Ogilvy manages to finish what he started at PGA opener
Geoff Ogilvy finished the final round the way he started yesterday, six shots clear of a winners-only field at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
It was the part in the middle he could have done without.
Ogilvy was on the verge of an unseemly collapse, his six-shot lead down to one as he stood in the ninth fairway, when he drilled his approach onto the green and holed a 20-foot eagle putt to steady his nerves and send him on his way to victory in Kapalua, Hawaii.
With four straight birdies on the back nine to restore the margin, he sailed home to a 5-under-par 68. Anthony Kim nearly made double eagle on the last hole for a 67 to tie for second with Davis Love, who also had a 67.
It was the fifth PGA Tour victory for Ogilvy, adding to his US Open title in 2006 and a pair of World Golf Championships. He finished at 24-under 268, earned $1.12 million, and moved up to No. 6 in the world.
"When Geoff plays well, it never looks like he's going to hit a bad shot," Adam Scott said.
But there were a few too many on the front nine, which was no walk on the beach.
Ogilvy had made only one bogey in the first three rounds, but doubled that count after this first two holes yesterday. With the course soft from overnight rain that lasted into the morning, Ogilvy missed the fairway to the right on the opening hole and couldn't reach the green, missing an 18-foot par putt. He found a bunker with his tee shot on the second hole, blasted out to about 6 feet and missed that putt.
Just like that, his lead was down to three shots over Kim, who birdied two of the opening three holes.
And even after Ogilvy appeared to steady himself with an up-and-down birdie on the par-5 fifth, followed by another good pitch to 5 feet for birdie on the sixth, he was grinding.
He hit the wrong club on the seventh, came up short and took bogey. Then he missed his target some 20 yards to the right on the par-3 eighth and took another bogey.
"I've never had a six-shot lead before. It's a pretty uncomfortable feeling, to be honest with you," Ogilvy said. "I got to the green and saw I had a one-shot lead - I figured it was mostly gone - and it felt like a normal tournament again. I just told myself, 'It's a great spot to be after 63 holes, get on with it.' "
After watching Kim made another birdie to go out in 32, Ogilvy hit 3-iron to the front of the green and rolled in the eagle putt. That put his lead back to three, and he didn't come close to dropping another shot the rest of the round.
European - Anders Hansen birdied the final hole to finish at 15-under 269 and beat Andrew McLardy by one stroke at the Joburg Open in Johannesburg.