Nobody in this week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions field knows more about winning on Kapalua's Plantation Course than Titleist Brand Ambassador Geoff Ogilvy. The 37-year old Australian won this event in 2009 and 2010, never shooting above 69 in eight rounds on the 7,452 yard track, the Tour's only par 73. .
"The first time I saw it, I said 'why are we playing at a place like this?," said Ogilvy. "It takes a bit of getting used to, especially trying to figure what to hit when the winds are blowing. I could be hitting a 5-iron from 140 yards or a wedge from 200 depending on the hole and the direction of the wind. So, yes, it took some getting used to."
The learning curve was quick for Ogilvy as he went on to win the event in his third trip back to Kapalua in 2009 and successfully defended his title in 2010. As a result, it’s always an event Ogilvy is eager to play.
"As soon as I tapped in that last putt at Reno, I was excited about returning to Kapalua," said Ogilvy referring to his victory at Barracuda Championship in August which earned him a return trip to this winners-only event. "I feel so comfortable and have obviously had success here, so it is always special to be able to come back."
So what are the keys to winning?
"Because of the length on the scorecard, many people think it is a bomber's paradise and only the longest hitters have the advantage, but that is not necessarily true," said Ogilvy, who pointed to the winning success of fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson a year ago. "You are going to hit a lot of fairways because they are among the widest on Tour. However, executing with your wedges on the short par 4's and into the par 5's is essential. A lot of these greens are big and undulating and three putts are a possibility even if you get on in regulation. The key is to hit your short irons close to the pin and make your putts. The players that do that best this week are the one's that are going to be in contention."
Good luck to Geoff and all of #TeamTitleist this week!