Geoff Ogilvy of Australia almost lost a six shot lead during the final round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship before regaining his composure and closing out victory in the first PGA Tour event of 2009 by six shots from Anthony Kim.
Ogilvy began the final round six clear of his nearest pursuer but four bogeys in the first eight holes saw that advantage trimmed to just one. The slip was enough to kick the Australian into action.
"It's an uncomfortable feeling to know you're six shots out in front and you're almost back to tied." Ogilvy said. "I got to the green and saw I had a one-shot lead 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.'"
On the par-5 ninth Ogilvy fired a majestic 3-iron from 223 yards that settled on the green 20 feet from the cup. He rolled in the eagle putt and never looked back. Having gone out in 32, Anthony Kim just couldn't keep up on the back nine as Ogilvy made four straight birdies from the 12th.
"I knew he was just teasing me for a little while there, and he was going to make some birdies," Kim said. "Unfortunately, I couldn't." The young American did, however, finish in some style. He blasted a 3-wood approach to the final green that ended just inches from the cup for a tap-in eagle. He finished in a tie for second with Davis Love III.
It was a fifth PGA TOUR victory for Ogilvy, adding to his U.S. Open title of 2006 and a pair of World Golf Championships. He finished at 24 under par, earned $1.12 million and moved up to No. 6 in the world.
Mercedes-Benz Championship Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii Jan 8-11, purse $5,600,000, par 73
1 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 67 68 65 68 268 $1,120,000 T2 Anthony Kim (USA) 71 68 68 67 274 $523,500 T2 Davis Love III (USA) 69 70 68 67 274 $523,500 4 Sean O’Hair (USA) 69 70 71 65 275 $312,000 5 Justin Leonard (USA) 74 67 65 70 276 $261,000 T6 Ernie Els (RSA) 68 69 73 67 277 $189,250 T6 Zach Johnson (USA) 71 75 64 67 277 $189,250 T6 Kenny Perry (USA) 68 71 68 70 277 $189,250 T6 D.J Trahan (USA) 70 66 70 71 277 $189,250 10 Johnson Wagner (USA) 68 71 70 69 278 $162,500
Note: players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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