Ogilvy wins PGA Tour opener in Hawaii
Kapalua, HI (Sports Network) - Geoff Ogilvy fired a six-under 67 on Sunday,
making key back-to-back birdies to repeat as champion of the season-opening
Ogilvy held off a hard-charging Rory Sabbatini with birdies at the 14th and
15th holes to earn a one-shot victory at 22-under 270. It was the seventh
career PGA Tour win for the 32-year-old Australian, who earned $1.12 million.
Sabbatini made a huge final-round push at Kapalua. He fired a 10-under 63 that
included six birdies in a seven-hole stretch on the back nine and took the
clubhouse lead at 21-under 271.
As good as it was, Sabbatini's round ended when Ogilvy was on the 13th hole,
and the Australian needed to play only his final six holes at two-under for
He played them at exactly two-under to become the first repeat champion on the
picturesque Plantation Course since Stuart Appleby won his third straight in
"Now I get to come back," Ogilvy said after earning a return trip to the
Matt Kuchar (67) took third place at 19-under 273, while Sean O'Hair (68) and
Martin Laird (70) tied for fourth at 18-under 274. O'Hair made a double-bogey
on the 18th hole.
Lucas Glover, the leader after each of the first three rounds, shot the
highest score of anyone in the 28-player field, a three-over 76 that dropped
him into a tie for 14th place at 14-under 278.
Sabbatini, who got into the field by winning last year's Byron Nelson
Championship, charged into the lead with five consecutive birdies on the back
nine, ending at the 15th. He also birdied the 17th and held a two-shot lead at
In all, he finished with 10 birdies in a flawless round, taking just 27 putts
along the way.
"The flat stick showed up early and I just kept going," said Sabbatini, who
came within a shot of tying his career-best score on the PGA Tour.
Ogilvy had six holes to catch Sabbatini, which he did with a four-foot birdie
putt at the 14th hole that moved him to 21-under and into a share of first
Ogilvy then knocked a five-wood from 239 yards to about 19 feet at the 15th,
setting up a two-putt birdie that gave him a one-shot lead over Sabbatini at
The remarkable approach put Ogilvy ahead for good and "was the right shot at
the right time," he said.
"I was really comfortable with the yardage, it was perfect," said Ogilvy. "And
nine times out of 10 I miss that green way right. But we had the wind up the
right and everything was perfect."
After making two pars, the 2006 U.S. Open champion waited more than 10 minutes
to hit his final drive down the 18th fairway. With 240 yards left to the
green, Ogilvy laid up on his approach, chipped to 13 feet and two-putted for a
par and the win.
Now, he'll set out on a familiar mission: trying to parlay his early-season
successes into late-season momentum. Among his six previous PGA Tour wins,
five of them have come in the first three months of the year, including his
two victories last season.
"I'll hopefully not make the mistakes I made last year. I think I forced it a
bit when the game went a bit awry instead of waiting for it to come back,"
"The best thing about winning here is you get to come back," he said.
Sabbatini's five-hole birdie run from the 11th to the 15th -- which included a
22-foot putt at No. 13 -- gave him a two-shot lead over Ogilvy. His birdie at
the 17th protected that two-stroke advantage.
But the 33-year-old South African may have played too conservatively at the
par-five 18th when he laid up and missed an eventual 11-foot birdie try,
opening the door for Ogilvy.
"I didn't hit the greatest drive," said Sabbatini. "I actually thought I hit a
better third shot than I did ... and then the putt -- sometimes they go in,
sometimes they don't."
Ogilvy didn't know until the ninth hole that Sabbatini was making such a
strong run ahead of him.
"It was an unbelievable round," said Ogilvy. "We knew what we had to do and it
was a weird situation. I've never been in that situation. I'm really, really
happy and excited that I could get it done."
NOTES: Ogilvy was the ninth consecutive foreign-born champion of this event
since American Jim Furyk won in 2001...Glover's 76 was the worst score of the
day by a shot and one of only eight over-par rounds posted in four days of low
scoring...Next week is the Sony Open in Hawaii, where Zach Johnson won last