Date: July 17, 2008

Ogilvy hits out at Open critics

Australia&aposs top-ranked golfer Geoff Ogilvy has taken a swipe at those downplaying the value of a British Open crown won in the absence of Tiger Woods. Woods is recuperating from knee surgery and will miss the tournament at Royal Birkdale. However, the superstar American – or at least his absence – has dominated talk in the lead up to the year&aposs penultimate major. A cutting Ogilvy told reporters that he hoped the trophy engraver was able to signify the 2008 Open was won in the absence of Woods. “I just hope they&aposve taught the engraver had to put an asterisk on the trophy so then we&aposll know what the tournament is all about,” the world No.3 said. “I don&apost want to win this any more now just because he (Woods) is not there.” “He&aposs obviously the best golfer in the world, maybe the best golfer ever – very hard to beat – but I don&apost think the British Open is going to be easy to win.” Ogilvy heads an 18-strong Australian charge gunning to secure a first British Open for the country since Ian Baker-Finch won at Birkdale in 1991. Five-time Open winner Peter Thomson went back to back at Birkdale in 1964-65 and Ogilvy is well placed to break the drought of sorts. “That would be nice. Thommo seem to work it out at links golf course, he did well everywhere he went for a while,” he said. “Finchy won here, so it would be nice to extend the streak, well it&aposs not really a streak is it because we&aposve had one since Thommo, but it&aposd be nice.” Ogilvy has spent the weeks leading into the Open working on his links game. He played on at least half a dozen courses in the rich links area and feels ready to tee up alongside Oliver Wilson and Davis Love III. “You hear the stories that it is quite narrow, it&aposs quite long. The rough is fairly healthy, not silly healthy but just because it has rained a lot this year it is a very green Birkdale,” Ogilvy said. “It seems very long but in your practice round you always tend to play right at the back of every tee. I am quite sure that we&aposre not going to play at the back of every tee when we play out there.”