Jason Day said he is hungry and motivated to reclaim the number one ranking as the two-time WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play champion prepares to make a splash in Austin.
Day was on top of the world when he dethroned Jordan Spieth as the top-ranked player in 2016 – a position he held for 51 weeks.
But Day fell away last year, on and off-course issues derailing the Australian star, who was visibly emotional as he abruptly withdrew from the 2017 WGC-Dell Match Play following his mother's cancer diagnosis.
Fortunately, Day's mother is now in remission and the 30-year-old – winner of the Farmers Insurance Open in January before finishing tied for 22nd at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational – is ready to return to the PGA Tour summit.
"Last year was a difficult year for me, obviously. It was hard for me to obviously be on the golf course at this point. But going through what I went through, being number one for 51 weeks and kind of being a little burned out was tough for me," Day told reporters ahead of Wednesday's opening matches, which will see him face Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Dufner and James Hahn.
"And I've revaluated myself at the end of last year, kind of reset some new goals, trying to stick to the process goals and trying to improve each and every week. But like once again, it's about climbing that mountain again and trying to get back to the top.
"I said to my team at the end of last year, I said the goal is -- because obviously I got two new caddies who I share, my best mates. And I had a meeting with them and that was the first official meeting with them. I said, look, every tournament we go to, we go there to focus and go there to have a plan of winning that tournament and going to the next one and trying to win that one. And our plan, our ultimate goal is to get back to number one in the world and that's that long-term goal. It may not happen this year, it may not happen next year, or it may happen this year. You never know how the runs happen or how the momentum changes in your game.
"This year I feel more hungry and motivated to get back to the top. There is a lot of tough competition there, but I feel like my game is really close, if I can just take in that proximity to the hole, give myself maybe one or two more looks on the greens, the way I'm putting it, because I'm leading strokes gained in putting, I think I'll be able to gain that back pretty quick."
The man top of the rankings at the moment is American Dustin Johnson, who is also the defending champion at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Johnson added: "Of I want a chance to repeat, then I'm going to have to do a lot of the same things, which is I'm going to have to play good every single match."
|Vidic hails Ronaldo as ultimate professional ahead of Old Trafford return|
|Warriors´ Cousins nearing NBA return|
|Pogba can´t do the basics – Souness criticises Man United star|
|Messi absence big blow for Barca as Icardi talks up Inter|
|´You can´t cry, that´s true´ – Ronaldo responds to Isco|
|Bartomeu: Barca still competitive without Messi|
|Bills RB McCoy remains in concussion protocol|
|Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on IR|
|Emery calm over title talk after another Arsenal win|
|Green: Warriors have to clean up defensively|
|Mariners say Bolt talks ongoing amid reports contract offer was rejected|
|Proud captain Ozil revels in Arsenal´s ´sexy football´|
|Puel angry over Holding handball|
|Cilic breezes through in Basel, Anderson fights back|
|Ingram: Four-game ban better than we expected|
|Raiders send Cooper to Cowboys for first-round pick|
|Arsenal 3 Leicester City 1: Outstanding Ozil inspires comeback win|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Dodgers will win|
|Yarmolenko out for six months after Achilles surgery|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Red Sox will win|
|Ozil eclipses Klinsmann to become Premier League´s most prolific German|
|Allegri expecting Old Trafford battle against Mourinho´s United|
|Bertens feared she did not belong in Kerber clash|
|Returning Ronaldo expecting ´tough´ game against Manchester United|
|Cristiano Ronaldo confident of clearing his name amid rape allegation|
|Osaka looking to learn from losing start in Singapore|
|Kovac expects tough test against AEK Athens|
|Whyte gives Chisora deadline over rematch|
|Spartak Moscow sack Massimo Carrera|
|Atletico Madrid confirm fresh injury issue for Gimenez|
|Dolberg extends Ajax contract after Real Madrid links|
|Ronaldo an example for Lukaku to follow|
|Bertens battles back to blast past Kerber|
|Ramos apologises for training ground fracas|
|Raikkonen should take heed of Alonso misfortune as F1 career winds down|
|Guardiola wants Manchester City fans to push team to Champions League glory|
|Isco not interested in departed Ronaldo - he didn´t want to be here|
|World Series 2018: Three storylines to watch in Red Sox-Dodgers|
|Neymar focus bad for football - PSG´s Maxwell|
|Marco Ianni charged by FA over Jose Mourinho touchline row|
|Stephens sees off Osaka in see-saw Singapore battle|
|I´m happy at Manchester United - Mourinho dismisses Real Madrid reports|
|Semenya and Asher-Smith head IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Mandzukic to miss Manchester United trip|
|I turned down Manchester United to return to Juventus - Bonucci|
|Sanchez out of Manchester United´s clash with Juventus|
|Australia make Short work of run chase in T20 win|
|Brotherly g-love! Tommy Fury follows Tyson into the pros|
|Ozil´s international retirement can help Arsenal - Emery|
|If you sack Lopetegui, you have to sack us all – Isco|
|Lopetegui defiant amid Real Madrid sack reports|
|Sri Lanka spinner Herath to retire after Galle Test|
|Ronaldo returns for Old Trafford welcome amid disquieting noise|
|Garcia claims third Andalucia Valderrama Masters title|
|Ex-England international Waldrom retires|
|´Massive personality´ Hart can lift Burnley, says Kompany|
|Liverpool felt wrath of ´emotional´ Klopp, says Shaqiri|
|Reid: Jenkins capitalised on Kaepernick movement|
|Manchester United v Juventus: Ronaldo out to end dismal scoring record against Mourinho|
|Injured Ribery to miss Bayern´s clash with AEK|
|Wilshere would have stayed at Arsenal under Wenger|
|Mahomes stars again as Chiefs crush Bengals|
|Bolt must accept ´much less´ to join Mariners, says A-League chief|
|Klopp compares Liverpool to dog without favourite toy|
|Young leads Hawks to first win, Thunder fall in Westbrook´s return|
|Spalletti hits out at physical Milan – I had three players asking to be replaced|
|Cowboys, Ravens lose after missed kicks in final seconds|
|Hernangomez secures Nuggets´ win over Warriors with last-second block|
|Hasler returns to Manly on three-year deal|
|Sarri: Chelsea fans must respect Mourinho|