Apr
9
2011
Geoff Ogilvy, Flying Under the Radar
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour Confidential

Every day this week, the SI Golf Group is addressing one pressing question about the Masters in a daily version of PGA Tour Confidential. On Thursday, we discussed what the biggest surprise of the day was, and last night we tossed around who we think will win and why. My answer? Geoff Ogilvy.

Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: I would love for Rory to win, but his putting is a bit suspect. I’m going with someone under the radar: Geoff Ogilvy. I’ve always thought his game was perfect for Augusta. He hits a high, soft cut with his irons, which will be perfect for the firm greens this weekend. He hasn’t scored on the gettable par 5s. If he can convert for eagles and birdies this weekend, then hand him the green jacket.

Most of my colleagues picked Rory and a few chose Tiger, except the wise Gary Van Sickle agreed with me:

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Hey, Rory, remember a few months back when you said you’d love to go up against Tiger in a major? Maybe that wasn’t the best thing to wish for. Because if Tiger is actually back in form anywhere near where he once was, he’s three times the pressure putter you are. Not a good sign. Is Tiger back or is he fool’s gold? That was a pretty easy 66 and Tiger, like the old days, complained about a couple of his bogeys. He wasn’t happy not being perfect. That said, I’ve tired of picking Geoff Ogilvy to win the Masters over the past few years. He might have won one or two if he would have quit throwing up a triple or two on the back nine. This time, with Tiger and Westwood and Rory hogging the spotlight, Ogilvy scoops up another leftover major … just like Winged Foot.

I picked Ogilvy two years ago and he disappointed because of those stupid triples, like Gary mentioned. And like I say, I’d like nothing more than Rory to win, but I’m concerned about his putting. If he can keep up his ballstriking, then yeah, he can pull it off, but let’s say he has one day where he doesn’t hit the ball that well, will he step up with his putter? TBD. As of now, it worries me whether or not he can make those 5-15 footers coming down the stretch. He’s missed a ton already. I started counting on the back nine yesterday and he missed four. I know he drained quite a few, as well, but he managed to turn an easy 66 into a 69. I guess you can’t make them all.

As for the others, there’s so much hype around the favorites and big names that Ogilvy might just repeat what he did in 2006 at Winged Foot and slide into that Green Jacket come Sunday.

Who’s your favorite heading into the weekend?