PINEHURST — Just off the 13th tee, Duke alum Joe Ogilvie recognized a familiar face. With Beef Jerky in one hand, he walked over to the players’ water cooler and smiled. North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams smiled back.
“I told him to not recruit people that Mike Krzyzewski is recruiting,” Ogilvie said after his second round Friday in the U.S. Open. “We don’t want competition.”
At that point, Ogilvie was 1-over par on the day, and 4-over overall, in position to hang around the cutline. But after talking to Williams …
“I don’t know if it was Roy, but as soon as I talked to Roy, I played the last five holes five over,” Ogilvie said. “Yeah, I’m going to blame the coach at North Carolina for that one.”
At 40 years old, Ogilvie knows his competitive career is coming to a close. He is playing on the PGA Tour this year thanks to an exemption given to past tour event winners, the same way golfers like John Daly and David Duval find their way into tournaments. Ogilvie graduated from Duke in 1996, qualified for the PGA Tour in 1999 and again in 2003, won his only title in the 2007 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee and earned his spot in this U.S. Open through sectional qualifying in Memphis. It’s the third consecutive year Ogilvie has successfully advanced through sectional qualifying.
After carding a 6-over 76 Friday, finishing with back-to-back double bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18, Ogilvie said he had played in his final USGA (United States Golf Association) tournament. His 9-over total wasn’t good enough to play this weekend, but he complimented the course redesign, criticizing himself instead with self-deprecating humor.
“I hit the ball like a warrior poet, and I putted like a fainting goat,” Ogilvie said Thursday.
That theme continued Friday, when Ogilvie again lamented his “God awful” putting. What was once his strength has become his weakness of late – or, as Ogilvie put it, his heel.
While he has a way with words, Ogilvie’s passion, other than golf, is business. An economics major at Duke, Ogilvie started an investment firm, Ogilvie Capital, in 2007, and while he doesn’t currently take other people’s money, he wants to eventually. He has earned over $10.1 million throughout his PGA Tour career, and he has been mentioned as a possible successor to PGA commissioner Tim Finchem, whose contract runs through 2016.
“Joe the Pro,” as he is known in Durham, will play in the John Deere Classic in early July and then hopes to play in the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro in August. That will be his final professional event, he said, his send-offs from major championship and professional golf coming close to his college stomping grounds, when it was all beginning.
“I’m not 100 percent sure what will be next,” he said. “But something will be next.”