch of birdies and all of a sudden
Geoff Ogilvy: He started out I started out playing quite nicely and he started out hitting it all over the place the first three or four holes, and I thought this guy is not playing like he normally does. He hit a nice shot on 6 and made a birdie and he started every single shot was down the pin, middle of the fairway.
The one he on 9, he missed the green, and it looked like it was going in until it didn’t go in.
10, he made birdie; it was a gimme on 10 and on 11.
12, he hit it straight over the flag.
13, he hit it to this (indicating), he was playing fantastic. We both hit it left, not in the water, but in the rough, which is so easy to do on the hole and he so actually I let him get away with one. He was going to make bogey the whole way, and I was in a better position than he was, and I made a bogey, and I was pretty despondent walking to the 15th tee.
He hit a bad shot on 15, bad shot on 16. Nice shot on 17, it was short, and got unlucky to play in the bunker.
I don’t know, I can’t explain it. In a stroke play tournament he probably finishes, maybe birdies the last hole, maybe something better. Match play does something funny to you.
Q: He was really a wedge shot on 15 from winning the match if he hits the green, right?
Geoff Ogilvy: He makes birdie 30 percent of the time from 110 yards in. 30 percent of the time I’m going to make birdie and lose, anyway. I never thought he was going to make bogey. Hit a bad wedge shot, not bad one, but 25 feet. It was hard to get it back to that pin; if you fly it back there, it seems to go over the green; if you don’t, it sucks back.
But I hit a great putt. I guess me hitting a good putt and making him make a good putt and he didn’t make the putt, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. He probably wouldn’t be able to explain it to you at the moment.
Q: When did you sense he was getting a little tight, maybe?
Geoff Ogilvy: I never he never looked like he was getting tight until I don’t know if he got tight or not, but I sensed I had a chance. When he buried it, and we could see it in the face of the bunker on 17, when I saw that, I was pretty I thought I’ve got a chance to I knew if I could get it to 18 I had a chance. But I don’t know if you get it’s funny, he didn’t look tired. He still hit some nice shots and stuff, but just didn’t have that he still had a good putt. He had an eight footer on 15 to win the match.
Tough putts around here. The back of that green, it’s not easy, he probably had a good putt, just didn’t go in.
17, he had a 12 footer, but again, they’re not easy.
18, he probably had a 10 or 12 footer, all three times to win the match. He looked like he was pretty happy with the putts; just the greens this time of the day can roll any way you want.
Q: Was your technique in the playoff to get it to No. 3 so you could use your length?
Geoff Ogilvy: Not really, I just wanted to hit good golf shots, really. Yeah, I mean, obviously 3 is an advantage for me over him. But he’s one of the best players in the world, so he’s probably going to make birdie, anyway. So I never really thought about making it to 3. I thought if I could hit he was quite a long way back, and he had to hit a 3 wood and he hit a poor one down the right to the rough. So I thought if I could hit it on the green, that makes him have to get it up and down. It’s always quite hard to get up and down if you actually have to. Definitely an advantage on a par 5, I think.
Q: How hard is it not to walk around with a crazy smile on your face until you tee it up tomorrow morning?
Geoff Ogilvy: I shouldn’t have won today, probably. I mean, I don’t know.
Q: Do you believe in momentum carrying over to another day or is it
Geoff Ogilvy: Probably. The guy I played yesterday the guy I play tomorrow won, so both guys have momentum on their side, you know what I mean? I don’t know, I mean David Howell is it David Howell I’m playing?
Geoff Ogilvy: He’s playing well the last six months. He obviously beat Phil today.
Q: Are you looking forward to getting one of these done in regulation?
Geoff Ogilvy: Yeah, it would be nice. Today I was perfectly happy to get extra holes. That was the best thing I ever saw, that 19th tee. Yeah, it would be nice to just 4 & 3, walk off after 15 holes or something. But any win is a good win. It doesn’t really worry me.
Q: With all the Australians this week, you were the longest shot to go this far; wouldn’t you say?
Geoff Ogilvy: I don’t know. I don’t think so, but if I think that I wouldn’t have gotten this far, probably, I don’t know. I think with the exception of probably the super top five or six in the world who tend to not have a very good record in this tournament. Everyone in this field is very good. If they’re all 36 hole matches, I think you’d see that they’d fit the seedings closer to what they are. 18 holes, doesn’t take much for a couple of things to go wrong. Better player on the day can lose in 18 holes. Weirsie was probably the better player for the 19 holes, really, but that’s the way it goes.
Q: How do you like the whole World Golf Championship series, and do you think these events have accomplished what they were set up to do, put the best players in the world in different spots around the world?
Geoff Ogilvy: I don’t have anything good to say about it. No, to be honest with you.
Q: They’re good events for you, though. You get World Ranking points, you get big purses. It’s good to be part of the top 60 or so?
Geoff Ogilvy: They’re great events when you’re in them but I thought the idea at first was World Golf Championships, I mean that suggests they’re going to be played everywhere, and they tend to not be played in very many places. Greg’s concept was just as good. The concept is fantastic. It’s not that dissimilar to The Masters Series in tennis. They play, what’s that, five or six different big deals outside of Grand Slams that are just massive money, just the top 12 or 16 or 20 players. It’s a great deal.
I think golf needs to have bigger fields than that, obviously. I think some of these fields end up a bit strange. I think they could be 100 people wouldn’t be I think you can have better golf tournaments, when you have 100 people in it than 50. And 20 of those have got in a bit of a funny way, you know? This is probably the fairest field, you know, the 64, knowing exactly what you’ve got to do, the top 64 players in the world.
It would be actually better if you had 128, 64 or 65 to 128, they’re good players, too. Maybe they haven’t played very well the last couple of months or maybe had to play too many tournaments.
Q: Is it hard to take when you’re outside the bubble, and outside looking in on these events?
Geoff Ogilvy: Yeah, it’s annoying. Last year I fell from inside the top 50 to 51st before the American Express, which is pretty annoying. And then I happened to fall 27th to 31st before The TOUR Championship. That is not one of these events, but it’s the same concept.
Yeah, it’s nice to be in them. And it’s not a ridiculous advantage I don’t think over the rest of the Tour, because they’re playing Tucson this week. You have to play to make $100,000 here you have to play pretty well. To make $100,000 in Tucson you have to play pretty well. You can come and lose in the first round and make a lot of money, which is probably it’s a bit harder not it’s weird, you shouldn’t be able to come and play I’m not going to pick on Stephen Ames, ten holes and walk away with a lot of money. It’s kind of weird, isn’t it? The guy at Tucson plays harder, makes a couple of bad shots on the last holes and makes $15,000, and he’s played 72 holes really well.
The concept is great. I just wish that try to take them around the world, at least. It’s hard, but it would be nice, especially for the Australians and stuff. When they took this down there, it felt like them trying to make it not work, you know what I mean? It really could work on the right golf course. We’ve got some good golf courses. The American Express seems to work in the UK, when it goes over there. When it moved around a lot I think it would be nice. It doesn’t even have to be every one. But it would be nice.
Q: It’s probably tough to find sponsors.
Geoff Ogilvy: You can cover it. The Olympics gets prime time TV over here and that’s not live. You can have prime time TV over here; you can play anywhere, people are still going to watch. Tiger and Phil are playing, people are going to watch. The TV market is where the sponsors get their money, not the people that come in the gate. I don’t know, it’s not a winnable thing. It’s just the way it is. Just when more than half the people are international players, and they’re always playing here. It is most of the money is here. So maybe my theory is completely nonplausible, but it would be nice.
Q: You’re hoping people will still watch with Phil and Tiger both out?
Geoff Ogilvy: It’s interesting. It’s the nature of this format, though, it’s going to happen.
Q: Do you have any experience against Howell?
Geoff Ogilvy: I haven’t played I’ve only played about four guys in match play, and three of them the last three days. Actually three, because Cambo, I played him twice in match play. I’ve played with him a few times, but not for a while, not since he’s been playing as well as he has. When I played in Europe for a couple of years, he was a really good player, he was one of the guys who was going to be a decent player, but he wasn’t there yet.
And the last 12 months or two years, what is he, 14th in the world or 15th in the world? Pretty impressive. He’s already way on top of the Money List in Europe already. I don’t know, I haven’t played with him for a while.
Q: Geoff, thanks.
Source – WGC
Photo – Anthony Powter