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He’s 6 Back, but Geoff Ogilvy is the Favourite in Australia

Geoff Ogilvy had a less than impressive opening round 70 and trails Andrew Buckle and American Bobby Gates by 6 shots at the Australian PGA Championship.

The 2009 US Open champion made plenty of birdies on Thursday, but, in turn, gave a lot away in the opening round.

His round included 6 birdies and 4 bogies, including a dropped shot on the par-5 first hole. 

It goes without saying that in today’s professional golf a player simply can’t give away shots on the par-5’s.  These are the bread and butter of the world’s best and Ogilvy will have to clean things up if he’s going to make a move in round two.

Regardless of the slow start, the bookmakers still have Ogilvy as their favourite at (9-1).

Coming in second on the betting board is PGA Tour veteran Robert Allenby who, like Ogilvy, carded a (-2) round on Thursday.

It seems the books have yet to put any real confidence in the unknowns that currently populate the top of the leaderboard opting to stick with the ‘names’ heading to round two.

Thus, in accordance with this philosophy, they’ll send Allenby out at (10-1) on Friday.

After making just 4 birdies on Thursday, Allenby will need to take advantage of the easier holes on the front nine, as he made just a single birdie on his opening 9 holes yesterday.

Liang Wen-Chong sits just behind the two big name Aussies at (12-1) after getting off to a hot start shooting 66 in round one.

He shot a lights out 30 on the front nine and now sits just two shots back of the round one leaders.

Another PGA Tour vet, John Senden, remains the bookmakers’ third choice as he got off to a solid start posting a 69 on Friday.  The books will put him into round two at (12-1).

Both of the round one leaders will head out on day two at (14-1).

Andrew Buckle spent the past season on the Nationwide Tour in America, but wasn’t able to post a single result of note over the entire season.

His best finish was a tie for 6th at the Bogota Open all the way back in early March.

Bobby Gates, meanwhile, is a 25-year old player who’s been getting better and better over the course of 2010 and recently graduated from the Nationwide Tour’s top-25 to earn a PGA Tour card for 2011.

He had three top-5’s this past season, including a win at the Michael Hill New Zealand Open, making him an interesting pick this week.


Take it easy when it’s breezy  - Stan Plachy

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