Geoff Ogilvy has not and will not venture into the Kapalua surf this year.
Returning to the US PGA Tour’s winners-only event in Maui after a five-year absence, Ogilvy is a quasi two-time defending champion, having missed his chance of a three-peat in 2011 when he cut his finger on a local reef in the lead-up.
While the surfing aficionado would love to cut loose on the waves, he knows it might not be the wisest decision this time around.
“I would go out, but can you imagine if it went wrong. The ocean will always be there,” a relaxed Ogilvy said on Thursday.
As part of golf’s elite at the time, Ogilvy had won seven times in six years, including the 2006 US Open, but the injury was the start of what turned into an almost four-year struggle.
After close to five years entrenched in the world’s top 50, including a high of No.3, Ogilvy spiralled as low as 216th last year.
There was no win in 2011, just four top-10s, and then 2012 and 2013 yielded just one top-10 finish each season, with 2013 being distinctly worse with a next-best finish of equal 27th.
Last year it appeared more of the same, Ogilvy reaching August without a top-10 result but a win late last year and a ride through the playoffs to the Tour Championship have the Victorian trending up once more.
He enters this week as world No.94, knowing the last two times he played in Hawaii he won, averaged 67 per round, shot a combined 46-under and won $US280,000 ($A303,000) for each of those eight rounds.
“It does feel like coming home. I am very comfortable here,” he said.
“It is interesting because right before I won I was over it, I was done. I was ready to shut it down for the year but now I’m here and I feel so much better for having the struggles.
“I feel a lot wiser about my game. It made me notice things and become more cerebral.
“Now I feel really good about the next few years, I am better prepared to ride the ups and downs and not chase too hard.”
With a two-year tour card exemption back up his sleeve and a trip to all four majors earned in 2015, Ogilvy has his sight set high once more.
He could start by joining Jack Nicklaus (5), Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Stuart Appleby as three-time event winners.
“There is no reason I can’t start strong here and get a third trophy. That’s the aim,” he said.
I’m also not done competing on Sunday’s in majors. I know I have it in me to contend and win again.
“Maybe this is the start of career No.2.
“I am excited about Augusta and St Andrews, I always get up for the US Open and I enjoy Whistling Straights.
“I’m sitting here really excited to play golf again and that is obviously a good thing.”