WGC-Cadillac interview: Geoff Ogilvy

March 05, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: WGC-Cadillac Championship transcripts

CHRIS REIMER: We want to welcome Geoff, our 2008 champion here at the Cadillac Championship, some great playing, especially on Sunday up in West Palm to get here. Just talk about returning here to Trump Doral.

GEOFF OGILVY: It's nice to be here. I had kind of penciled in a week off after playing here, I'm not sure how many years in a row, but pretty well I think every year it's been a WGC I've played here; and a course that I've played well at, so it was going to be disappointing to miss. Nice to have a good week at the right time and get back here.

They are not nice tournaments to miss when you've been in them before, so it's nice to just drive down the road and have another week and hopefully I can keep that form up from last week and have another good tournament.

Q. How much is the Masters aspect, qualifying for the Masters, on your mind this week?

GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, it's been on my mind really all year because I didn't start the year exempt in the Masters for the first time for a while.

So it's kind of been on my mind a little bit. 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, so nice to get back on the right side of the Top‑50 last week. But I guess any of the next few weeks I could really lock it up with one good week again.

So it's nice, I'm in much better position. This is probably the most points I'll play for between now and the Masters this week, because everyone's here. It would be really nice ‑‑ it would be obviously great to win the golf tournament but a consolation prize would be to have a strong finish and lock up the Masters, that would be pretty good. So I'm thinking about it, and I'll use it as a motivation rather than anything else.

Q. What do you think you were doing well at Honda that you were not doing well in the previous four weeks?

GEOFF OGILVY: I was putting better, and it was also a course that ‑‑

Q. You'd never seen before.

GEOFF OGILVY: That I'd never seen, in the tournament at least.

It suited how I was playing. I putted a little bit better. I holed a few putts, a nice couple of putts on Thursday, and that helps, a different putting surface. But it was a more balanced test. It was pretty much a ball‑striking test last week and that's what I've been doing well.

I did hole a couple more putts but mostly it suited my strengths at the moment last week. Came into the week hitting it well, in a pretty good place, feeling like I was going to have a good week.

It suited how I'm playing at the moment, really, I guess and I must have holed a couple more putts than I did on the West Coast. Just nice to get off that poa and onto something else where the ball stays on the ground, not really sure, but yeah.

Q. Have you noticed a change in the demeanor of crowds and galleries in recent years, and in your opinion, are they getting too rowdy?

GEOFF OGILVY: We definitely have got more locations like 17 now than we did before ‑‑ or they are more organized. It's a bit more like the tournaments are setting up or contriving to create raucous atmospheres.

16 at Phoenix kind of created itself and from that, 17 at Michigan used to get kind of rowdy towards the end. Heart for the used to have a rowdy somewhere, and Greensboro used to have a rowdy hole, 17 used to get rowdy. They were always kind of unorganized and it was just where the locals decided to gather; 13th at Colonial.

But they have got a bit more set up by the tournaments. I don't think the behavior is any different than it was before. I mean, people drink all day, they are going to get kind of loud towards the end. I think it's just a bit more organized now. And the tournament directors and the people who set up tournaments conspire to get everyone into the same place. I mean, the PGA, let's go for a walk today and watch a few holes, but please go to 17 towards the end and start making noise. That's kind of what they want.

I think it's a good thing really. If it makes it more fun to watch, then more people will come. More people definitely go to the Phoenix Open because of 16, because it would be a really fun place to hang out for a few hours and watch golf shots, it really would. Especially for someone who is on the fence about wanting to go to a golf tournament. If you can actually give them other stuff, other reasons to go there from purely hitting golf shots, from watching a golf tournament: Hey, I can have a few beers and get a little bit on the caddies or whatever it is, and get loud like I do at a football game, maybe I can go to a few more golf tournaments. If it gets more people to go, I think it's a good thing.

I know most guys kind of enjoy 16 at Phoenix and 17 last week for the most part. I think every now and then, you get late in the day, you get a few people getting a little bit loud at the wrong moment. But as long as it all happens after golf shots and between golf shots and not while someone is actually hitting a shot, I mean, fair play, they should be allowed to do whatever they want, especially if they enjoy the time or makes the atmosphere better for us.

I don't think it's changed much. It's just organized now and some tournaments are trying to get it where it's getting and actually I think where it's getting is actually pretty good, as long as it doesn't cross that line from putting people off golf shots.

Q. So you would be in favor of completely encircling 17?

GEOFF OGILVY: With the exception of where the water is? Yeah ‑‑

Q. Just building out the whole grandstand down the left side so it's basically an arena.

GEOFF OGILVY: That would be cool. I know financially it's great to have lots of corporate sellout but I think it would be nice to have big areas of general admission seating.

I think it's nice if you don't have to buy a suite to go see people play on 17. And Phoenix has always been pretty good at that. There's a couple of pretty big areas where they have general admission seats, and I think that's where the fun happens; it's really out of the group of students and general admission seating places.

It would be cool. It's the only time I've played that tournament there and we had the hole pretty easy really last week; it was 9‑irons and 8‑irons downwind. It was probably as easy as that hole can get. So if the wind was normal and it was, what, into off the right, I might think differently about a raucous atmosphere over a 4‑iron into that green than I would a 9‑iron.

But again, whatever brings more people into the golf tournament I think is better, so if encircling that hole and creating a stadium‑like setup there; if more people come, and South Florida has another golf tournament to attach itself to and it becomes kind of like a Phoenix Open thing, well, you have to go to the Honda because that's just what you have to do that week, then that's a good thing. And if it helps that happen, then I think that's a good thing.

Q. Last week you said you played well because the conditions sort of suited your strengths. Do you maybe take less away from the week because of that or does one sort of lead to the other?

GEOFF OGILVY: No, it's just ‑‑ no, I took a lot out of the week. I knew I was hitting the ball well and I went in and I kept hitting the ball how I had been hitting it.

It was the right course at the right time to kind of get me back into some form. As I said, I like it when par means something. And I liked how I finished on Sunday, even though I didn't win the golf tournament, I liked how I finished. I played better and better towards the end. I hit some pretty good shots the last couple of holes.

So it was kind of ‑‑ it was nice. It had been a while since I was deep on Sunday in that sort of situation, so it was nice to ‑‑ I walked away getting quite a lot of confidence after hitting good shots on Sunday.

Q. Where were you at the PGA? Did you have a chance to win that at all?

GEOFF OGILVY: Australian PGA? Yeah, kind of.

Q. Not really?

GEOFF OGILVY: I was always two or three or four back, kind of like I wasn't ‑‑ yeah, I had to birdie the last ‑‑ four of the last five holes or something. So I was in it but not in it, you know what I mean, second‑ or third‑to‑last group.

Q. So if you throw that out, which I just did apparently, Sunday then would have been the first time where the last, say, half hour meant something, since?

GEOFF OGILVY: I was scrambling for a good finish at Kiawah. I wasn't going to win the tournament but I could have finished in like third, with a couple birdies the last few holes, I was quite ‑‑ I ended up finishing, whatever, in that massive tie for 11th or whatever it was. But two shots better would have been David Lynn, or which was second or third. It was close. I was coming down thinking second was my win at Kiawah, but that's a little different from ‑‑ yeah, it had been a while.

Q. The shots you hit down the stretch, where you pleasantly surprised to have stood up for that since it had been so long?

GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, pleasantly surprised. Well, not surprised. Like satisfied that I had not forgot how do it, would be a better way to say it. Not surprised. I mean, I thought the pin on 17 ‑‑ I didn't try to ‑‑

Q. Did you see the replay?

GEOFF OGILVY: I fixed the pitchmark. It never looked dangerous when the ball was in the air. When I got up there and fixed the pitchmark, I was like, wow, that was like two feet from being in the water. But it never looked like it was in the water from the tee, so it looked good.

Q. We were thinking it was actually in the hole. Did you not get that sense?

GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I was almost more scared of it going in. Looked like it was going in from the tee. Looked like it had a hard time missing from where I was at.

But anyway, satisfied that I could still hit nice shots. I mean, I chip‑in on 16, but even if that doesn't go in, it's nice to hit a great pitch, because they may be under pressure the hardest shots to hit, those little chip shots out of that rough, those sort of things.

Yeah, on 18, I hit a great shot on 18, that was never my happy place, like strong crosswinds with trouble on the right and 3‑woods. That was going to be a tough shot for me in years gone past, so it was nice to hit a solid shot there.

So happy that it was kind of ‑‑ I remembered what I was doing, you know what I mean.

Q. Did the confidence take much of a knock during that West Coast run? You were saying that the greens here suited you more and so on. Was that you sort of consoling yourself a bit?

GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I guess I wasn't very happy with the golf really during the West Coast. I was pretty down on it really.

But, saying that, I hit the ball better each week that I played on the West Coast and kind of scored worse almost. So I was leaving going, well, if you can actually work out how to score here and actually hole a couple of putts, it's going to be really good here soon, because you're hitting the ball better each week. I had some good signs to grab on to, but the confidence was pretty low I think when I left L.A. for sure.

Q. If there's a physical muscle memory of like hitting shots under pressure that comes back, is there anything comparable mentally of just dealing with that pressure‑cooker situation, and is that what pleased you, that you were able to stay so focused and calm when you maybe had not been put in that ‑‑

GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, it's nice ‑‑ as I said, it's just nice to know that I kind of remembered what I was doing.

To be honest with you, I've always had a harder time with the first few holes on a Sunday, or even a Saturday, than I have the last few holes. That's been true the whole time. I think some people, just like you have so much time to worry about those first couple of holes ‑‑ well, not worry about it, but it's been a long time between your tap‑in on Saturday night and tee‑off on Sunday morning. So I'm always been someone once I got into a round, I've usually kind of worked it out. It's really all mental. You don't really forget.

But it was nice, the further I got through, even from Saturday morning to Sunday on the last green, the further I got through the weekend, the more comfortable I was and the more I not remembered, but the more comfortable I was in the situation, you know what I mean. When you have not been in the last few groups for a while, Saturday morning, it's like, oh, I haven't done this for awhile. But by the time I got to the last round on Sunday, I was back in that mode again. So doesn't take too long, thank goodness.

CHRIS REIMER: All right, Geoff, good luck this week, thank you.