Ogilvy dispenses more pearls of wisdom
ATLANTA -- He's only 29 years old and owns just three career PGA Tour titles, but Geoff Ogilvy is quickly making a name for himself as one of the more cerebral golfers around. On Tuesday, the reigning U.S. Open champion stopped by the Tour Championship media center to chat with a gathering of reporters. What followed was 30 minutes of wisdom, anecdotes, honesty and some pretty heady stuff. Trust us: It would take some guys an entire career to come up with this much quotable material.
Rather than write about what a loquacious dude he is, it's best to let the Aussie speak for himself. So, here's Mr. Ogilvy, in his own words:
On Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson skipping this week's season-ending event: "You can't say that Tiger and Phil are hurting the tour by not coming to the Tour Championship. Where would the tour be without Tiger and Phil? We'd be playing for $2½ million a week. We'd have 20 tournaments. No one would be watching it on TV. We'd be back where we were 15 years ago."
On Woods: "Tiger can be hit or miss. I mean, I don't think anybody can ever guarantee Tiger was going to play anywhere unless it was a major. That's just the way he does what he thinks is best. Maybe he doesn't. Maybe I'm making my comeback after nine weeks and he's scared his streak is going to end. ... It's a shame for the tournament, but he needs to do what he needs to do. He'll probably come out and win the first four tournaments next year, but it won't be a convincing streak because he didn't come here and beat us."
On Mickelson: "Anyone who bought a ticket expecting Phil to be here was not understanding how Phil plays the game. I mean, Phil doesn't play after August, and most guys know that."
On the PGA Tour's current schedule: "College football is the most-watched sport around and it's 12 weeks long and it's talked about all year long. ... What's pro football, 18 weeks long or something? I mean, that's a third of the year, you know. And that's the biggest sport. Football is the biggest thing. Would football be the biggest thing ... every single Saturday those first few Saturdays in September ... if you had been watching it every Saturday for the last six months?"
On next season's FedEx Cup: "I like the concept, yeah. I mean, the concept of [NASCAR's] Nextel Chase for the Cup or whatever is good, too, but I don't watch that. That seems to work. I'm sure it's going to be fine."
On next season's FedEx Cup finish: "I think everyone in [the] world [of] golf will be surprised if Tiger and Phil play six or seven [events down the stretch]. Vijay [Singh] will play six or seven. Most guys will. I don't know, we'll see. I mean, I don't know. Maybe. I mean, that's the whole motivation behind doing it. I mean, you've got to make the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow big enough that people want to do it, and the pot is a pretty big pot. So hopefully the tournaments are better when everyone plays them."
On whether there is too much money in professional golf: "Ninety-four guys made a million dollars this year. There's a lot of professions that the 94 best anything makes a lot more than a million dollars. The 94th best doctor in the world makes a lot more than a million, the best lawyer. Professionwise, it's not that ridiculous."
On whether he backed into his U.S. Open victory: "If I had been watching on TV, I would be thinking Phil lost it. And [Colin Montgomerie], Monty lost it just as much as Phil did. But that's fine. I just feel fortunate there's plenty of guys who have done better than me on the last few holes and lost in major championships, so I just feel fortunate I was one of the lucky ones to have things go my way."
On why he hasn't watched that final-round telecast yet: "It's hard as a golfer to watch a tournament when Johnny Miller is announcing it. ... He might be really entertaining, but there's a part of him that's entertaining for every normal person [yet it's] hard for us to listen to. It's really frustrating."
On NBC analyst Johnny Miller: "I walk off the sixth green on Sunday at Winged Foot, and he said, 'Now at least he can tell his grandparents that he led the U.S. Open on Sunday.' As if this guy is gone, he's got no chance. ... Ten minutes later he's saying, 'What a great player.' He might be entertaining. I know everybody loves him, but he could interview the locker room and there's not one guy that likes the way he announces. But he's good for the game because everyone loves him. I can see the entertainment value. If it wasn't me or my friends that he was talking about, I would think he's great, but it's not great when it's about you."
Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com
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