Here’s a quick question for you?
Who’s the Australian player to own a house that backs onto Royal Melbourne and venue later this for the Presidents Cup?
He’s also the only Australian regularly competing anywhere in the world today to have won a Major Championship.
While Ireland, Northern Ireland and South Africa have shared many of Major Championship trophies in recent years, it’s been five years since Geoff Ogilvy emerged from the Winged Foot carnage to capture the 2006 U.S. Open.
Along with a Major Championship Ogilvy’s also captured some of the biggest events in golf including three WGC events, the 2006 WGC – Accenture Match-Play Championship, 2008 WGC – CA Championship and 2009 WGC – Accenture Match-Play Championship.
As well, Ogilvy has twice tasted success in two Tournament of Champion events in Hawaii, in 2009 and 2010.
However his best finish in nearly 40 PGA Tour events since his 2010 Hawaiian triumph was a second place finish in last year’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston, the second of four FedEx Playoff series events.
But with a handful of days remaining before Greg Norman names his 12-man International Team squad, Ogivly is in the shaky position of holding down the 10th and last automatic qualifying place into Royal Melbourne’s second staging of the biennial Presidents Cup.
“From my perspective it’s been frustrating because I was really happy with where my game was at say in January,” Ogilvy remarked on the eve of the BMW Championship in Chicago.
“I messed my finger up, hurt my shoulder later on in the year and then I picked up a kind of a strange digestive sickness there for a while.
“So it didn’t really go very well for me this year.”
Ogilvy’s best result this year was a superb fourth and tied with Scott at the Masters, as well a similar fourth place finish in the Canadian Open.
But of the 19 PGA Tour events Ogilvy contested prior to heading to the Windy City in mid-September, he had missed the cut in six events and withdrawn from the Players Championship after shooting a first day 75.
It’s not the sort of form International Presidents Cup captain, Greg Norman is looking for as he seeks to win the trophy for only a second time since Norman was a member of Peter Thomson’s side that won in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.
“With the way I have been playing and from Greg’s perspective it’s obviously making it difficult for him,” Ogilvy admitted.
“His communication has been really good with me and I think most of the other guys, and he’s been right on top of it, and 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 teed-up in Chicago in 10th position on the automatic qualifying points table and what Norman doesn’t need ahead of making known his two ‘captain’s picks’ is another Australian dropping outside the top-10 qualifiers.
Norman has already lost Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby, who’ve slipped to 14th and 15th respectively while Stuart Appleby, who’s been a stalwart in the Presidents Cup for past years, is well out of any selection contention and in 34th place.
As at September 15th, only Day and Scott were really assured of selection given their lofty one and two spots on the qualifying points table.
However there’s no doubting Ogilvy’s desire to be a member of Norman’s side, and to compete on a golf course he knows virtually like the back of his hand.
“I grew up about 400 or 500 yards from Royal Melbourne so that’s pretty close,” he said
“I used to go and watch all the golf tournaments there. I used to go jump the fence and not pay for a ticket and watch the golf.
“I watched Tom Watson win the Australian Open at Royal Melbourne in 1984 and I saw Greg Norman won a few Australian Opens there.
“They had a big tournament called the Bicentennial Classic at Royal Melbourne in 1998, and it was probably the biggest golf tournament in the world in 1988.
“There was a $500,000 first place in 1988, which was unheard of at that point. Nicklaus played, Freddie played, everyone, like Crenshaw was there. It was huge.
“So Royal Melbourne is pretty special just because of the history it enjoys.
“And the fact that the Presidents Cup is again being held in Australia it’s definitely not one that I would like to miss.
“It’s going to be a pretty amazing week.
“And even if I don’t qualify or get picked, I’ll probably still be around there regardless, and whether or not I was in the tournament.
“I’ve got a house that actually backs onto the golf course at Royal Melbourne now, so I would like to play, yeah.”