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Brett Ogle retires from professional golf

One of Australia's most enigmatic, talented and tortured golfers officially announced his retirement after stumbling home with an 11-over-par 83 to finish 32 shots off the pace in the Clearwater Classic in New Zealand.

Few players have experienced the game's brilliant highs and gut-wrenchingly bad lows like Brett Ogle since the 37-year-old turned professional in 1985.

He's won in Australia, Europe and America, the toughest tour of all, where he prevailed at the 1993 Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the 1994 Hawaiian Open.

The world was his oyster back then because he had it all - prodigious length off the tee, an ability to strike his irons high, straight and sweetly, and a decent short game.

Things went pear-shaped when the short game went from decent to dreadful.

His putting yips were so bad they spread like cancer into any shot around the green.

He felt himself "physically ageing" as one putt after another - then sometimes a couple more - evaded the hole.

He swallowed his pride and experimented with a broomstick putter, and pitching wedge.

He tried chipping left-handed. Nothing really worked.

His last triumphs were six long years ago at the Tahiti Open and West Coast Classic in Canada.

Ogle has been easing out of the game for a while, playing only in Australia, but now he's not playing anywhere at all.

He wants to push his career as a commentator, which should not be a problem.

Ogle has never lost his ability or enthusiasm to speak.

Born in Paddington, Sydney, Ogle was adopted at six weeks of age and grew up in the country town of Goulburn.

He discovered golf at the age of 12.

At 13, after meeting his coach, David Merriman, he took only six months to reduce his handicap from 32 to 1.

He turned pro at age 21 and since then has enjoyed 13 worldwide victories.

No chance of a 14th today. His final nine holes, leaving him 32 shots behind Peter O'Malley, was a poor note to bow out on.

There were two eights, a double bogey and three bogeys in an inward 47.

Little wonder he cited "a lack of playing enjoyment" among the reasons for hanging up his clubs.

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