Date: January 05, 2007

Ogilvy predicts Aussie success

Sportal Geoff Ogilvy has predicted there will be more success for Australian golfers on the PGA Tour in 2007 as the season kicks off with the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii. Following a successful 2006 which saw six Australians claim eight Tour titles, the 2006 US PGA champion said there was a steely resolve among the Australian group to press for higher honours. “It&aposs going to help, actually, with a bunch of Australians sneaking up to the top 30 or 40 in the world,” Ogilvy told “Adam (Scott) is already fourth in the word, but Stuart (Appleby) (it) wouldn&apost be surprising if he ends the year top five or six. There&aposs a few other guys who could be right up there by the end of the year.” Australia now has 24 players playing on the PGA Tour, second only to the US, with South Africa (nine) and Sweden (eight) the next closest. Ogilvy admits seeing his countrymen succeed spurs him on to match, and possible better, their efforts. “You&aposre happy if an Australian wins. If Adam wins a tournament, you&aposre pumped for him, but you&aposre like, oohh, I have to win another one to catch up. It&aposs good, it&aposs a healthy rivalry,” he said. “I think that&aposs part of the reason we play so well, one guy wins and you want to win more.” The overseas success of Australia&aposs golfers is finally being recognised back home with bigger crowds and renewed interest among fans in local tournaments, recognition Ogilvy believes is well overdue. “For the longest time, every time we had an Australian Open with great fields, the press would write the whole time about how bad the field was, it wasn&apost that bad, it just didn&apost have any foreigners in it ” Ogilvy said. “The last couple of years, we&aposve won six or seven times a year and come away with some majors and big events, Adam and Stuart winning big events.” “They are finally acknowledging that we have some decent players, and we don&apost need a whole bunch of these international guys to have a good field.” “It helps and adds flavor to it, but it doesn&apost mean the field is lacking because an Australian is in it. It actually makes it strong. It&aposs a positive over here (in the US) and a negative in Australia.”