Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy won his first Australian tournament in style with a two-stroke victory in the A$1.5 million (US$970,000) Australian PGA Championship yesterday.
The 31-year-old Australian (67-71-67-69) produced a flawless final round to finish at 14-under 274 and beat compatriot Mathew Goggin in the oldest tournament in Australian golf.
Despite beating Phil Mickelson to win the 2006 US Open, Ogilvy has been unable to win at home.
“It’s nice. I don’t have to answer any more of those questions,” Ogilvy said. “It’s a pretty good week for me and it feels like it’s been a long time coming in Australia.”
Ogilvy’s bogey-free final round capped an impressive weekend that included a single blemish at the 16th hole on Saturday.
But it was despair for runner-up Goggin, who stumbled after leading by three shots and finished at 12-under 276.
“It feels disappointing really,” said Goggin, whose championship challenge ended when a badly hooked fairway wood found the water at the 15th hole.
“It was a stupid shot,” he said. “I had a great opportunity and just threw it away. Geoff doesn’t back down, he hits good quality, aggressive shots to win.”
■ NEDBANK CHALLENGE
AFP, SUN CITY, South Africa
Henrik Stenson cruised to an eight-shot lead over fellow Swede Robert Karlsson after the third round of the Nedbank Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club on Saturday. In a repeat of the previous weekend’s final round of the World Cup at Mission Hills in China, Stenson and Karlsson will be in the final group after shooting 65 and 67 respectively around the par-72 course. Stenson is on 17-under 199 and Karlsson on 207.
Third-placed South African Rory Sabbatini made 71 to be in third place on 210, one stroke ahead of American Kenny Perry, who shot 68.
Perry said he had played relaxed golf after a stressful period in his family life.
“My oldest daughter got married two weeks ago and both my parents were in the hospital. My wife’s mom was also in the hospital and we had a wedding,” Perry said. “We had a lot of stress. My dad had two stents put in his heart, my mom is fighting cancer and my wife’s mom fell and broke a knee cap and cracked a vertebra in her back. It’s been horrible. It was nice to come here and just relax. I look at this tournament as a celebration of the best year of my career.”
■ NIPPON SERIES CUP
Five days after his wife delivered their first child stillborn, India’s Jeev Milkha Singh won the Japanese tour’s season-ending Nippon Series Cup yesterday.
“I will dedicate this win to my wife,” Singh said. “She is healthy now. Better things are on the way.”
Kudrat Singh, recovering in a Toyko hospital, urged her husband to play the event.
Singh won by two strokes, closing with a four-under 66 at Tokyo Yomiuri for a 12-under 268 total. He also won the 2006 tournament.
Australia’s Brendan Jones, last year’s winner, shot a 64 to tie for second with New Zealand’s David Smail (66) and Japan’s Taichi Teshima (68).
■ VIETNAM MASTERS
AFP, HO CHI MINH CITY
Thai star Thongchai Jaidee ended his two-year title drought on the Asian Tour with a thrilling play-off victory at the Hana Bank Vietnam Masters yesterday.
Thongchai holed a five-foot putt for par on the third play-off hole to claim his ninth Tour title at the Vietnam Golf and Country Club.
“This win is dedicated to my family, especially to my two-day-old son who was born on Dec. 5th. He has given me the inspiration and the drive to win,” said the former Tour No. 1.