Geoff Ogilvy stared down the end of his US PGA Tour season and refused to buckle at the Wyndham Championship today.
Ogilvy, lying 125th on the points list – right on the cut-off point for those who will tee up in next week’s FedEx Cup playoffs opener – was even par through 11 holes at Greensboro and set to pack his bags.
But the Victorian is made of sterner stuff than that.
In stifling conditions, the 41-year-old stormed home with five birdies including four in succession from his 12th hole to sign for a four-under-par 66, one shot inside the -3 cut figure.
Indeed, Ogilvy could easily have birdied his closing seven holes, just missing putts of 14-feet at his 16th hole and then a 13-footer at his last.
“I was thinking to myself, this is my last tournament of the year unless I sank that putt on my 12th hole,” he said.
"I was playing well enough to make birdies, but then over the last seven holes I didn’t miss a beat.
“I got a great bounce on a cart path on five (his 14th hole) and (was left with a) wedge in. It might have been all right if it didn’t hit the cart path, but it definitely made it a lot easier.
“The thing is it is never nice to play OK and not play all four rounds.
“But the good thing was that I got that feeling the last few holes. It was an important cut to make and I get two more cracks at securing my place next week.”
Ogilvy, who last tasted PGA Tour success in capturing the 2014 Barracuda Championship, likened today’s effort akin to the closing few holes when in contention late on a Sunday.
“It’s different, nerves on Sunday and pressure on Friday,” he said.
“It’s also nice to hit good shots but the good thing I ’ve got two more cracks at it.
“There’s also an element to that for sure, without any question. The longer you do this and when you’ve played at the highest of situations, sometimes the regular situations aren’t enough to fire you up.
“If I’m playing OK, I find my best when there’s a bit of pressure on. When you’re playing poorly you go the other way. I was probably not into it enough maybe, not consciously (but) it just happens. You find yourself cruising along on cruise control.
“I always felt like I was going to play the weekend. It was a wake-up. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
“Friday on the cut line is a different feeling than Sunday afternoon but it’s just as difficult in some respects.
“It’s like doing an exam at school as opposed to public speaking.
“To miss the cut that would have been guaranteed not getting in next week and that would have been a disappointing plane ride home.
“If I can play the next 36 like the last seven it will probably be a good weekend.”
And Ogilvy’s goal has been helped as four of his five nearest FedEx Cup rivals missed the Wyndham Championship cut.
They include the 126th-ranked Cameron Tringale, 128th Ryan Palmer, 129th Billy Hurley 111 and the 130th-ranked J.T. Poston.
Sam Saunders, ranked 127th, also made the cut to be placed well up the board at nine under.
Ogilvy still needs to climb, with his current projection down to No.128. But two good rounds should take care of that.
Ryan Armour and Webb Simpson share the lead at 13 under, with Ogilvy one of five Aussies still hunting them down.
Cam Smith remains very handy at nine under after a 69, while Steve Bowditch played arguably his best round this year in shooting 66 to reach six under.
Stuart Appleby made it back-to-back 68s to join Ogilvy at four under, while fellow Victorian Aaron Baddeley (68) made the cut on the number at -3.