The 2010 PGA Tour season stars Thursday with the SBS Championship at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii and it wouldn't be the worst thing if Geoff Ogilvy successfully defended his win there a year ago. The PGA Tour in the absence of Tiger Woods needs a player who could win multiple tournaments and even dominate. The Aussie could be that player.
Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open. He's won three Word Golf Championships events and finished in the top 10 in more than 25% of the 211 tournaments he's played on the PGA Tour. At 32, his best years should be ahead of him, if one accepts what 1992 U.S. Open champion Tom Kite once said.
Kite said that most golfers don't mature until they're 35, by which he meant that their natural abilities begin to mesh most effectively with their knowledge of the swing. By then those potentially true champions who leave a mark on the game have grasped in a comprehensive way what it takes to contend in the big events.
It only helps Ogilvy's prospects that he's one of the smartest players out there. He's swing smart, he's feel smart, and he's course smart.
He's one of those all too rare players worth watching closely and worth listening to attentively.
His swing is all rhythm and flow, and puts one in mind of how Bobby Jones and Sam Snead swung the golf club.
"He's fluid, and when Geoff plays well, he never looks like he's going to hit a bad shot," his fellow Aussie Adam Scott said at last year's Kapalua opener. "That's why he does well in big tournaments; he's in play, under control."
The surprise is that Ogilvy has won only six PGA Tour events, including his U.S. Open.
But maybe this will be his first big, big year, as in a bunch of wins and at least one major. Ogilvy is a golf course connoisseur and he's sure to relish playing the U.S. Open at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif. come June, and the Open Championship at the Old Course in St. Andrews come July.
Ogilvy has said of the 16th at the Old Course, with its opportunities for multiple shot options because of the way the green is angled to the fairway, and the placement of bunkers, that "No other hole I've seen matches its strategic integrity."
Now there's a tour player who uses proper language when discussing architecture. Ogilvy is also what British golf aficionados who know their stuff would call a "proper" golfer because he enjoys playing golf on the ground as well as in the air.
So watch out for Ogilvy as the season begins in Kapalua with a tournament limited to last year's winners. This proper golfer could bust out.
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