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Ogilvy believes he can be a better player
By Wayne Heming
18:05 AEST Wed Dec 12 2012

Geoff Ogilvy is in a select club of eight Australians to have won a major but a tough year has convinced him his best golf is still ahead.

Battling one of the most frustrating years of his professional career has re-ignited Ogilvy's hunger to play even better than he did to win the 2006 US Open.

"Maybe you just can't play well all the time," he said ahead of his opening round of the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum on Thursday.

"I know the most enjoyable times I've ever had on golf course has been deep on Sunday in majors and big tournaments, but majors especially because everything is magnified.

"I think I can play better than I ever have before.

"Physically I'm capable of hitting it better and my short game is never far away.

"I feel in a good place for good things to happen."

Ogilvy never got the kudos his US Open performance deserved because both Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie double bogeyed the 72nd hole.

But his victory lifted him into the select majors club alongside Peter Thomson (five British Opens), Greg Norman (two British Opens), Kel Nagle (British Open), David Graham (US Open, PGA Championship), Wayne Grady (PGA), Ian Baker-Finch (British Open), Steve Elkington (PGA) and he feels the hunger is back.

The 37 year-old who has three World Golf Championships among his seven US Tour victories, has been sliding down the world rankings since starting 2010 ranked No.9.

He made 18 cuts from 20 starts and $US1.25 million in prizemoney on the US Tour in 2012 and finished the season ranked 56.

There were some encouraging results however, his best a tied ninth at the British Open.

"I guess you probably don't appreciate it when you play well all the time," he said.

"You appreciate it more when you struggle a little bit.

"I've had a few years in a row that weren't quite the same as the four or five years before that.

"I just want to be in the last nine holes of majors and big golf tournaments and contend a lot more.

"I'd say I'm hungrier than I've ever been."

Ogilvy said he felt better equipped physically now to win big tournaments than when he won the US Open.

Having a family kept Ogilvy away from the practice range and putting green when spending time with his three young children became more of a priority.

"There was a period when perhaps I didn't go to the golf course as a regularly or not for as long because I just wanted to get home and play with my kids, like anybody who has children does," he said.

"It's been a frustrating year. I've played well and got nothing out of it really.

"I kinda played half decent at the Open and the PGA (tied 11th).

"My game was better than my results so it would be nice to finish the year with a win and head back to the US feeling good about my game."

Ogilvy will play his first round on Thursday with Robert Allenby and 2011 British Open winner Darren Clarke.

He and Allenby both said their much publicised slanging match after last year's PGA Championship when they almost came to blows was "history".

"It was just a healthy discussion. We were fine a week later really," said Ogilvy.

Allenby said the two had "kissed and made up".