Date: August 21, 2017
Author: Bernie McGuire, North Carolina

Double joy for Ogilvy

“Mission accomplished!”

So declared Geoff Ogilvy today after securing the double comfort of a 2018 US PGA Tour card and qualifying for Thursday’s start to the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs.

Not since he first went to Q-school nearly 19 years ago has Ogilvy endured the pressure in which he found himself this week at the Wyndham Championship.

But after one of his hottest front nines in years, the Victorian breathed easy after vaulting from the bubble of qualification at No.125 all the way up to No.116 after a T16 finish in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The 2006 US Open champ accepted the challenge with a no-frills first-day 70 but then made everyone take notice with 66s on day two and day three, after having been projected following the second round to end his season ranked No.132.

Then, as if to put an exclamation mark on his goal, Ogilvy cut a final-round swathe through the field with an outward six-under-par 29, highlighted by holing a 85m wedge for an eagle at the par-four eighth hole.

Ogilvy had earlier birdied the first, fifth and sixth holes, then also birdied the ninth.

There was some uncertainty during Ogilvy’s inward half when he sandwiched a 15th hole birdie between double-bogeys at the 11th and 17th holes.

But there was almost instant assurance as he walked from the course when a PGA Tour official confirmed Ogilvy had risen sufficiently through the ranks after his closing 67.

“This is mission accomplished, meaning the mission I set out with this week has been accomplished,” Ogivly said.

“It was a mission I had from the at the start of the season up until standing here late on Sunday at the Wyndham.

“Now I have a good opportunity next week and get myself to the second FedEx Cup playoff event in Boston which is a course I have played well at in the past.

“After that, who knows? I am clearly playing quite well and if I can play like this next week and have a similar week and a similar sort of finish then I might qualify myself for Boston.

“So mission accomplished, but now the mission changes.”

Given the circumstances, Ogilvy said he had not enjoyed a finer opening nine holes since turning pro in July 1998.

“My opening seven holes were the best seven holes (especially) in the situation I was in, whether it was winning a tournament or not winning a tournament,” he said.

“I don’t know where that came from, but it came from somewhere.

“For whatever reason, I always play better in situations like this week when I absolutely have to.

“I think it's also why match play has always suited me because if you are playing the first hole and your opponent hits it close, you know you have to hit it closer.

“You have no choice and I felt it was a situation clearly on Friday either you want to do this and hold on to your card or go home.  There was just no option but to play well.

“Look, if I wasn't on the 125, I probably would have turned the front nine into a low-60s round, it felt like I was playing that well.

“But there's a level of tension and stress in your body that's on a different level when you're in that position.

“I haven't felt that since Q-School. To be fair, when I did Q-School here I had nothing to lose because I already had my card in Europe. I loved playing in Europe. I was just coming over here just to see, this is going to be a better deal if I can play here but, if not, I won't, I'll play in Europe. It wasn't a job or no job situation. I already had a job. It was just somewhere else.”

And helping encourage Ogilvy in this quest were dozens of text and email messages.

“I have had tons of messages and clearly it has been a story on Golf Channel with the guys like myself who were around the bubble,” he said.

“I am sure Twitter has been exploding so I have plenty of messages, and without singling out any particular message it is just nice to know people do care.

“It is nice to know that people want the best for you.”