Ogilvy takes can't-lose approach at TPC Boston

Geoff Ogilvy heads into the Deutsche Bank Championship as the No. 100 player in FedEx Cup standings.
Geoff Ogilvy heads into the Deutsche Bank Championship as the No. 100 player in FedEx Cup standings. ( Associated Press )

Thursday, August 28, 2014

NORTON, Mass. – First, of course, Geoff Ogilvy thought he’d point out the good news: “I can’t finish any worse than 100 in the FedEx Cup this year,” he said, grinning on the eve of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

That’s like the Chicago Cubs proclaiming in spring training that they’ll finish no worse than fifth in their five-team division.

For Ogilvy, that’s the upside as the last guy invited to the party at this week’s DBC, the second stop in the PGA Tour’s four-pronged FedEx Cup playoffs.

When he packed up his clubs after missing the cut at Barclays last week, Ogilvy figured his 2013-14 season, though resuscitated by a late victory in Reno, Nev., at an event opposite WGC-Bridgestone, was done. It wasn’t the first time this season that he had checked out mentally, figuring it was time for a long break from golf and a clean restart. He was ready for the kids’ car pool to school. But the numbers worked in his favor over the weekend, and here he is, back in at No. 100 in a starting field that began with exactly that many. (Though DBC’s field as of Thursday afternoon had pared to 93 after the withdrawals of seven players.)

“It’s a bonus,” Ogilvy said on several occasions. “When I missed the cut, I was projected (to finish) 102 or something. I’m not much of a statistician. I just assumed there was no way.”

Now is when the work begins, however, or he’ll be running that car pool starting next Tuesday. Tour projections have Ogilvy needing to finish about 13th or better this week in order to move on to next week’s BMW Championship in Colorado. With a victory or even runner-up finish this week at TPC Boston, Ogilvy would earn enough FedEx points to position himself for the season-ending Tour Championship, an event he last played in 2011.

If it sounds improbable for a man who has but a single top 10 all season (his victory in the Barracuda Championship), and has missed 10 cuts, then consider this: Ogilvy has a pretty strong record at TPC Boston, finishing seventh or better on three occasions. In 2010, he tied for second behind runaway winner Charley Hoffman.

“It’s got a bit of space off the tee, I guess, which has traditionally been nice to me,” Ogilvy said. “It suits a guy that can keep the ball in the air a long time; not that I hit it long, but I hit it quite high, and that suits a player around here. … It’s just a place I’m comfortable at, I guess.”

The current points system enables more volatility than when Ogilvy and his brethren first started these playoffs back in 2007. That year, only two players from outside the top 70 advanced from TPC Boston into the 70-man BMW field. But in four of the past five DBCs, at least seven players have moved in. The only year fewer than seven made it in was in 2010 – but there was one caveat that summer that might inspire Ogilvy: Argentina’s Andres Romero entered Boston at No. 100 and moved on with a T-11 finish.

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