GEOFF OGILVY has such a sublime, silky smooth swing we wondered as we followed him around Royal Sydney for much of the opening rounds of the 2016 Australian Open why he doesn’t usually score better.
The answer was there for all to see on Saturday in the third round. When his putts drop any score is possible.
Ogilvy reckoned his putts were falling in, instead of lipping out, not just for the first time in a couple of days, but in a couple of years.
The result was an 8-under 64 that saw him go into the final round at 11-under with a two stroke lead over Aaron Baddeley (67), Jordan Spieth (68) and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox (71).
Ogilvy, who won the Stonehaven Cup at The Lakes in 2010, wouldn’t mind, he said, getting his name on the trophy again and join such esteemed multiple winners as Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.
“And it’s the Australian Open,” he told his after round media conference.
“It’s our fifth biggest tournament I would say, in the world after the Majors. The further separated, I think, you get from it, and the more you look back, the more important the Australian Open is. So it’s fun to come back and play. It really does feel like a big tournament for most of us, I think.”
The 2006 US Open winner reached No.3 in the world at his peak but has suffered some lean times since.
“It’s been a frustrating period, not through lack of effort,” he said. “Probably it’s been more effort that’s made it harder, you know what I mean? Golf is such a fine line, you try harder and it usually doesn’t work, but then you play worse, so you try harder again.”
He will be joined in the final pairing by another double winner in Baddeley, who had spoken earlier in the tournament very positively about his rejuvenated career.
2014 Champion Spieth is also lurking on a crowded leaderboard, as is 2009 winner Adam Scott (71) who is tied sixth at 7-under.