If you were looking through a form guide to pick an Emirates Australian Open contender, you’d be hard pressed to overlook Geoff Ogilvy.
The 2006 US Open winner will spearhead an array of past Australian champions to return for his national championship – and you’d struggle to make a case that he won’t be there when the whips are cracking from November 23 to 26.
Ogilvy, now 40, has, not surprisingly, committed to another crack at the Stonehaven Cup, as have fellow Victorians Steve Allan and Robert Allenby, alongside home state heroes Craig Parry and Peter Lonard.
They will join Jordan Spieth, Greg Chalmers and Matt Jones as other past champions to have already confirmed in the field, bringing to 12 the number of titles already returning to The Australian Golf Club.
But few have Ogilvy’s pedigree in the event.
The 2010 champion was low amateur on debut in 1995 and has missed just once since, in 2000 when he attended US PGA Tour Q-school. He has missed the cut just once, in 2003, the last year he finished outside the top-30 and has an extraordinary nine top-10 finishes, including a share of fourth last year after leading midway through the back nine on Sunday. Ogilvy also tied for eighth at this year’s host venue in 2015.
“I’m always excited to come home and play for the Stonehaven Cup,” Ogilvy said. “It’s something that’s special for all of us and it’s not surprising that its winners have followed up with great achievements around the world. I’ve got an important year ahead in the United States, so hopefully that can be me again in Sydney.”
Ogilvy, who several times reached No.4 in the world rankings, used his career moneylist exemption in 2017 and managed a rousing finish in the final regular season event to retain his full playing rights for the new season.
His T-16 at the Wyndham Championship was followed by a T-40 at the Northern Trust and then duties as assistant captain at the Presidents Cup that sparked a desire to earn his way back on to the playing roster when it returns to his backyard in 2019.
“I’ve got a lot of good golf yet to play, so hopefully this can be the start of something special again.”
Tournament director Trevor Herden said Ogilvy had been an outstanding supporter of the event and would again draw great focus.
“Geoff has an exemplary record at the Australian Open and it would surprise us if he weren’t in contention late on Sunday,” Herden said. “He’s been a world-class player for a long time and we’d expect another bold showing in Sydney.”