Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

The Loop

Strege: Ogilvy Positioned to Win Another Open

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The final round of the U.S. Open can meander in a variety of directions, none of them predictable, which makes prognostication  (other than opting for the safest bet, that Tiger Woods will win) dicey. That said, the winner is . . .

Geoff Ogilvy.

Given that he'll start the final round four shots behind Woods, that renders him a long shot, but Ogilvy makes a strong case on his own behalf, starting with precedent, his Open victory at Winged Foot in 2006.

"You don't know what's going to happen in the last round at a U.S. Open," he said, after shooting a one-over-par 72 that has him tied for fourth with D.J. Trahan. "My story proves that more than anyone's. Obviously, I'd love to be in the lead, but four shots could disappear in three holes out here. The amount of shots isn't as important as the amount of people, and there's probably one, two or three people between me and the lead, and that's similar to Winged Foot. It's nice. I'll be in the second-to-last group or third-to-last group and have every chance."

Ogilvy scrambled effectively on Saturday, which is imperative in a U.S. Open. Narrow fairways and thick rough tend to wreak havoc on greens in regulation, but he improved his chances by missing greens in the right places.

"It's always the hardest part of a U.S. Open, getting up and down when you miss the greens," he said. "You elevate your chances if you're missing it in the right spots, which I seemed to do today."

Ogilvy, too, is satisfied with the state of his game, including the fact that his best round this week might still be ahead of him.

"It's very rare you actually walk off a U.S. Open round and feel you're playing that great," he said. "But I'm definitely playing well enough. You don't play well every day in a four-round tournament, so I'm due to have a good one."

He also said his swing is close enough to where he needs it to deliver a final-round surge. "It seems to sharpen my focus, when it's almost perfect, but not quite," he said. "So if you stand on the first tee and you're 100 percent happy with your golf swing, you have something to worry about, because that's very abnormal."

--John Strege