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12 Jan 2009 07:18
Geoff Ogilvy’s closest challengers paid tribute to the Australian after he eased to a six-shot victory at the Mercedes-Benz Championship on Sunday.
Although overnight pacesetter Ogilvy came close to surrendering a six-stroke lead with a faltering start, he covered the last 10 holes in seven under par to secure his fifth PGA Tour title.
“This is a great course for a guy that hits it like he does,” American Davis Love III told reporters after a closing six-under 67 earned him a tie for second place.
“If I would have got up and down a few more times and made a few more putts, I would have been a little closer but I don’t think I could have got to him.
“I caught a glimpse that he was 17 under at one point and then he just ran off,” Love added, referring to Ogilvy’s stumbling run of four bogeys in the first eight holes.
“Something made him mad I guess, somewhere coming up on the ninth fairway, and then I guess he made eagle and went nuts.”
Ogilvy briefly had his lead trimmed to one shot over American Anthony Kim before he eagled the par-five ninth to pull away from the chasing pack.
“Geoff played a tremendous tournament, and my hat goes off to him,” said Kim, who eagled the par-five last to join Love in second spot at 18 under.
“I knew he was going to make birdies, so I had to do the same.”
Kim (23) had been unaware that Ogilvy sank a 20-foot putt to eagle the ninth.
“I thought he had made a couple of birdies,” the Korean-American said. “Either way, I knew he was going to start pulling away if I didn’t make enough birdies.
Unfortunately, I didn’t pull off the right shots at the right time.”
Slim American Sean O’Hair fired the lowest score of the day with a bogey-free 65 but had too much ground to make up after going into the final round 10 strokes off the pace.
“[With] a player of his stature, you get on fire like that and you win by six or seven,” O’Hair said after finishing fourth at 17 under.
“He obviously hit the ball great and probably putted well.
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