Adam Scott makes his 2017 tournament debut at Riviera Country Club in the Genesis Open this week, while Jason Day continues to defend his world No. 1 ranking.
A strong field has been assembled at one of the tour's favorite venues, including defending champion Bubba Watson, world No. 3 Dustin Johnson, world No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama and world No. 6 Jordan Spieth.
Scott won twice early last season and ended up winning $US6.4 million in prizemoney. At the majors, he was disappointing, his best results being tied-18th at both the US Open and the US PGA Championship.
The relatively late start is standard for Scott, who has played a reduced schedule since 2011 aimed at preserving his energy for the majors and the end-of-season playoffs.
For Day, who has been ranked No. 1 for almost a full year, is under attack from the likes of Spieth, winner at Pebble Beach last week, and Matsuyama, but he welcomes the challenge.
"It's a good place to be,'' the Australian told the media today. "I wouldn't trade it for the world even though it's ... mentally and sometimes physically demanding. You're out there doing everything, trying to see the fans, trying to see the media and trying to play competitive golf, then going home and trying to be the No. 1 Dad as well.''
The 10 Australians in the field include Day, Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman.