The self-imposed absence of Tiger Woods from the PGA Tour could pave the way for someone else to take over as world number one this year, according to Australian Geoff Ogilvy.
Woods, who has topped the rankings for the last 239 weeks, announced last month he was taking an indefinite break from the game in the wake of revelations about his personal life.
"It's an interesting time right now," Ogilvy told reporters on Tuesday while preparing for his title defense at this week's SBS Championship on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
"Number one in the world might be up for realistic grabs this year, depending on how it all takes shape.
"Even if he does come back (this year), I imagine it will be a very limited schedule. Even if he comes back and wins, nobody knows what's going to happen.
"A lot of guys will be thinking here is my year," added the 14th-ranked Australian who climbed to a career-high third in 2008.
American Woods, who has been world number one for a total of 581 weeks in his career, has given no timetable for his likely return to competition.
The 14-times major champion was plunged into a media storm after suffering minor injuries in a bizarre early morning car crash outside his Florida home on Nov. 27 and he has been in hiding since admitting he had cheated on his wife.
Ogilvy, a six-times winner on the PGA Tour who clinched his first major title at the 2006 U.S. Open, believes he is one of the players capable of replacing Woods at the pinnacle of the game.
"I am definitely one of those guys," the 32-year-old said. "When I play my best, I can play with anyone.
"I have had periods that are a bit inconsistent where I can't compete with anyone at all, or I just play average and I have to get rid of those periods.
"My good periods are great but the players who get to the top two or three in the world stay there and play well. They do well when they're not playing their best.
"I think I am more capable and I think I get better most years. So I think it's definitely feasible."
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