Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ogilvy get top award in February

Geoff Ogilvy’s stunning victory in the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play, which saw him move to Number Four in the Official World Golf Ranking, proved the catalyst for the Australian to be named as the winner of The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for February. The 31 year old from Melbourne, who received a jeroboam of Moët and Chandon champagne along with an engraved Alms Dish in recognition of his success, was the overwhelming choice of the panel which comprised members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as television and radio commentators. The Tour Award - which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2009 – is now under the sponsorship banner of Leisurecorp, the company whose groundbreaking agreement with The European Tour has created The Race to Dubai, which culminates in the $10 million Dubai World Championship in November. Mention of the new sponsors is highly appropriate, for Ogilvy, aside from moving to Number Four in the World, also jumped to Number One in The Race to Dubai, narrowly ahead of the man he beat in the final in Arizona, England’s Paul Casey, with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy – the winner of the January award and the man Ogilvy beat in the quarter-finals – now in third after the young Ulsterman’s excellent effort at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Dove Mountain. Aside from Casey and McIlroy, Ogilvy also saw off the challenge of fellow European Tour Member Camilo Villegas in the third round and the Australian highlighted those victories when he reflected on his success. “Camilo has come a very long way in a short time while Rory is about to be a top ten player in the world,” said Ogilvy who also won the tournament in 2006 and was beaten in the final by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson in 2007. “Finally to beat Paul, one of the best players in the game, was great and I think that will be the thing I remember from the week – I beat some really good players and played really well for the last three or four days. Of course, to be voted The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month for February at the end of it all, is the icing on the cake.”Ogilvy’s performance proved the highlight of another hugely successful month for European Tour Members in competition across the globe, not least in the WGC – Accenture Match Play where, aside from the eventual champion, Casey and McIlroy; South Africa’s Ernie Els reached the quarter-finals and England’s Ross Fisher finished fourth on his debut in the event. Other Members to earn honourable mentions by the panel in February were Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who recorded his third European Tour success with victory in the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open in Bali; South Africa’s James Kamte who got the 2009 Asian Tour season off to a flying start with victory in the Asian Tour International in Thailand; and Denmark’s Anders Hansen who won the Vodacom Championship on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. McIlroy and Ogilvy are the first winners of The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award. The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year will be selected from a panel from the Association of Golf Writers, Radio and Television following the Dubai World Championship at the Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, from November 19-22, 2009, where the winner of The Race to Dubai will be confirmed.

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