Ogilvy nearly won for the first time in three years before finishing second last week. (Franklin/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
DORAL, Fla. – Last week’s Honda Classic was the right course at the right time for Geoff Ogilvy.
“I knew I was hitting the ball well and I went in and I kept hitting the ball how I had been hitting it,” said Ogilvy, who finished second. “I took a lot out of the week.
“It was nice. It had been a while since I was deep on a Sunday in that sort of situation.”
Or even playing on a Sunday for that matter.
Ogilvy arrived at PGA National having missed his last four cuts. He was a combined 18-over par in those starts and up until last week had recorded just two sub-70 rounds in 2013.
Sure, Ogilvy tied for 11th at last year’s PGA Championship, but he was playing for second with Rory McIlroy having lapped the field.
“That's a little different from -- yeah, it had been a while,” said Ogilvy, whose last realistic chance at winning came at the 2011 BMW Championship, where he finished third.
Perhaps the Florida Swing is what will get Ogilvy in the swing.
Last week, he talked about how this stretch of tournaments has always served as a sort of unofficial start to the year.
The West Coast has a distinct feel and its quirks like poa annua greens. But the Florida Swing serves as a run-up to the year’s first major, which Ogilvy isn’t yet in. It’s a fact that’s been on his mind since the beginning of the season.
“It was on my mind a little bit more at the end of the West Coast as I was plummeting in the World Rankings rather fast,” Ogilvy said. “Nice to get back on the right side of the top 50 last week. Any of the next few weeks I could really lock it up with one good week again.”
Trump Doral is a good place to continue the momentum.
For one, there’s no cut. For another, Ogilvy has played well here before, winning in 2008 after finishing third the year before.
Then there was last week.
Only five players broke par in the final round at PGA National. Ogilvy was one of them, chipping in for birdie on the 16th to move within a shot and nearly holing his tee shot on the par-3 17th. He eventually finished two behind winner Michael Thompson after Thompson birdied the last.
The runner-up finish earned Ogilvy a spot in the field this week. It also moved him a step closer to returning to the Masters, which he hasn't missed since 2005.
“Even though I didn't win the golf tournament, I liked how I finished,” he said. “I was pleasantly surprised. Well, not surprised, but satisfied that I had not forgotten how to do it.”