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."
|Cavs´ Hill out for game four with back spasms|
|Oblak unsure over Atletico Madrid future|
|Klopp ready for ´different´ Roma test|
|Salah always determined to prove his Premier League worth|
|Landry earns first PGA Tour victory at Texas Open|
|City´s Sane named PFA Young Player of the Year|
|Salah pips De Bruyne to PFA Players´ Player of the Year award|
|Napoli bus spat at and insulted, Sarri claims|
|Navas will be at Real Madrid for many years – Perez|
|Juve still have the advantage, Allegri claims|
|Racing coach Labit ready for ´formidable´ Leinster challenge|
|Smalling not giving up on World Cup|
|Hard to catch Man City if they invest, Mourinho warns|
|Pogba: I have no problem with Mourinho|
|Koulibaly: Napoli have always believed in Scudetto|
|Bordeaux 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Lo Celso keeps champions on track for records|
|Atletico Madrid 0 Real Betis 0: More concerns for Simeone ahead of Europa League|
|Juventus 0 Napoli 1: Partenopei close the gap thanks to Koulibaly|
|Dominant Marquez maintains perfect record in Austin|
|Guardiola has no problem with Manchester City pitch invasion|
|Neymar must join Real Madrid to become the best - Rivaldo|
|There was no player better than De Bruyne - Guardiola backs City man for PFA award|
|Top managers should want Arsenal job, says Moyes|
|Manchester City boss Guardiola aiming to smash records following title triumph|
|Las Palmas relegated from LaLiga after 4-0 home defeat to Alaves|
|Archer and Gowtham combine for dramatic Royals victory|
|This won´t happen forever - dominant Nadal reflects on latest success|
|Andrew Bogut returns to Australia, signs with Sydney Kings|
|Manchester City break Premier League passing and possession records|
|Conte: Morata still important despite Giroud impact|
|Inter gave up against Chievo, admits Spalletti|
|Conte denies Mourinho rift ahead of FA Cup final|
|Levy claims fifth European Tour crown in Rabat|
|Diouf miss ´a turning point´ for both Stoke and Burnley|
|Hughes upset with lack of VAR after Southampton´s FA Cup loss|
|Manchester City 5 Swansea City 0: Guardiola´s champions turn on the style|
|Manchester United are FA Cup favourites, claims Chelsea boss Conte|
|United States and Czech Republic reach Fed Cup final|
|Rapid start sees Racing through to Champions Cup final|
|Benevento relegated after late Crotone winner|
|Jungels roars to Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory|
|I don´t need to die anymore - Wenger reflects on Arsenal ´funeral´|
|Hazard gives Conte a dazzling reminder of better days|
|Playing at Wembley is like playing in my garden - Giroud|
|Sevilla president casts doubt on future of Montella|
|´Hurtful´ fans damaged Arsenal´s image, Wenger claims|
|Chelsea 2 Southampton 0: Giroud and Morata book FA Cup final spot|
|Super Kings survive late onslaught to overshadow Sunrisers|
|Struggling Stoke have to win at Liverpool, concedes Butland|
|Did Wenger jump or was he pushed? – Arsenal boss proves evasive|
|Ramsey: Arsenal owe Wenger the perfect finale|
|Nadal sees off Nishikori to reign in Monte Carlo once again|
|Fit-again Mendy on the bench for Manchester City|
|Chievo 1 Inter 2: Icardi grateful to VAR as Nerazzurri remain in top-four hunt|
|Knights playmaker Pearce set for long absence|
|Arsenal 4 West Ham 1: Wenger´s long farewell begins in style|
|Stoke City 1 Burnley 1: Potters pegged back again as relegation nears|
|N´Zonzi apologises for partying after Sevilla´s Copa humiliation|
|Khan chasing Brook, not world titles, after spectacular comeback|
|Kaizer Chiefs ´worried about safety of players´ as coach quits after rioting|
|Elneny injury sparks World Cup fear|
|Arsenal aiming to give Wenger the perfect send off - Mertesacker|
|Chelsea v Southampton: Giroud wins Wembley nod over Morata|
|Don´t go to China, come to Betis! - Setien lauds Barcelona legend Iniesta|
|Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers ´severe´ back injury in Milan defeat|
|Departing Wenger hints at end-of-season reveal amid reports of sacking|
|Farah sets new British record as Kipchoge wins London Marathon|
|Neymar walking without crutches|
|Ozil ill, Aubameyang benched as Arsenal target momentum ahead of Atletico|
|I make the decisions - Sweden coach wants Ibrahimovic talks on World Cup|