GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, his Tour card for next year on the line, responded by producing a strong finish to the second round at the Wyndham Championship on Friday.
The Australian came into the last regular-season event of the PGA Tour season needing to make the cut to have a chance of keeping his playing privileges for next season, but he appeared doomed after 11 holes of his round at Sedgefield Country Club.
Knowing he needed to play his final seven holes in five-under to be sure of making the cut, Ogilvy, 40, reeled off four straight birdies before adding another at the penultimate hole.
At 125th on the FedExCup points list, he lived to fight on at the weekend, with a great chance of finishing on Sunday among the top 125 in the standings to be fully exempt for next season.
Ogilvy acknowledged he tended to play better under pressure.
“There’s an element to that for sure, without any question,” he told reporters after signing for a 66 and a four-under 136 halfway total.
”Coming down the last few holes on Friday on the cut line is almost as hard as the last few holes (in contention to win) on Sunday.
“It’s a different feeling but just as difficult in some respects, like doing an exam at school as opposed to public speaking,” he added.
“It’s an uncomfortable feeling, but that’s why I play. It’s nice to feel it, whatever it is. When you have to hit a shot and you do hit a shot, it’s as good a feeling as anything in golf, no matter where you sit.”
Ogilvy has earned a tidy living, $30 million-plus in a PGA Tour career that includes eight victories, highlighted by the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
But he spoke about the problems he has getting motivated week in and week out in the twilight of his career.
“The longer you do this and when you’ve played at the highest of situations, sometimes the regular situations aren’t enough to fire you up,” he said.
“You find yourself cruising along on cruise control, not consciously, it just happens.”
Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Christian Radnedge