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."
|Johnson shares lead as Garcia misses cut in Texas|
|Career backup QB Luke McCown retires at 36|
|Texans ´optimistic´ about Clowney contract extension|
|Everybody wants to play under him – Ozil pays tribute to Wenger|
|Conte defends Chelsea record compared to Mourinho|
|LaLiga strugglers Espanyol show Flores the door|
|Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella|
|Four in a row for Wigan as Saints thrash Huddersfield|
|Reims´ latest vintage secure promotion to Ligue 1|
|Gloucester cruise into Challenge Cup final|
|Quiros claims one-shot lead despite rollercoaster round two|
|Millwall 0 Fulham 3: Sessegnon on target as Jokanovic´s side go second|
|Curry to begin modified practices on Saturday|
|Ancelotti welcomes Arsenal links, praises Wenger decision|
|Nadal produces ´best match of tournament´ as Dimitrov beats doubles partner|
|I think Arsenal would be good for a German coach - Podolski|
|Wilshere, Ramsey, Mertesacker and the best social media reaction to Wenger´s Arsenal departure|
|Watson haunts Royals with Super Kings hundred|
|Selby bracing himself for tough title defence|
|Exeter left ´disappointed´ by Ampadu transfer verdict|
|Froome thrilled with ´perfect´ build-up to Giro|
|Copa del Rey glory a good way to put European exit behind us, says Valverde|
|LMA hails Wenger´s impact at Arsenal|
|Wenger passes the torch as Arsenal face up to his formidable legacy|
|Gazidis: Arsenal cannot replace Wenger – we need a new path|
|Ronnie rivals never doubted Crucible attendance of ´snooker´s Tiger Woods´|
|Van Bronckhorst using Wenger´s methods at Feyenoord|
|Former NFL lineman Evan Mathis´ 1952 Mickey Mantle card sells for $2.88M|
|Wasps forward Johnson suspended for failed drugs test|
|I´d break another finger to win the Copa del Rey - Rakitic|
|Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager´s worst moments|
|Wright: More Arsenal changes needed after Wenger exit|
|Guardiola wishes Iniesta the best ahead of potential Barcelona exit|
|Real football people appreciate Wenger - Moyes, Warnock and more pay tribute|
|Guardiola set for contract talks with Manchester City|
|Controversial Slater score helps Storm to victory|
|Liverpool top, DVDs just invented and no Harry Potter – The world when Wenger joined Arsenal|
|Heynckes cannot compare Lewandowski and Ronaldo|
|Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe and more – the stars Wenger claims he could have signed|
|Ferguson: Rival, colleague and friend Wenger is one of the greatest|
|Gattuso wary of challenge for Milan´s European place|
|Neuer returns to Bayern training after seventh-month absence|
|Wembley no advantage for Spurs in semi-final, warns Mourinho|
|WATCH: Dez Bryant works out with Odell Beckham Jr. as rumors swirl|
|PSG, Monaco, the CSL, France? - Wenger´s possible next moves|
|Rematches, rivalries and a mouth-watering Wembley clash – The pick of the 2018 NFL schedule|
|Wenger ´an example´ to foreign Premier League managers like Benitez|
|Wilshere: Wenger is like a father|
|Guardiola wants Wenger to find new role in football|
|Henry: Wenger´s Arsenal legacy is untouchable|
|Mourinho: Wenger feud shows how much I respect him|
|Conte: Top four still possible for Chelsea|
|Frizell inspires Highlanders win over Blues, Lions beat Waratahs|
|Majestic Nadal hammers Thiem in Monte Carlo|
|Aguero out for the season - Guardiola|
|Wenger´s 22-year Arsenal tenure will not be matched, says Conte|
|Celtic would let Rodgers move to Arsenal|
|Squillaci, Cech & Wenger´s worst signings at Arsenal|
|Heynckes: I cannot imagine Wenger at another club|
|Thank you Arsene - Emery pays tribute to Wenger|
|Fabregas and Van Persie join tributes to Arsenal boss Wenger|
|Smith confirmed as England national selector|
|1,228 matches and seven FA Cups - Wenger at Arsenal in Opta numbers|
|Mertesacker ´emotional´ as Wenger announces Arsenal departure|
|Ancelotti, Tuchel, Henry – Where do Arsenal turn after Wenger?|
|Klopp doesn´t want Liverpool to chase Golden Boot for Salah|
|´The Arsene Wenger Stadium´ - Former Arsenal players call for tribute|
|Wenger was so good ´it was scary´, says Merson|
|Shields requests to be released for England duty|
|Khan: ´Cheat´ Alvarez got off lightly|