Ogilvy, Scott back in swing for Open
Thursday December 3, 2009
GREG Norman aside, as he's 54 and very much a part-time golfer these days, Australia's two highest-profile players are Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott. They are the poster boys for the $1.5 million Australian Open.A couple of years or so ago, the pair were swapping the world No. 3 ranking every other week, albeit a couple of holes behind Tigers Woods and a hole adrift of Phil Mickelson. Then they slipped marginally.Ogilvy put things right with a couple of wins early this year on the PGA Tour, and found himself back in the No. 3 spot, but Scott's slippery dip through 2009 continued to the point where he became totally embarrassed with his golf.Ogilvy, with those two early wins €” in the season-opening Mercedes Championship for 2008 winners only and the WGC Matchplay title €” was entitled to believe 2009 would be a vintage year, one for the scrapbook. It didn't quite work that way.Candidly, he described his play after the US Open in mid-June as rubbish. He got down on himself but says: "I continued to stroke my ego, if you like, as opposed to cutting myself down in my own head [but] your confidence just slowly disappears when you tell yourself you're hopeless."And Scott? Well, his year is well catalogued. A succession of missed cuts, the final shame of which were his rounds of 82-79 in the US PGA championship at Hazeltine in August.Enter the Shark in his role as captain of the Internationals in the Presidents Cup, with Scott plucked from the wilderness as a captain's choice. And, it was the cup series against the Americans that jolted Ogilvy into action again.Working backwards, Ogilvy's last three starts in not insignificant events were tied fourth in the Dubai World Championship, tied 32nd in the Australian Masters and tied 10th in the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai.Scott's last three tournaments since the Presidents Cup have been tied third in the Singapore Open, tied sixth in the Masters and tied seventh in Dubai.Should he give Norman a sling from his winnings for showing faith in him for the Presidents Cup?"I don't think he's struggling for a little bit of cash. If he needs it, then I'll see what I can do," Scott replied, jokingly, to a less than serious question. But, he does thank Norman for his vote of confidence in selecting him, a decision which was ridiculed in many quarters. "As soon as you walk on the first tee of the Presidents Cup, you're in an atmosphere that I hadn't been in for probably eight months. So, you know, that sparked me up absolutely," Scott said.Ogilvy says: "My turn-around probably was at the Presidents Cup . . . lightbulbs didn't go off but there were a couple of things which clicked into my head that made me feel better. When you start playing badly, you don't want to play next week and you get tired. I don't want to sound cheesy but golf is enjoyable when you're playing like you know you can play."Neither Scott nor Ogilvy has played a tournament at the NSW Golf Club layout. Both agree it is a stunning course that is so open to the forces of nature. A southerly blew again yesterday, far gentler than the previous two days, and the forecast is for a wind switch to a north-easter tomorrow.Ogilvy gave an example of just how that would affect club selection. On the 403-metre par-four 16th, he hit driver, two iron yesterday into the southerly. Tomorrow, if the wind reverses, it will be two iron, eight iron €” "It's not ideal to have a practice round three days in a row in one direction . . . and then flip around," he said.The reigning Australian PGA champion, Ogilvy has not won his national Open, nor has Scott. Indeed, the latter is yet to win on home soil, a glaring omission in his CV, which includes six PGA Tour victories and eight international wins.Obviously, both would love to lay their hands on the Stonehaven Cup come Sunday afternoon.