Davis Love and Geoff Ogilvy shared the first seven holes of their Accenture world match play championship final at La Costa today.
It was hardly sparkling stuff – not a birdie between them as they felt their way into a 36-hole contest where the difference between winning and losing was more than £315,000.
Australian Ogilvy was trying not just for the first prize of nearly £750,000 but also for his own version of a Grand Slam. Having knocked out US Open champion Michael Campbell, 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir and then 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman in the semi-finals, he was facing the 1997 US PGA champion.
Love was trying to go one better than he did two years ago when Tiger Woods beat him three and two in the final.
“It’s always better to not run up against the world number one, I guess – but Geoff Ogilvy is playing great,” he said.
“The fact he’s won in extra holes four times just shows he’s got a lot of guts and determination – he’s not ever going to give up.”
Ogilvy had been four down with four to play against Weir but won with an eagle on the 21st. He also birdied the last hole to level with England’s David Howell and sank a 20-footer at the 19th to win their quarter-final.
His 95 holes to reach the final was the most of anybody in the history of the championship.
The Adelaide golfer, seeded only 52nd of the 64 players who began the week, has won only once on the US Tour – and that was in Tucson exactly a year ago when all the stars, of course, were competing in the match play.
Love has not won for three years – but at 41 he still firmly thinks he can challenge for more major honours.
His 111-yard pitch-in for eagle to beat Padraig Harrington by one hole in the last eight was the most dramatic moment of the week and fuelled his belief that good things are starting to happen for him again.