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Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Monday, 12 January 2009

Ogilvy battles to Hawaii victory

-24 G Ogilvy (Aus) -18 A Kim (US), D Love III (US) -17 S O'Hair (US) -16 J Leonard (US) -15 E Els (SA), Z Johnson (US), DJ Trahan (US), K Perry (US)
Selected others: -5 V Singh (Fij)

Geoff Ogilvy
Ogilvy led the field from the opening round to the last

Geoff Ogilvy staged a recovery on the back nine to claim a six-stroke victory at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii.

After a fourth bogey of the day on the eighth, Ogilvy's lead was just one, but a run of birdies saw him finish ahead of Anthony Kim and Davis Love III.

Sean O'Hair fired the day's best round of eight-under 65 to move up to fourth ahead of Justin Leonard in fifth.

Ogilvy said: "Once I got through nine, I enjoyed every hole on the back nine."

The 31-year-old, the US Open champion in 2006, was fresh from winning the PGA Championship in his homeland in December and entered the final round at Kapalua's Plantation Course with a six-shot lead.


However, he made a poor start with bogeys at his first two holes and a dramatic finish was on the cards as Ogilvy carded another bogey before the turn.

But an eagle on the 9th kick-started his recovery to steady his nerves.

Ogilvy finished with an eagle, seven birdies and four bogeys to win his fifth PGA Tour victory with a total score of 24 under par.

"Obviously it was a very rough start. I had never had a six-shot lead before. That's quite an uncomfortable feeling really," he added.

"I enjoyed the last two and a half hours more than I enjoyed the first two hours."

Ogilvy stated his desire to use the victory as a springboard to find greater consistency and launch an assault on the majors in which he has one win to date at the 2006 U.S. Open.

"I think I'm getting closer to that sort of point," he said. "I didn't play great in '07 but last year I had a period from about the start of Florida to the U.S. Open where I felt like if I had made a few more (putts) I could have won three or four but I won one.

"I'm realistic enough to know weeks like this don't come along very often - hopefully, more often in the future than they have in the past."

American Kim nearly made a double eagle on the last hole to secure a tied second place with Love.

FedEx Cup champion Vijay Singh, who will now undergo knee surgery, shot a 70 to finish 19 shots off the pace alongside last year's champion from Sweden Daniel Chopra.

After being just one shot behind Ogilvy at the end of the first round, South African Ernie Els had to settle for sixth after shooting a final round 67 to finish level with Americans Zach Johnson, Kenny Perry and DJ Trahan.

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