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Ogilvy Heads To Hawaii The Favourite at PGA’s Opening Event

Geoff Ogilvy would love to start 2011 the way he started 2010 when he tees off the favourite, and defending champion, on Thursday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Ogilvy returns to the site of his only 2010 PGA Tour win where he topped the field of annual Tour event winners.

He comes into Hawaii playing well after a strong finish to his 2010 season that culminated with a playoff loss to Peter Senior (who lived up to his name winning at the age of 51) and it should be expected that the 2009 US Open winner will be in the mix on the back nine Sunday.

With the tournament missing some big names like Mickelson, Woods and even reigning Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, there’s nothing wrong with the bookmakers sending Ogilvy off as the favourite at (8-1).

Second on the betting board is Ernie Els who had one of the more impressive seasons of his illustrious career in 2010.

The Big Easy collected two Tour wins in 2010 and also took down the four man Grand Slam of Golf.

It should be expected that Els will continue his world class play.  Age just hasn’t played a factor with the sweet swinging South African, so don’t expect him turning 42 this season to have any effect on his play and subsequent results.

Els, and rightly so, will head to the first tee Thursday just behind Ogilvy at (10-1).

Behind Els and Ogilvy is a trio of players at (12-1) who had career seasons in 2010 and will certainly challenge the pair of frontrunners over the next 72 holes at Kapalua’s Plantation Course.

The impressive seasons Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell had in 2010 are well documented and it will be interesting to watch if they’re able to put up an equally impressive encore.

Johnson could easily be coming into 2011 a 2010 double major winner if not for two fourth round collapses at the US Open and PGA Championship.

Furthermore, it could be that Johnson’s career is just getting into gear and that’s a scary thought.  He’ll most certainly contend this week and at a considerable number of the starts he makes this season.

Furyk rode three wins, including the season ending Tour Championship, to Player Of The Year honours in 2010.  He’s one of the best, but it’s a bit much to expect him to duplicate his run last season.  It should be expected that he returns to his consistent ways, but not another lights out year.  A season that most players can only hope comes around once in a lifetime.

McDowell capped his major championship season by draining two bombs to deny Tiger Woods’ hopes of a win in 2010.  Much should be expected of the reigning US Open champ and his run of four top-5’s in his last five events of 2010 has him positioned to continue his global excellence again this season.

Well, a new season is here and it all gets underway tomorrow.  More than just a bit excited! Happy New Season!


Golf is a cruel game  - Graeme McDowell   (Hasn’t been that cruel to Mr. McDowell lately....)

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