Ogilvy to join Campbell as major winners playing NZ Open

Greg Turner
Greg Turner
Two-time New Zealand Open winner Greg Turner would be following Geoff Ogilvy around the courses if he was not commentating instead.

Ogilvy's decision to contest next month's New Zealand Open in Queenstown is ''a real coup for the tournament'', Turner said.

''He is a world-class player, so it is a big deal.

''He is not playing as much as he was a few years ago, but he is still considered one of the great swingers of a golf club.

''And how many major champions do we get in the New Zealand Open these days?''

Two, actually.

Ogilvy followed Michael Campbell as a US Open champion when he won the 2006 tournament.

Campbell last month announced he was resuming his career following a three-year break and would compete at what will be the 100th edition of the New Zealand Open.

Campbell is sure to attract some big crowds and Ogilvy can expect a strong contingent following him around as well.

The 41-year-old Australian was once ranked as high as No 3 in the world.

''If I wasn't commentating I'd be following him,'' Turner said.

''He's been a fantastic player for a long time and ... he is a real student of the game.''

Turner said he spoke to Campbell (49) recently.

''He looked like he was swinging it pretty well. He is very keen with that senior tour coming up ... so this will be a good outing for him because he has been out of the competitive scene for quite some time.''

Turner's teenage son, Jack (19), is a budding golfer and ''has made some progress in the last few months''.

''I'm sure he'd love to make it in the field, but it is pretty tough going through that qualifying. But he'll be giving it a shot.''

Ogilvy's decision last year to return home to Melbourne with his family after 20 years in the US helped pave the way to playing in New Zealand.

''They say Queenstown is the prettiest place in the world - I've never been there, so I can't wait,'' he said in a press release.

''Professional golf can put you in a box and when you play in the US it's just easier to stay there.

''It hasn't really been possible to compete in the New Zealand Open [recently] - but it is now and I couldn't be more excited.

Ogilvy has won 12 times as a professional, including eight PGA Tour events.

Ogilvy played in the 1999 New Zealand Open in Auckland but it is not how he wants to be remembered.

''The wind blew 100 miles an hour. It was my last tournament after nine in a row and it was one tournament too far.

''I didn't make the cut - so let's call this my first time properly at a New Zealand Open.''

Ogilvy is unsure how much golf he will play this year as he wants to spend more time with his family.

''I am done playing 26 to 30 tournaments a year at least for the next few years.

''If I play well, then absolutely I will likely play a bit more but if I don't, then I'll focus more on my golf architecture business and my media work.

''It is an exciting period but I will always be a professional golfer. I am always going to play a few tournaments every year,'' he said.

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