Geoff Ogilvy Comes Out Firing in Maui

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2009

Against the back drop of pure paradise, Geoff Ogilvy walked the hills of the Plantation Course, shot -11 for 36 holes, and sent the PGA Tour a message that he is back and better than ever.


Prior to the start of the 2008 season, Geoff Ogilvy welcomed his second child to the world and, understandably, put golf on the back-burner for a while which resulted in a slow start to the 2008 season.


Ogilvy’s game began to come together in early March and he finished in the top-25 in eight out of his next ten tournaments, including a win at the WGC-CA Championship and a 9th place finish at the US Open.


Following the 2008 US Open, Ogilvy took a month off, during which time he admittedly did not play much golf. 


Ogilvy’s month away from the game during the middle of the season might not have been the best decision for a player right in the middle of a hot streak.


Ogilvy never really recovered from his month-long hiatus.  He missed the cut at the British Open, which was his first tournament back, and didn’t finish inside the top-25 at any event for the rest of the season.


Ogilvy has won two World Golf Championship events as well as the 2006 US Open, which is now better known for Mickelson’s improbable meltdown than for Ogilvy’s victory.


After his win at the 2008 WGC-CA Championship and his 9th place finish at the US Open, Ogilvy moved up to No. 3 in the World Golf Rankings.


But, a month away from the game, followed by poor play upon his return, saw Ogilvy drop eight places in the World Golf Rankings.  


Ogilvy is entering the 2009 season as the 11th ranked player in the world and has been largely overlooked due to the massive amount of hype surrounding young-guns Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas, and Sergio Garcia.


However, at 31 years old, Ogilvy is also fairly young, and has one very important achievement on his resume that players such as Kim, Villegas and Garcia currently do not—a major championship. 


After a dismal finish to the 2008 season, Ogilvy has clearly prepared for a fast start to the 2009 season. 


Ogilvy is the 36-hole leader at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the PGA Tour season’s opening event, and has played as close as one can possible expect to come to flawless golf.


Ogilvy is hitting 91.67 percent of greens in regulation and has made just one bogey in 36 holes, which came after a mammoth 415 yard drive on the 17th hole of his second round. 


Many unknowing golf fans and analysts wrote Ogilvy off as a fluke who had the 2006 US Open fall into his lap due to Colin Montgomery and Phil Mickelson both melting down on the 72nd hole. 


But the fact of the matter is that Ogilvy has been one of the best players in the world for several years now, and since his US Open win at Winged Foot, he has finished in the top-25 at five additional majors and held off Tiger Woods, who was at the height of his early-2008 winning streak, to win the 2008 WGC-CA Championship.


A strong start to the 2009 season will see Ogilvy rapidly ascend the World Golf Rankings and might just provide this silky smooth player with the confidence he needs to once again contend at the majors.