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."
|Dalic claims to be world´s second best coach|
|Twelve-try Wakefield batter Hull to send Rhinos into Qualifiers|
|Sevastova cruises to Bucharest title|
|Cort Nielsen sprints to first Tour stage win, Thomas maintains lead|
|Sarri needs support to deliver Chelsea success - Zola|
|Pjanic and Rugani in Juventus tour squad as Ronaldo and World Cup stars are rested|
|Eagle has McIlroy soaring into a five-way tie for the lead at Carnoustie|
|Vettel will not lose any sleep after Hockenheim mistake|
|I manifested my dream – Hamilton revels in Hockenheim win|
|Pakistan seal crushing series sweep of Zimbabwe|
|Furious Ozil accuses German media of turning country against him|
|Woods makes his move as Spieth and Schauffele wobble|
|Vettel crash sees Hamilton retake championship lead|
|RFEF confirms one-legged Supercopa de Espana in Tangier|
|Fognini downs Gasquet to clinch Swedish Open|
|Spieth and Tiger underway as Kisner falls back|
|Iniesta, Torres suffer defeats in their J.League debuts|
|Cornet ends title drought in Gstaad|
|Martial ´very focused´ at Manchester United - Herrera|
|Root, Williamson and Bairstow - hat-trick hero Clark flourishes in Roses battle|
|Sri Lanka spinning towards crushing series whitewash|
|Ozil explains controversial Erdogan meeting|
|It´ll be hard for Tuchel to get our players – Kovac expects Boateng stay|
|Fakhar Zaman fastest to 1,000 ODI runs|
|Neymar happy for World Cup winner Mbappe|
|I was born ready! - Bellew accepts Usyk challenge|
|Tuchel seeks Rabiot answers as Barca rumours persist|
|In-form Storm go top, Rampant Roosters thrash Manly|
|Bancroft discharged from hospital after taking blow to throat|
|MLS Review: Martinez breaks record as Atlanta march on|
|Brewers top Dodgers to snap seven-game losing streak|
|Munguia wins after 12-round marathon with Smith|
|Hart ready to leave City to revive career|
|Puel shuts down Schmeichel transfer speculation|
|Four-way tie at Barbasol Championship as Lincicombe misses cut|
|Lenglet happy not to face Messi|
|Tuchel keen to get PSG stars back after friendly defeat|
|Pulisic signing would interest Klopp|
|Whatever b******t you say, no one forgets – Klopp defends spending comments|
|Usyk outclasses Gassiev to make cruiserweight history|
|Pella books Cecchinato meeting in Umag, Ramanathan´s Newport run continues|
|Kisner expects nothing but exchange of ´horror stories´ with housemate Spieth|
|Inter new boy Lautaro Martinez denies Zenit in six-goal thriller|
|McIlroy eyeing early gains to apply scoreboard pressure|
|The Open 2018 diary: Spieth´s close shave|
|Salah is fully recovered and full of joy – Klopp|
|De Laurentiis accuses Sarri of trying to sign whole Napoli team|
|Lewis Hamilton explains German GP woes|
|O´Driscoll hails ´Test match animal´ Warburton|
|Spieth relishing prospect of Tiger tussle at Carnoustie|
|Sanches pushing for Bayern second chance - Kovac|
|Put on the Sunday red and enjoy Tiger´s ride regardless of Carnoustie outcome|
|Flawless Spieth takes share of Open lead after Tiger winds back the years|
|PSG´s Tuchel to be patient with World Cup stars Neymar, Mbappe & Cavani|
|Sanchez joins United tour in LA after visa issues|
|Catalans crush Salford to confirm Super League safety|
|Hamilton not giving up despite Hockenheim heartbreak|
|Spieth surges into Open Championship lead|
|Dumoulin is our biggest threat – Froome|
|Sane: Low gave me good reasons for World Cup snub|
|Tiger Woods in the hunt and loving it at The Open|
|Vettel delighted with German GP pole performance|
|Deschamps lauds intelligence of ´extraordinary´ Mbappe|
|Thomas maintains advantage as Fraile powers to stage victory|
|Woods sets clubhouse target, Kisner edges back in front|
|Bayern Munich 3 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Sanches strikes in ICC clash|
|Dost re-signs with Sporting CP after initially rescinding contract|
|Impressive Lions see off Jaguares to seal Waratahs semi|
|I´ll show Mourinho I´m ready, says United´s Pereira|
|Fognini sets up final clash with Gasquet|