First, Geoff Ogilvy. Now, Lucas Glover. The Hyundai Tournament of Champions has lost one of its marquee players for the second straight year due to a freak aquatic accident.
Glover sprained a ligament in his right knee over the weekend while paddleboarding in Hawaii. Glover, who won the Wells Fargo Championship last May, had to withdraw from Thursday's pro-am and told the Associated Press he was 50-50 at teeing it up on Friday in the first round of the PGA TOUR’s season opener.
Glover is an experienced paddleboarder. He said his foot caught on the board as he took a tumble and his body opted to go in a different direction. The disconnect had heavy consequences to the knee.
A year ago, Ogilvy, the two-time defending champion at Kapalua, sliced his finger on a coral reef prior to the start of the tournament. He had to withdraw and eventually missed the first month of the season.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Geoff Ogilvy completed an International sweep of the first four matches when he beat Bill Haas 2 up.
The point moved the International Team within three points of the U.S. at 16-13 -- but needing to win the five remaining matches to win the Presidents Cup. The Internationals led in only one of those and another was all square.
Haas actually picked up the first win of the match when he parred the fourth hole. But Ogilvy birdied the next to square the affair and then went 1 up with a par at No. 8.
Haas, who didn't make a birdie until the 17th hole, evened the match briefly when he parred No. 11. But Ogilvy, who grew up in a house adjacent to Royal Melbourne, responded with another birdie at the next and hung tough until Haas bogeyed No. 18 for the final margin.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- Geoff Ogilvy can envision a golf world in which the long putter is the primary club of choice when PGA TOUR pros reach the green.
"When metal woods came along, people thought they were a bit weird," Ogilvy said Wednesday. "You look back now and it's silly that you would ever use a wood ... with the option to use metal.
"I think it's feasible if the rules stay the way they are that everybody uses one at some point. But that might take a while. We'll see."
And if it does? Ogilvy -- who calls himself the "ultimate romantic" in regards to golf traditions -- said he would be disappointed about that kind of equipment evolution.
"It's another step away from the game that's been played for 300 years," he said.
Yet Ogilvy isn't so much of a traditionalist that he wouldn't at least try out a belly putter. In fact, he already has, but he didn't like the feel of it.
"I'm not ready to make the adjustment when I don't think I have too much of an issue with my putting," Ogilvy said. "Maybe when my hands start getting the involuntary shakes, I'll try something else."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LEMONT, Ill. -- Geoff Ogilvy can't remember ever having fewer putts during the first three rounds of any tournament.
The 75 he's used, equally parsed out over the first three days of the BMW Championship, have put the Aussie in a tie for first in that key statistical category. Ogilvy also owns first in Strokes Gained-Putting at 8.636 and the distance of putts made.
"I haven't really holed any bombs, I've just been missing a lot of greens just off the edge and been chipping pretty well and my bunker play has been pretty good," Ogilvy said. "So holing everything inside ten feet really, which whenever you look at when guys are doing well in a tournament, that's what they're doing."
Ogilvy has played so well this week at Cog Hill, which is not normally one of his favorite courses, that he'll start the final round tied for third with Bill Haas, five strokes off the lead held by Justin Rose. He's also projected inside the top 30 at No. 26, a jump of 43 spots, and could be headed to Atlanta for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola with another good round on Sunday.
Ogilvy's Presidents Cup hopes appear in good shape, as well. He started the week as the International Team's bubble boy at No. 10 with the automatic qualifiers determined on Sunday after the BMW Championship is over.
Now John Senden, who is alone in second, four strokes behind Rose, could conceivably move into the top 10 with a win. But that doesn't mean he'd necessarily bump Ogilvy out given the International Team's dependence on the Official World Golf Ranking.
"I'm trying not to think about anything other than just play good golf, but it creeps into your mind every now and then," Ogilvy said. "The Presidents Cup is a pretty big deal. I would love to play Atlanta. It's much more fun to play Atlanta than not play there, so I need to have a third on its own or maybe a two way tie for third to get into Atlanta. After three rounds I'm in reasonable shape.
“If I have a good round tomorrow, I'll get both goals achieved."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LEMONT, Ill. -- Geoff Ogilvy was pretty darn pleased to be 5 under at the midway point of the BMW Championship. And as for the play of Mark Wilson and Justin Rose, who are leading at 11 under? Well, let's just say the Aussie is impressed.
"It's underappreciated how well they're playing," said Ogilvy, who shot 68 on Friday. "… It's not an easy course. I'm pretty happy with the score I've shot so far. Five under, I think if I did that two more times I don't think I'd be too far away at the end. Happy with the progress so far, but got to keep playing well."
Ogilvy needs to be very close come Sunday, too, for two very important reasons. The Aussie, who had to birdie the 72nd hole at TPC Boston just to make the field for the BMW Championship, now likely needs to finish third or better to advance. He knows it’s a tall task
"It's cliché, but we're all just trying to play as well as we can every week," Ogilvy said. "I guess there's situations you might not take as much on sometimes, but really, when you have to finish third is almost like winning, you know what I mean? You've got to play well enough to finish third. I'm just trying to play as well as I can and make as many putts as I can, and hopefully it's good enough."
Ogilvy also holds the final qualifying spot for the International Team for the Presidents Cup. So he needs to finish strong to maintain that spot on Sunday when the 10 automatic qualifiers become final.
Adding to the sense of urgency? His countryman Robert Allenby, who ranks 14th, is one stroke ahead of Ogilvy at the midway point of the BMW Championship.
"(The Presidents Cup is) probably more important to me than the TOUR Championship, no offense to the TOUR Championship," Ogilvy admitted. "... Hopefully I can have a decent week and hold my spot or even move up a little bit to really solidify my place on the team, and that's something we all look forward to every couple of years, and especially the fact that it's in Australia, I think it's an extra special one for the Australians.
"It's definitely something I'm not planning on missing."