Winning the U.S. Open can make a career. It can also be a career. Just ask Geoff Ogilvy, who hasn’t won since last year’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot. What kind of pressure does he face? “More and less,” Ogilvy said. “Sometimes I think I probably put too much expectations on myself. At other times, I’m like, ‘What do I care? I just won the U.S. Open.’ It’s a bit of both.”
Zach Johnson recently returned from a three-week break, probably catching his breath following his surprising Masters victory. In the two tournaments since picking the clubs back up, he finished 84th at the Wachovia Championship and tied for 16th at The Players Championship. The AT&T Classic seems to be good to those who do well at Augusta as Phil Mickelson won here last year, when it was the week before the Masters, then went on to win his second green jacket. Johnson registered his first career victory here in 2004 and was runner-up last year.
This is the week several of the top players are taking off before making their charge for the U.S. Open, which is just a month away. The Colonial, the Memorial and the St. Jude are the only tournaments in between. Surprisingly, Mickelson, who won last week, is taking a break despite winning here the past two years and three times overall.
Can it be two years already since Paula Creamer had her breakthrough victory? Sure is. Creamer and her pink-dominated wardrobe won the Sybase Classic, making her the second-youngest winner in LPGA history at 18 years, 9 months. But the Sybase is now at Upper Montclair Country Club, with Wykagyl Country Club hosting the HSBC Women’s World Match Play in July. But this could also be the spot where a fifth player notches her first LPGA win.
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
WHERE: Duluth, Ga.
COURSE: TPC Sugarloaf, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Phil Mickelson
EVENT: Sybase Classic
WHERE: Clifton, N.J.
COURSE: Upper Montclair Country Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Lorena Ochoa
EVENT: Regions Charity Classic
WHERE: Hoover, Ala.
COURSE: Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Ross Bridge, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Brad Bryant
EVENT: BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs
WHERE: Travelers Rest, S.C.
COURSE: The Cliffs, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Ken Duke
EVENT: Irish Open
WHERE: Adare, Ireland
COURSE: Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Thomas Bjorn