Ogilvy evades the spotlight

2006-08-16 12:11

Medinah - Geoff Ogilvy is the reigning US Open champion yet he knows the spotlight will be on his playing partners when the PGA Championship tees off on Thursday.

That's what happens when you're grouped with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

When the curtain rises on the "Tiger and Phil Show," Ogilvy will be a mere bit player at the last major of the year.

"Tiger's crowds and Phil's crowds, both of those guys more than anyone else tend to bring out non-golf fans," Ogilvy said. "Most of us, if we've got fans, they're generally golf fans and they know how to watch a tournament."

PGA tradition matches the three major winners, so British Open champion Woods and Masters champ Mickelson are going head-to-head for the first time at a major in five years. One of the subplots is their relationship, although they've repeatedly brushed aside the notion they don't get along.

And then there's Ogilvy, who has a chance to prove he's more than a one-major wonder.

"When I sit down at Christmas, I've had a good year and I've won a major," Ogilvy said. "I can sit down when I'm 50 now, and I've won a major. Hopefully, I'll have won 10 by then."

Though few might remember his first because of the drama that unfolded after he saved par on the final two holes at Winged Foot.

Minutes before Mickelson famously collapsed with a double bogey on the last hole, Ogilvy saved par with a tricky up-and-down from in front of the green. He overcame a bad break when his drive found a fairway divot.

On the previous hole, he chipped-in from the rough to save another crucial par.

Then he stood and watched on television in the scoring tent as Mickelson's tee shot on No. 18 sailed wide left, through trees, and settled near a hospitality tent. Rather than go for the fairway, Mickelson took aim at the green and hit a tree. The ball advanced just 25 yards and Mickelson double-bogeyed the hole to make a Ogilvy a winner.

The Australian celebrated before taking a month off. He tied for 16th at the British Open and 60th at the Buick Open.

On Tuesday, half of the 14 questions he answered had something to do with Woods and Mickelson.

He was asked about the interest in the relationship between Woods and Mickelson.

He was asked about possibly winning Player of the Year, even though Woods and Mickelson are capturing most of the attention.

He was also asked about Woods' strategy at the British Open, when he basically put his driver in mothballs. Ogilvy said no one else could have won that way.

Someone asked why other golfers struggle when matched with Woods.

"Most of us out here have all seen pretty much everyone play golf, and it's ho-hum, a bit of a yawn, he hits okay," Ogilvy said. "But when you play with Tiger, he is enjoyable to watch... You do find yourself watching him playing, thinking this is pretty impressive. All of a sudden, you're on the sixth hole and haven't really paid attention to what you're doing."

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