Date: November 13, 2006
Author: David Meddows

Ogilvy eyes Australian Open

US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy far exceeded his expectations on the US PGA Tour this year and would like nothing better than to top it off by winning this week&aposs MFS Australian Open at Royal Sydney. Ogilvy became the first Australian in more than a decade to win a major when he withstood fierce challenges from Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomery to claim the US Open in June. That victory came just four months after he won the Match Play Championship in California, the two stunning wins far exceeding the goals he had set for himself at the beginning of the season. “The goal at the beginning of the year was to win a golf tournament and do well in the majors,” Ogilvy said. “I got the winning the golf tournament out of the way in about my fourth tournament which is a nice way to start – takes the pressure off for the rest of the year.” “I kind of lost the plot a bit between the US Masters and the US Open, then I played the US Open and obviously everyone knows what happened there,” he added. The Australian, who largely flew under the radar until this year, has noticed a shift in attention after his historic Winged Foot victory. Media in the US have started to pay attention to him and his thoughts are becoming more valued in golfing circles. “I don&apost know what they say when I&aposm not there, but they&aposre nice when they talk to my face,” he said. “They ask for me in the media centre before I play which never used to happen before and they seem to think what I say means more than it used to which is quite interesting.” “If you have a one-over there, they tend not to know who you are or pretend they don&apost know who you are.” With the US season now complete after the Tour Championship in Atlanta last weekend, Ogilvy&aposs focus now shifts to his homeland. The Victorian is desperate to add an Australian major to his growing list of accomplishments in golf, and he rates the Australian Open right up there with the best of them. “It&aposs pretty high up there. I mean after the majors it&aposs probably almost next,” he said. “There&aposs a lot more tournaments around the world that will do more for your career, but there&aposs something special about your own national open.” “It&aposd be nice. Hopefully one day, hopefully it doesn&apost take too long,” he said. “This is the biggest one we&aposve got.” “I&aposve always wanted to win the Australian Open. I don&apost want to win it any more (than before) this year. It&aposs more important that I&aposm actually back here playing, I think.” Ogilvy played in his first tournament at The Tour Championship in Atlanta last week after an extended break for the birth of his first child, but he is confident he is more than ready for the challenge at Royal Sydney. “Atlanta was a pretty good &aposget the cobwebs out&apos thing and I knew what to work on last week,” he said. “You play golf your whole life, you don&apost forget how to play, you just kind of lose your touch a little.” “A couple of the other guys who have played more golf tournaments recently might be a bit tired, I&aposm a bit fresher. I&aposm ready to play,” he added.