By T.J. Auclair, Junior Editor
MEDINAH, Ill. -- It's not often that the reigning U.S. Open champion is left feeling like the odd man out.
However, that's precisely what Australian Geoff Ogilvy will be when he tees it up for the first two rounds of the season's final major, the 88th PGA Championship here at Medinah Country Club.
How can that be?
Well, the PGA of America traditionally pairs the winners of the year's first three majors for the first 36 holes. That means the 29-year-old Ogilvy has the misfortune -- or opportunity -- to play side-by-side with reigning PGA and Masters champion Phil Mickelson (No. 2 in the World Golf Ranking), as well as British Open winner Tiger Woods (No. 1).
"It will be quite fun, I imagine," Ogilvy, who is ranked No. 8 in the world, said about his pairing. "I'm sure it'll be a zoo. I don't know when the last time -- I mean, when the last time they played together in a big spectator market like this.
"There's going to be a lot of people turning up when we're on the first tee on Thursday. It's going to be fun," he added. "I've never played together with them both at the same time. I know them both well enough and I've played with them a few times, so it'll be interesting. It'll be quite funny, and the crowd will be quite vocal and right into it."
Since his unlikely U.S. Open triumph, Ogilvy has played just two tournaments -- the British Open, where he finished tied for 16th and the Buick Open, where he tied for 60th.
Ogilvy may be a newcomer to the major championship winner's circle, but he's no stranger to playing well in the majors. Along with the U.S. Open win and the T16 at the British Open, he also had a T16 at this year's Masters.
Plus, the Aussie had a T6 at the 2005 PGA Championship and a T5 at the 2005 British Open. In fact, the last time he missed a cut in a major he's been eligible for was the 2003 U.S. Open just down the road at Olympia Fields.
Those expecting Ogilvy to fold like a beach chair while paired with Woods and Mickelson should be in for a big surprise.
"I've always played all right when I've played with him," Ogilvy said, speaking of Woods. "I think it's very easy to get caught up watching him play because it's so fun to watch him play. Most of us out here, we've all seen pretty much everyone play golf, and it's ho-hum, a bit of a yawn, he hits it okay.
"But when you play with Tiger, he is enjoyable to watch," Ogilvy added. "I haven't played with him since 2002 maybe, I don't know, but I played with him a couple of times in 1999, and that was pretty impressive to watch. You do find yourself watching him playing, thinking, this is pretty impressive. All of a sudden you're on the sixth hole and haven't really paid attention to what you're doing.
"As I said, I've always played okay when I've played with him. I guess there's a lot of distractions and stuff, but most of us are used to that sort of stuff now. Hopefully I'll play well playing in this group -- hopefully."
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