Geoff Ogilvy is optimistic about his return to the US Masters next week despite a run of disappointing form in recent weeks.
Ogilvy will be back at Augusta after a two-year absence courtesy of a late run last year which saw him bounce back into contention.
But the 2006 US Open champion has not had the lead-in he hoped for on tour this year.
His best finish this season has been a tie for 27th at the Hyundai Tournament in January.
He had been hoping for a lift in his game heading into the recent WGC Cadillac Championship earlier this month where he pitted himself against a top class field.
However he again struggled to end the event down the standings at 61st.
Ogilvy has battled form issues for 18 months and struggled throughout most of last season to make an impression.
He found his spark late in the year when he broke through for victory in the Barracuda Championship.
He then finished in a tie for second in the Deutsche Bank Championship in the Tour Play-Offs and saw the door to the Masters open.
But he will need a dazzling turnaround if he is to capitalise on his entry.
While he is far from downcast about his game, Ogilvy says he is remaining patient.
"I’ve been playing okay without getting the results, so it would be nice to get some return on the good work," he said.
And he says his affinity for the majors and his carefully planned program leading up to the first grand slam tournament of the year may provide the impetus he has been looking for.
"I am ready and pretty excited. I had the whole thing planned out schedule wise last December to maximise my chances of nurturing my confidence and getting my game in the right shape," Ogilvy said.
"Missing it for two years sucked, especially the first year when Adam Scott won. That was brutal. But the closer I get to returning the more excited I get."
Meanwhile Victorian Stuart Appleby will be missing indefinitely from the circuit while he recovers from back surgery.
Appleby was operated on for a herniated disc and says he does not know when he will be able to resume playing.
The 43-year-old has not teed up since mid-February and the surgery seems to be the result of enduring many years of back issues.
"No idea when I`m back as I don`t know or anybody knows how long it takes to get 100 percent," Appleby told Reuters.
The Australian, one of only six players to have shot 59 on the PGA Tour, has won nine times in America but his last victory was the Greenbriar Classic in 2010.
He was not exempt for next month`s Masters, after finishing 31st on the tour`s points list last year – but the season was a boost for him as he clinched one runner-up finish and three top 10s.
Appleby pulled out of playing after a series of three consecutive missed cuts last month.
By: Robert Grant