By TOM LaMARRE
Geoff Ogilvy of Australia, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, has moved his family back to Arizona from California in an effort to get his career back on track.
Ogilvy has won seven times in his PGA Tour career, but not since the season-opening 2010 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and dropped to No. 51 in the World Golf Rankings at the end of last year, so he is not yet eligible for the Masters.
He has three months to climb back into the top 50 by the week before the Masters and earn his eighth consecutive trip to Augusta National, where he tied for fourth two years ago.
“It was a golf decision rather than a family decision, but I’m comfortable it will be the best result for us,” said Ogilvy, who opened his season last week in the Humana Challenge. “I don’t think there is a better place for doing what I do than Scottsdale (Ariz.), and especially Whisper Rock.
“I love California and Del Mar, and that place isn’t going anywhere, but I was worried I might look back in five or six years and think, what if we hadn’t have moved, would I have played a little bit better?”
The 35-year-old Ogilvy finished in the top 10 only four times on the PGA Tour in 2011, ending up 79th in the FedEx Cup standings, and got worse last year, with only one top-10 finish, a tie for ninth in the U.S. Open, and wound up 68th in the FedEx Cup race.
The Aussie got ready for the new season by playing rounds against the many PGA Tour players who live in the Scottsdale area.
“I’ve been playing with and against tour players in competitive money games almost every day and that’s as close to match practice as you can get without playing in actual tournaments,” Ogilvy said. “It certainly energizes you.
“We are back in the same house, it still feels like home, and like I said there aren’t many better places to get ready to play, and get sharp than Whisper Rock. … The Masters is my No. 1 priority goal, for sure.”
Ogilvy got off to a solid, but not spectacular start by tying for 27th in the Humana Challenge.