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Despite travel misadventure, Geoff Ogilvy still in it at Transitions Championship

Geoff Ogilvy shoots 6-under 65, one of the day’s best rounds, after traveling nearly all Friday night and early Saturday. He flew to Phoenix thinking he had missed the cut. He hadn’t.

Associated Press

Geoff Ogilvy shoots 6-under 65, one of the day’s best rounds, after traveling nearly all Friday night and early Saturday. He flew to Phoenix thinking he had missed the cut. He hadn’t.

PALM HARBOR — Count Geoff Ogilvy among travelers frustrated with the airline industry.

Ogilvy ended his second round at the Transitions Championship early Friday afternoon at 2 over after shooting even 71 and, at the time, in a tie for 85th.

With conditions near perfect for the afternoon session at Innisbrook's Copperhead Course, Ogilvy assumed he would miss the cut and scheduled a 6:40 p.m. flight to Phoenix — with a layover in Houston — and his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Sitting in his first-class seat after boarding the plane, Ogilvy received a phone call. It was the PGA Tour's travel agent. The cut was at 2 over. Ogilvy had made it into the weekend. He needed to get off the plane.

The problem?

His golf bag and suitcase were already stowed in the belly of the plane. Digging them out would delay nearly 50 passengers with connecting flights in Houston.

If Ogilvy were to stay in Tampa, the earliest the airline could get him his gear would be Saturday afternoon.

"The only way for me to actually get my bags with me in Tampa (Saturday) was fly all the way to Phoenix, get my bags in Phoenix and fly all the way back. So that's what I did," Ogilvy said.

While Ogilvy was pleading his case with the baggage handlers outside the plane, his first-class seat inside was given to another passenger.

When Ogilvy returned, resigned to a long night of travel, he had been bumped to coach.

"It was actually an exit row, so it was actually a reasonable seat," Ogilvy said, joking.

The Australia native arrived in Phoenix about 11 p.m. , grabbed his bags and immediately boarded a private jet back to the bay area.

He landed in Tampa at 5 a.m. Saturday. His tee time was at 8:50 a.m.

"I didn't sleep very much," he said. "Half an hour, an hour something, maybe. Not a lot."

Maybe Ogilvy should consider playing more sleep-deprived rounds. He birdied four of his first five holes and shot 6-under 65. tying for the afternoon's best round. to get back in the hunt at 4-under 209, seven back.

"I was in a decent frame of mind because I made a cut that I didn't think I was going to make," he said.

"It was worth coming back."

More top rounds: Webb Simpson was one of three golfers to match Ogilvy's 65 during the third round, and the 24-year-old credited his strong play to a renewed focus on the putting green.

"I was just a little uncomfortable over the ball, and I just tried to get in a place where my body felt solid and that I was standing still over (the putt)," Simpson said.

A birdie on No. 9 ignited a run of four straight for the Wake Forest alum, who sits five strokes off the lead at 6-under 207 going into today's final round.

Nick Watney, who had seven birdies and one bogey, posted 65 as well. He is a shot back of Simpson at 5 under.

Limping into the clubhouse: A tough pin placement on No. 18 left many golfers shaking their heads in frustration as they exited the final green.

Defending champion Retief Goosen was not one of them.

Goosen, in a four-way tie for second, hit his approach within 7 feet of the hole, then navigated a downhill slope and difficult left-to-right read for his only birdie on the back nine.

"Tricky putt," Goosen said. "It looked like it should break off to the right, but it doesn't. I just aimed inside right, and it went in."

Goosen was one of 12 golfers to birdie the par-4, 445-yard hole.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Despite travel misadventure, Geoff Ogilvy still in it at Transitions Championship 03/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 20, 2010 10:37pm]
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