There were 902 players competing during the sectional round of qualifying for the 2017 U.S. Open. That group, however, did not include former champ Geoff Ogilvy.
Ogilvy was the last man standing at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and his 10-year exemption for that victory ended last year. The Aussie was originally scheduled to participate in the Columbus, Ohio, sectional on Monday, but he opted to withdraw and later told Golf Digest that the toll of a 36-hole qualifier simply wasn’t worth it during a busy part of the season.
“I couldn’t find a scenario to try to qualify to play the U.S. Open with respect to my schedule,” Ogilvy said. “I thought about it for months hoping I’d locked up a good spot in the FedExCup standings, then I would’ve played the qualifier for sure.”
Ogilvy has not won since the 2014 Barracuda Championship, which made him exempt on the PGA Tour through 2016. But he failed to reach the FedExCup playoffs last season, meaning that he had to use a one-time career money list exemption to keep his card.
Ogilvy has four top-25 finishes this season, including a T-4 finish at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in the fall, but he enters this week at No. 113 on the points list with only the top 125 after the Wyndham Championship in August retaining privileges for next season.
Ogilvy, who turns 40 on Sunday, told PGATour.com last month that there was an “outside chance” he would skip qualifying, but now it’s confirmed that he’ll miss the U.S. Open for the first time since 2004.
He is not in the field this week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, and instead plans to watch the U.S. Open while practicing at home in Arizona before flying to the Travelers Championship later this month.
“If you play the qualifier, it beats you up,” he said. “And then the tournament beats you up, and then I could go to (Travelers) physically tired and maybe lose a bit of confidence if I don’t play well. It was really hard for me.”