Notes: Ogilvy gets inside look at Cog Hill
Thursday, September 10, 2009
LEMONT, Ill. – Few active players have an architectural acumen like Geoff Ogilvy, so perhaps it was only fitting that the Australian played his pro-am round at the BMW Championship with Rees Jones, who renovated Cog Hill.
Ogilvy wrote on Twitter during his round that he was playing with Jones and solicited questions. A reporter mentioned that to Jones long after the pro-am round, and the noted architect smiled and said, “That’s why he was asking so many questions.”
Even so, the Australian didn’t turn this into a full-fledged inquiry. Jones is known as the “Open doctor,” and given the severity of U.S. Open courses, he gets criticized more than most golf course designers.
But not from Ogilvy, at least not directly.
“I didn’t want to get too deep,” Ogilvy said. “It’s not my domain to get into golf course architecture. It was nothing too deep, just ‘What did you do here?’ and that sort of thing.”
He said it was an enjoyable round and called Jones a “very nice man.” Asked what he thought of Jones’ work at Cog Hill, Ogilvy replied, “Similar to most.”
“Bethpage is obvious his best,” Ogilvy said. “This is somewhere in the middle.”
Still, for a guy who digs golf course design, Ogilvy stopped short of calling it the dream pro-am round.
“If I was going to talk about architecture, I would prefer to play with Ben Crenshaw,” he said.
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HAPPY TO BE HERE: Chad Campbell missed the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championship, leaving him in jeopardy of spending his next three weeks at home in Dallas. He was No. 54 in the standings, with only 70 advancing to Cog Hill.
Throughout the final round, Campbell was projected at No. 70 – sometimes a little higher, sometimes lower. He was trying not to pay attention, although that wasn’t easy.
“I was practicing on Monday, trying to be optimistic,” Campbell said. “I can’t figure out the points, and I’m not going to root against anybody. They finally put it on the (TV) screen that I was 70th.”
Getting to Cog Hill was one thing. Now, he figures he’ll need to finish at least in the top five to go to the Tour Championship.
“Just tell me there’s a chance,” he said. “That’s all I needed.”
He appeared to take that message to heart, opening birdie-eagle to get his name on the leaderboard until dropping in enough bogeys that he had to settle for a 70. But at least he’s playing.
Campbell was told that Heath Slocum was in the same position two weeks ago and barely got into the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“I wish I was in his position now,” Campbell said with a laugh, referring to Slocum’s win at The Barclays that moved him from No. 124 to No. 3 in the standings.
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BLIND START: Paul Goydos was among the late arrivals to the BMW Championship, and for good reason. After missing the cut last week outside Boston, he flew home to California and spent Tuesday celebrating daughter Courtney’s 17th birthday.
Goydos caught the redeye Tuesday night and made it to Chicago on Wednesday morning – in time to be an alternate for the afternoon pro-am. He waited until 2 p.m. for the last player to tee off, then headed back to his hotel for some rest.
That means he never got in a practice round to see the changes to the golf course.
On his opening hole, Goydos hit his approach to 10 feet and made birdie. Walking off the green, he said to his playing partners, “I think the course is better than ever.”
It got the better of him by the end of the day, however, as Goydos finished bogey-double bogey for a 74.
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PREFERRED PARKING: The best parking at Cog Hill for the BMW Championship is a large lot within 100 yards of the first tee, and it’s occupied with nothing but BMWs.
The players, meanwhile, park across the street.
In a unique perk, the title sponsor is awarding prime parking to fans who own a BMW and a ticket to the tournament, one costing a little more than the other. No word on whether that will be the case at the Honda Classic next year at PGA National in south Florida.
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DIVOTS: Players were given pins of the Arnold Palmer umbrella logo to wear on their collars to commemorate the King celebrating his 80th birthday on Thursday. ... Players who are 15th or higher in the FedEx Cup standings are assured of finishing in the top 30 this week. ... Ian Poulter, who is 30th in the standings, opened with a 69.