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Golf-Australian Ogilvy reels in Barracuda title

Reuters

(Reuters) - Australian Geoff Ogilvy broke out of a slump with a convincing victory at the $3 million Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada on Sunday.

Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, nearly skipped the tournament but was glad he did not after finishing on 21-under-par for 49 points in the Modified Stableford format on the Montreux course.

American Justin Hicks claimed second place on 44 points, with compatriots Jonathan Byrd and John Huh equal third on 37.

Ogilvy, 37, collected $540,000 for his eighth PGA Tour victory and his first since 2010.

He also earned a late invitation to next week's PGA Championship.

"Monday night I was sitting at home all miserable," Ogilvy told Golf Channel. "Everyone was trying to convince me to go. I'm glad I did.

"It's hard to see on the scoreboard sometimes but I've been hitting the ball for the past four or five months and the putter just wasn't co-operating," he added.

"Your confidence gets down when you don't make any putts but this week I made a few on Thursday. When you make putts, golf goes well usually."

After entering the final round with a three-point lead, Ogilvy found himself trailing Hicks by three points as he played the par-5 13th.

But he responded by sinking a 27-foot eagle putt to gain five points and move two ahead of Hicks on his way to becoming the sixth Australian to win on Tour this year.

He carded a six-under 66, while Hicks had 10 birdies and two bogeys for an eight-under 64.

Ogilvy, whose resume also includes three World Golf Championships titles, arrived in Reno ranked 216th in the world after a wretched season.

However, the absence of the Tour's biggest names gave him the perfect opportunity to end his slump, and he did so in style as his putting touch returned amid the pines in the thin mountain air nearly 6,000 feet above sea level.

Under the scoring system, points are awarded on each hole for being under par, with birdies earning a player two points and eagles five. A bogey costs a player one point, double bogeys and worse three points. No points are won or lost with par.

Ogilvy had two eagles, 22 birdies and five bogeys over the 72 holes.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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