- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 10, 2009

KAPALUA, Hawaii | Geoff Ogilvy three-putted his last two holes Friday. That ended his impressive streak without a bogey, but it didn’t cost him the lead at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.

Flawless in the first 34 holes, Ogilvy stumbled home to a 5-under 68 on a generous day for scoring, giving him a one-shot lead on D.J. Trahan going into the weekend of the PGA Tour’s season-opener at Kapalua.

Ogilvy was at 11-under 135, still in the lead but losing a chance to separate himself from the field.

Trahan holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the 15th and closed with a birdie for a 66. Ernie Els, despite missing a short par putt and dumping a chip into the bunker, did enough things right for a 69 that left him only two shots behind.

Davis Love III birdied the last two holes for a 70 and was among five players at 7-under 139. Another stroke back was Boo Weekley, who might have been a little closer except for a four-putt double bogey on the final hole.

“I pulled the first one, pulled the next one, then I done blew my top,” said Weekley, who had to settle for a 70.

Ogilvy was frustrated, too, and a little perplexed by a sudden shift that could make playing the course even trickier on the weekend.

After a 415-yard drive to the bottom of the hill on the 17th, he hit a wedge toward the green and knew something was wrong when it shot up into the air. Instead of landing in the middle of the green and rolling toward the hole, it stopped 85 feet short.

“The wind changed sometime between the tee shot on the 17th and the second shot on the 17th, and we couldn’t really feel it where we were standing,” Ogilvy said.

His par putt from five feet spun 360 degrees out of the hole for his first bogey of the tournament.

Stranger still was the wind coming off the left on the par-5 18th, a direction Ogilvy never experienced in his previous two trips to Kapalua. He still reached the green in two, but his 70-foot eagle putt ran six feet by the hole; he missed that one to settle for par.

“I played really, really well on the front nine,” he said. “The finish was a bit rough.”

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