MIAMI (Reuters) - Australian Geoff Ogilvy has shrugged off a miserable spell of form on the West Coast just in time for this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, where he will look to bolster his chances for a Masters invite.
Ogilvy is coming off a second-place finish at the Honda Classic on Sunday that earned him a spot in the elite field for the World Golf Championship that he had not been in line for given his poor early season form.
"It's nice to be here. I had kind of penciled in a week off. Ogilvy, who triumphed here in 2008, told reporters on Tuesday.
"After playing here for so many years in a row ... and at a course that I've played well at it was going to be disappointing to miss."
The 2006 U.S. Open champion missed the cut in all four events he played on the West Coast this season, failing to break 70 in any of his rounds.
While it would have been a upsetting for Ogilvy to miss a prestigious event such as this week's tournament, what is really motivating the 35-year-old Australian is the chance to play in the April 11-14 Masters at Augusta National.
Sunday's result moved him to 46th in the world rankings, up from 79th, and Ogilvy is not hiding the fact that he needs to remain inside the top 50 until the end of the month to secure a spot in the year's first major.
"I'm thinking about it, and I'll use it as a motivation," said Ogilvy. "It's been on my mind really all year because I didn't start the year exempt in the Masters for the first time for a while.
"It was on my mind a little bit more at the end of the West Coast as I was plummeting in the world rankings rather fast, so nice to get back on the right side. But I guess any of the next few weeks I could really lock it up with one good week again.
"I'm in much better position. It would be really nice ‑‑ it would be obviously great to win the golf tournament but a consolation prize would be to have a strong finish and lock up the Masters, that would be pretty good."
Ogilvy credited his improved putting for his upturn in form at the Honda Classic, where he finished two strokes back of American winner Michael Thompson, and conceded his confidence had taken a battering on the West Coast.
"I wasn't very happy with the golf really during the West Coast. I was pretty down on it really," he said. "But, saying that, I hit the ball better each week that I played on the West Coast and kind of almost scored worse.
"I had some good signs to grab on to, but the confidence was pretty low when I left L.A. for sure."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)