Date: December 05, 2010
Author: Steve Orme at The Lakes Golf Club, Sportal

Ogilvy claims maiden Open title

Geoff Ogilvy has held off an early challenge from playing partner Matt Jones to claim his maiden Australian Open title by four shots at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney. Having started the day with a five-shot lead over Jones, the 2006 US Open champion fired a solid three-under 69 in calm conditions to clinch the coveted Stonehaven Cup in emphatic fashion. Ogilvy&aposs 72-hole score of 19-under par equals Americans Jack Nicklaus and Mark Calcavecchia for the second-lowest total in Australian Open history behind South African legend Gary Player, who shot 24-under at Kooyonga in 1965. It is the world No.43&aposs second victory on Australian soil as a professional and second win of the season having clinched the season-opening PGA Tour event in Hawaii. Despite lapping the field, Ogilvy admits he was slightly below his best in the final round but expressed delight after winning the tournament he rates as the &aposjewel&apos of Australian golf. “Today was probably the day I struggled the most with my game,” Ogilvy conceded. “Today I was least comfortable. The ball just wasn&apost going quite where I wanted it to go.” “I haven&apost had to test my short game out the first few days but today I had to, especially on the front nine.” “I got up and down a few times and made all the putts I needed to make.” “My attitude was &aposthey have to come and get me, I don&apost have to do anything special&apos … it was never panic stations.” The 33-year-old saw his lead reduced to three shots at the turn and Sydney-born Jones increased the pressure when he drained a 12m birdie putt at the short par-four 13th to close within two shots. But the 2006 US Open champion showed nerves of steel to sink his own 1m birdie putt moments later to restore his three-shot cushion. The pair traded birdies at the dangerous par-five 14th before Jones failed to match Ogilvy&aposs par-saving putt at the 15th to hand the Victorian an unassailable lead with three holes to play. Bogeys at the 15th and 17th holes saw Jones settle for a 68 and a share of second spot alongside Victorian Alistair Presnell (67), who carded the equal low round of the day. Queensland&aposs John Senden (69), who stole the 2006 title from Ogilvy with birdies on the final two holes, and South Australian young-gun Jordan Sherratt (67) finished in a share of fourth at 12 under. Bronson La&aposCassie (69), American David Oh (69) and Greg Chalmers (71) finished a further stroke back, three clear of three players including first-round leader Matthew Griffin (73). Englishman Tom Lewis fired a closing 69 to finish at seven under and claim the prestigious Silver Medal as leading amateur, one clear of Tasmania&aposs Ryan McCarthy finished one shot back after signing for a 70. The shot of the day undoubtedly belonged to Queensland&aposs Andrew Dodt who made an ace on the 170m par-three 15th on the way to a one-under 71. Earlier, five-time Stonehaven Cup winner Greg Norman signed for a level-par 72 to finish in a share of 32nd spot at three under for the championship. Defending champion Adam Scott also failed to make a final-round charge, finishing his title defence with a one-under 71 alongside Norman at minus three overall.