By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LEMONT, Ill. -- Geoff Ogilvy needed a birdie putt on the 72nd hole at the Deutsche Bank Championship in order to survive and play another week in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Now he needs another good week at the BMW Championship -- but the reasons are two-fold. Not only does Ogilvy want to advance to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where the FedExCup will be decided, he wants dearly to qualify for the International Team for the Presidents Cup.
Ogilvy, who is bidding to play in the biennial competition for the third straight year, came to Cog Hill ranked 10th in the Presidents Cup standings and must maintain that spot on Sunday evening in order to automatically qualify to play for Greg Norman. Norman will complete his team with two picks on Sept. 27 after the TOUR Championship is over.
"From my perspective it's frustrating because I was really happy with where my game was at say in January," Ogilvy said. "Messed my finger up, hurt my shoulder later on in the year, had kind of a strange digestive sickness there for a while. So it didn't really go very well for me this year. ... So I have to have a reasonable week, I think, to hold my position."
If the team were finalized right now, Ogilvy would be one of three Australians on the team. Vijay Singh, who has played on eight Presidents Cup teams, is on the outside looking in at No. 13, as is last year's British Open champ, Louis Oosthuizen (No. 11) and Australians Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby (Nos. 14 and 15, respectively.)
So Norman clearly faces a difficult choice.
"It's been frustrating for me because it's the last year I would like to play poorly is the year that the Presidents Cup is being played in Australia," Ogilvy said. "And from Greg's perspective it's obviously making it difficult for him. ... You get the feeling he's been watching pretty closely all year because he does seem to be very in touch with what we're doing over here. I'm sure he'll end up making the right choices."
Ogilvy's desire is heightened by the fact that the Presidents Cup is being played this November at Royal Melbourne, which is located about 400 or 500 yards from where he grew up. He remembers jumping the fence and sneaking in to watch Tom Watson win the Australian Open there in 1984. He also attended the Australian Bicentennial Open, which was played on the famed Sandbelt course four years later.
"It was probably the biggest golf tournament in the world in
1988," recalled Ogilvy, who now owns a home adjacent to Royal
Melbourne. " It was $500,000 first place in 1988, which was unheard
of at that point, yeah. Nicklaus played, Freddie played, everyone,
like Crenshaw was there. It was huge.
"So Royal Melbourne is pretty special just because of that, my history there. And the fact that it's The Presidents Cup in Australia, yeah, it's definitely not one that I would like to miss. It would be a pretty amazing week. I'll probably be around there regardless whether or not I was in the tournament I'd be there anyway. ... So I would like to play, yeah."