Australian PGA Championship

FOR a delighted Geoff Ogilvy the witch is dead.
The 2006 US Open winner and current highest ranked Australian golfer can no longer be badgered with questions about when he will win a major Australian golf tournament.
Ogilvy expressed his utter relief after claiming his maiden win on home soil with a two-shot victory in the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship on Sunday.
The 31-year-old overcame a slow start on his way to a three-under 69 in steamy conditions to see off playing partner Mathew Goggin in a tense back-nine showdown.
“It feels pretty good,” Ogilvy beamed after claiming the Joe Kirkwood Cup.
“Obviously it’s a pretty good week for me it’s been a long time coming in Australia it feels like.”
“I came back playing well – I mean I’ve hardly played in the last two or three months – but I played in China and I played really well about three weeks ago so I knew I was playing quite well and felt really good about it all week.”
Asked what significance his breakthrough win in Australia holds in the context of his career, the world No.14 said: “It’s a pretty nice trophy there’s some pretty solid names on this one.”
“It’s obviously one of our most historic trophies it’s being going since 1929 this trophy and the tournament’s been going longer than that (1905).”
“So it’s nice and I don’t have to answer any more questions next week.”
Ogilvy’s bogey-free final round capped an impressive weekend that included a single blemish at the 16th hole on Saturday.
“I even missed a few putts really and still felt confident and solid out there, I knew I was going to make birdies because I was playing well enough,” he said.
Ogilvy said he was unfazed by his slow start on Sunday having rattled off seven consecutive pars to trail Goggin by three shots.
“I guess I’ve played in enough last groups where I haven’t won golf tournaments and you go back and look at it and very, very often they don’t go out and birdie the first three or four holes,” he said.
“They just chip away and chip away and very rarely do guys run away on a Sunday so I wasn’t really too concerned about it.”
He made up for his stuttering start on the back nine and it was ultimately a crisp nine iron from 129m on 16 that sealed the win for the Victorian.
“It was a perfect number … you play golf all the time and very rarely you’ve got a perfect distance, it’s always (a case of) you’ve got to take a tiny bit off it or you’ve got to hit it a little bit more,” Ogilvy said.
“Normally it doesn’t matter because the pin’s in the middle of the green and you just hit it normal and it goes a couple (of metres) past or a couple short, but that green in particular it’s really nice to be happy with the club you’ve got in your hand and as soon as I got the number I was just happy with it.”
“I felt like it was the right time to go for it, I knew it was going to get over bunker, it was aggressive but I knew it’s only a nine iron so you’re supposed to hit those ones close.”
A crowd of 14, 900 watched an action packed day that saw Goggin start the final round with a one shot lead from Ogilvy and last week’s Sportsbet Australian Masters champion Rod Pampling. Goggin took that lead to three strokes nearing the turn but back-to-back bogeys at the 9th and 10th holes opened the door for Ogilvy and the Tasmanian had to settle for a 72 and 12-under.
Two time champion 49 year old Peter Senior came to within a stroke of the lead late in his round but a bogey at the last saw him finish with a 69 and level with Scott Strange (69) and Rod Pampling (72), who had also been a shot back earlier in the day.
Western Australian Brett Rumford and Queenslanders Wayne Perske and John Senden, the 2006 Australian Open champion, all signed for 68’s, rounding out the top 10 with Wade Ormsby (69) and Chris Gaunt (71) on minus 10.

One clear of Ogilvy and Pampling at the start of the day, Goggin grabbed birdies at the 4th, 5th and 8th holes to move to 15-under and a three-shot lead, the last of them coming just moments after Ogilvy had made his first birdie to stay in touch.
But the momentum swung when Goggin carded successive bogeys at the 9th and 10th as Ogilvy birdied the 12th to bring things back level.

Disaster struck for Goggin when his tee shot at the 15th pulled left and ended up in the water, resulting in a bogey. Soon after Ogilvy went two clear when he birdied 16 and, while Goggin stayed alive coming to the 72nd hole after a birdie at 17, Ogilvy’s solid par was enough for the win as Goggin made another bogey looking for the birdie he needed to force a playoff.
Peter O’Malley was another who had been within one shot of the lead on the back nine but stumbled home to a 73 and tied for 11th place on nine-under with Paul Sheehan and South African Tim Clark, who both carded 69s.
Victorian Peter Wilson capped a solid week with a 71 for a share of 14th place on minus eight with Kiwi Tim Wilkinson (73), who dropped four shots in his final 10 holes, and Michael Brennan (69) and Jarrod Lyle (75) were equal 16th on seven-under.

The Australasian Tour now travels to Royal Sydney GC for the final Order of Merit event for 2008, the Australian Open starting Thursday.

Round 2

A COURSE record-equalling 63 from Victorian Jarrod Lyle has him tied for the lead with Tasmanian Mathew Goggin on the second afternoon of the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship at Coolum.
With the course at their mercy in the morning thanks to benign conditions and greens softened by Thursday’s thunderstorms and subsequent overnight rain, Lyle and Goggin (68) capitalised to share top spot on a packed leaderboard at nine-under.
Only one stroke back in outright third place though is equal round-one leader Paul Sheehan, who followed the six-under 66 that he completed on Friday morning with a 70 to stay in contention.
Wayne Perske carded a 66 to move within two shots of the lead along with Sportsbet Masters champion Rod Pampling, two-time winner Peter Senior, Michael Curtain and David Lutterus, who all added 67s, and Peter Wilson (69) who had led at eight-under.
And Sheehan’s fellow round-one leader Tim Wilkinson was also at minus eight late in his front nine before dropping back to seven-under and level with 2006 Australian Open champion John Senden, who is also still on the course.
Nathan Green had a mixed round that featured the shot of the tournament so far, a hole in one at the par-three 11th, as well as three bogeys, as he moved to minus six and level with Matthew Ballard, who also shot 68.
Another handful of players share 14th place on five under, including American Paul Goydos (67), Peter O’Malley (67) and Michael Long (72), as well as Kiwi Richard Lee and 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, who has regained two earlier dropped shots.
While Lyle, Goggin and co. were out in the best conditions of the day, the wind has strengthened in the afternoon and more thunderstorms are expected later in the day.
One-over when the suspension of play came on Thursday after he had just birdied the 12th, two-time 2008 Nationwide Tour winner Lyle picked up another shot at 15 after resuming at 5:30am (AEST) to sign for an even-par 72.
Having given no indication of what was to come, Lyle then picked up successive birdies at 12 and 13 and 16 and 17 to kick-start his charge, before picking up further shots at the 2nd and then four in a row from the 5th to go close to breaking the course record.
“It’s been kind of weird my golf game, I’ve been playing good but just not scoring and just not taking advantage of the easy holes,” said Lyle. “I sat down with Dad last night over dinner and pretty much had an argument with him about everything that I’m doing.”
“Something kind of snapped in me and today was just one of those days that I hit it really good. I hit it just as good as yesterday but holed some putts and got some momentum going.”
Goggin didn’t start his day as well as Lyle, dropping an early shot at the 12th before recovering with a birdie at 16, but he bogeyed 16 playing it again several hours later before a much better front nine that included an eagle and three birdies got him going.
“I didn’t do much through the really still part of the day … but it’s a tricky little golf course and now with the wind up in the afternoon nine under will probably be around about at the end of the day,” Goggin said.
“Yeah it felt alright. I putted well yesterday for nine holes and then came out this morning and wasn’t feeling it at all but then felt a little bit better towards the last four or five holes.”
After players were forced off the course just after 3pm (AEST) on Thursday, half the field returned at 5:30am on Friday morning to finish the first round, with Sheehan joining Wilkinson at the top.

Round 1

The opening round of the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship will be completed on Friday morning after lightning strikes at Coolum forced play to be suspended on Thursday with Tim Wilkinson and Peter Wilson leading.
Wilkinson had already completed a six-under 66 to set the clubhouse pace while Wilson had dropped back to that score to share the lead after earlier being at minus eight thanks largely to a front-nine he negotiated in just 29 strokes.
Half of the 156-man field was still on the course when thunderstorms rolled in just after 3pm (AEST) and officials made the decision at 4:45pm to resume play at 5:30am on Friday, with round-two tee times set to be pushed back by an hour and a half.
Wilson had largely defied winds that had continued to strengthen throughout the day, sizzling around the front nine with birdies at every hole except the 2nd and 8th as he looked set to threaten the course record of 63.
But after adding another birdie at the 12th a double bogey at the 13th halted his charge and he had just parred the 14th when the suspension came, leaving him level with 30-year-old New Zealander Wilkinson.
2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and Wilkinson’s compatriot Richard Lee both shot 67 and have since been joined at minus five by two-time champion Peter Senior, who has played 11 holes so far.
Fresh from his first season on the US PGA Tour, which included more than $US 1 million ($AU 1,555,845) in prizemoney and three top-five finishes, Wilkinson went out in 31 after starting at the first tee and was seven-under at one point.
Wilkinson grabbed birdies at the first two holes, went to the turn with three more in a row and picked up further shots at the 12th and 14th to open up a two-shot lead, but his sole blemish for the day halved his lead at that point.
Lee had a flawless round that included five birdies while Ogilvy collected an eagle and three birdies through his first 10 holes, and conceded he could have gone even lower as he came home with eight pars.
One shot further back thanks to a 68 is Victorian Peter Nolan, and Tasmanian Mathew Goggin is also four-under at the turn, while Brett Rumford, 2006 Australian Open winner John Senden, Steve Collins, Martin Dive and Mahal Pearce all signed for 69s.
Defending champion Peter Lonard and Queenslander Steven Bowditch both shot 70, along with one of Ogilvy’s playing partners, Michael Sim, while Sportsbet Masters winner Rod Pampling and Robert Allenby are also at minus two.
The third member of group 16, American John Daly, slumped to two-over on the back nine with a double bogey and another bogey but recovered with five birdies in his last 13 holes to shoot 71 and share 18th with Craig Parry and Anthony Summers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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