- Associated Press - Thursday, January 26, 2012

SAN DIEGO (AP) - It takes Geoff Ogilvy only 10 minutes to get from his house to Torrey Pines, a beautiful commute through the village of Del Mar, along a stretch of surf at Torrey Pines State Beach and then up the side of a cliff to his office for the week.

A hometown favorite?

Not necessarily. He grew up in Australia, and only recently moved here from Arizona.

A home course advantage?

Ogilvy played a practice round for the Farmers Insurance Open on Tuesday. It was his first time on the South Course at Torrey Pines since he shot 74 and tied for ninth in the 2008 U.S. Open.

“There’s a lot of nice golf courses around that don’t have 50 people standing on the first tee when you line up, which is a testament to how cool the place is,” Ogilvy said Wednesday. “This is pretty unique. It’s a bit like Bethpage in New York. It’s the pride and joy of the town, really. I’d love to play here a bit more, but I just don’t get around to doing it.”

Ogilvy will get his fill this week when the tournament gets under way Thursday. This is his first tournament of 2012, and he has high hopes for his season, much like he did a year ago until slicing open his finger on the coral while at Kapalua.

The real hometown favorite is Phil Mickelson, who grew up in San Diego and was a regular at Torrey Pines. Mickelson moved to Arizona early in his career, before coming home. Mickelson’s caddie, Jim Mackay, and Ogilvy were neighbors in the Scottsdale area.

What’s a guy from Melbourne doing all the way in San Diego?

For Ogilvy, it feels like home. And compared with the scorching summer climate of Scottsdale, it feels like heaven.

“It started when we had kids,” he said, noting that Scottsdale’s three months of triple-digit temperatures made it difficult to take the kids outside. “A lot of people from Arizona come to the coast in the summer. It’s just not that cool, really. So we started coming over for summers. Spent the whole summer here when the Open was here and had a great time. And basically just started looking for houses because we enjoyed it.”

The plan was for Del Mar to be a summer getaway from the heat.

But there was always the drive home, through the desert, over the mountains, down into the valley of Phoenix.

“You drive over those mountains and it’s going up a degree every second almost,” he said. “And you get down to the bottom of the hill and it’s 105. It’s like, `Why are we going back?’ We eventually just decided on one of the trips back that this would be our last winter.”

There’s plenty of similarities.

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