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Geoff Ogilvy not worried by manner of victory

U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy said he was completely unfazed by the fact his new-found status was partly down to Phil Mickelson's final hole meltdown at Winged Foot on Sunday.

"My name is on the trophy," the 29-year-old told reporters on a triumphant return to his native Melbourne on Thursday.

Ogilvy became the first Australian for 11 years to win a men's major and the first since David Graham in 1981 to claim the U.S. Open after Briton Colin Montgomerie and world No. 2 Mickelson blew their chance to usurp his total of five-over 285.

Montgomerie, twice U.S. Open runner-up before Sunday's dramatic finale in New York, made a double bogey at the 18th before Mickelson, with a third straight major in his sights, also fluffed his lines with a double bogey.

"I hit fewer shots than him (Mickelson) over 72 holes," Ogilvy said. "There was a bit of a collective letdown on the last when he did that because he had been built up so much.

"He had had a bit of a reputation for doing silly stuff down the stretch and the man made a double bogey on the last so they are going to make a lot out of that."

The affable Aussie admitted thoughts of victory were far from his mind as he watched the final groups come down the closing holes.

"Standing on the last green you can't see the tee but I knew a ball was in the trees and I could see (Mickelson's playing partner) Ken Ferrie walking to his ball so I knew he wasn't on the fairway," he said.

"I thought it was going to be a playoff. I still expected him to par it."

Ogilvy, who turned professional in 1998, made his breakthrough on the PGA Tour with his maiden victory at last year's Chrysler Classic.

He gave an even clearer indication of what was to come in February when he defeated Davis Love 3&2 in the final of the WGC- Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa, California.

"I had been getting better every year, and last year I thought I got better the whole year," he said. "I made 18 or 19 cuts in a row against the best in the U.S. but without that one really good weekend.

"I knew I was playing well so it was only a matter of time before getting better results."

Ogilvy, whose wife Juli is expecting their first baby in October, said his focus was now on preparing for the British Open at the Hoylake in north-west England starting on July 20.

"It's my favourite tournament of the year, without a doubt," said Ogilvy, who finished in a tie for fifth behind world number one Tiger Woods at St Andrews last year.

"I won't expect to win, but I'll feel like I can win. My goal each week is to have a chance on Sunday and that will be my goal at Hoylake."

June 22, 2006

 




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