Victorian Geoff Ogilvy will take a one-shot lead into the third round of the Australian Open after a stunning performance at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney yesterday.
Out early in the morning field, Ogilvy made the most of the perfect conditions, sinking seven birdies on his way to the outright lead for the event co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia.
Taiwan’s Yeh Wei-tze and Hsieh Tung-shu were at one-over par, while compatriot Chan Shih-chang stood at two-over.
At the halfway mark Ogilvy leads at 11-under, only one shot ahead of fellow US Tour player Matt Jones, who shot an incredible round of eight-under in tough afternoon conditions.
Matt Griffin is a further shot back at nine-under while American Dudley Hart shares fourth position with 2006 Australian Open Champion John Senden.
Teeing off the 10th hole alongside defending champion Adam Scott and China’s No. 1 player -Liang Wenchong, Ogilvy’s day started slowly before holing three consecutive birdies from the 13th.
With two more birdies on 17 and 18 Ogilvy turned at five-under through his first nine holes.
As the wind started to increase in the afternoon Ogilvy sank two more birdie putts on 3 and 8, finishing the morning field in the clear lead and leaving it up to the afternoon field to chase down his score.
Liang became the joint-top Asian in the field after a bogey-free 68 put him two-under, level with Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat (72) as well as Korean Tour player John Huh (71) of the USA.
Five-time champion Greg Norman thrilled organizers by carding an impressive three-under 69 to comfortably make the cut at one-under overall.
But two-time winner Aaron Baddeley (75) and American drawcards John Daly (77) and Fred Couples (74) all finished on two-over par, missing the cut.
A refreshed Ogilvy attributed his form to some much needed time off over the last two months back in his home town of Melbourne.
“I am much happier with [my game] this time than I was this time last year. I was pretty over it this time last year. This was my sixth tournament in seven weeks last year,” said Ogilvy, who finished outside the top 30 in last year’s Australian Open. “I had a really good time away from the game. I have practiced pretty hard for a month, starting the week before the Masters. It has been nice to be in Melbourne for two full months.”
Ogilvy has won eight tournaments in his career, capped by the 2006 US Open title at Winged Foot, and has banked more than US$22 million in prize money.
He is chasing his second tournament win in Australia following his triumph at the 2008 Australian PGA championship.
Ogilvy has long declared his desire to put his name on the Stonehaven Cup, but is trying not to think about it too much just yet.
“You’d be lying if you said you weren’t thinking about winning, but it’s way in the back of your mind,” he said.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world, was on Sunday charged with physically assaulting his ex-wife, prosecutors said. A court in Tbilisi charged Basilashvili with perpetrating “violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor,” before releasing him on US$30,000 bail, prosecutor Natia Guruli said. He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty. Basilashvili’s ex-wife, Neka Dorokashvili, on Sunday told Mtavari TV that Basilashvili “physically assaulted” her on Friday in the presence of their five-year-old son. Basilashvili denied the charges, his lawyer Irma Chkadua said. The 28-year-old won his second ATP Tour title at the China
Tennis world No. 7 Alexander Zverev is to join Novak Djokovic’s Balkan tournament next month, boosting the cast of top players to descend on Belgrade as the professional season is frozen by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The phenomenal news I want to announce today is that Sasa Zverev, Alexander Zverev, will come to Belgrade,” Djokovic told a news conference in the Serbian capital on Monday. The German is to join world No. 3 Dominic Thiem and 19th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov in Belgrade on June 13 and 14 for the first stop of the Adria Tour. “Three of the world’s greatest tennis stars. I’m really very
Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova on Monday said that she would prefer that Grand Slams did not take place instead of playing them behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking on the eve of her court return in an all-Czech tournament, the 30-year-old echoed the thoughts of Roger Federer, who last week said that he would be against the idea of an empty Roland Garros or Flushing Meadows. “I have my age and of course I would like to play another Grand Slam, but if it’s like this, I’d rather cancel them,” Kvitova said. “Playing a Grand Slam is the
FEELING BLUE: David Wagner’s Schalke 04 continued their slide down the table, falling to eighth place following a 3-0 defeat to Augsburg Sweet-toothed striker Timo Werner on Sunday bagged a hat-trick as RB Leipzig thrashed FSV Mainz 05 to climb back to third place in the Bundesliga and keep their dwindling title hopes just about alive. When asked how he would celebrate the 5-0 win, Werner, 24, told reporters: “There will definitely be some sweets involved.” Julian Nagelsmann’s side sit seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich ahead of the reigning champions’ top-of-the-table clash against second-placed Borussia Dortmund today. Leipzig bounced back from their draw with SC Freiburg the previous weekend in their first match since the COVID-19 lockdown in style, with Werner moving to within