After more than three months out of the public eye, World Number 1 Jason Day will be under the microscope when he returns to golf at the annual Tournament of Champions in Hawaii this week.
Three times a victor in 2016, Day is one of four Australians to tee up at the event reserved for winners on the previous year's PGA TOUR.
After a bumper year on the PGA TOUR Aaron Baddeley, Rod Pampling and Greg Chalmers join Day at the Plantation Course at Kapalua for the first tournament of the 2017 calendar year, Adam Scott is the only eligible Australian electing to skip the tournament.
But it is Day who will attract the bulk of the attention after a niggling back injury saw his 2016 season curtailed in September with consecutive withdrawals at the BMW and TOUR Championships.
Day was also forced to cancel a planned visit to Australia in November because of the injury but says he is refreshed after the lengthy break.
"It was all good. I needed that time [off]," Day told US Golf Digest magazine's Dave Shedloski on site during a practice round rain delay earlier this week.
"I got my mind refreshed as well. I was a bit stale."
Day is playing the Tournament of Champions for the fourth time but despite some flashes of brilliance in his 12 previous rounds hasn't really come to terms with the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed layout.
His best result came in 2015 when a brilliant final round 62 vaulted him from mid-field to T3 but his other two appearances, in 2011 and again last year, yielded T9 and T10 finishes in fields that rarely top 35 players.
The course should play to Day's strengths of length and deft putting and he will be keen to make his first showing of 2017 a good one after the disappointing end to last year.
However, after such a lengthy break from competitive golf there will inevitably be some rust in his game and his expectations will be tempered by that reality.
While Day's game will be under intense scrutiny the three other Australians in the field will be able to go about their business in relative obscurity.
Rod Pampling and Aaron Baddeley make their third and fourth appearances respectively while Greg Chalmers makes his tournament debut.
Neither Baddeley nor Pampling have found the Plantation course to their liking in previous years with Baddeley breaking 70 just three times in 12 previous rounds and Pampling managing the feat just twice in eight rounds.
Neither has finished in the top 10 previously though both will tee up with renewed confidence after a resurgent 2016 on the PGA TOUR.
Pampling's victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children event in Las Vegas was his first in 10 years while Baddeley's triumph at the Barbasol tournament saw him earn back the card he lost for the first time in 15 years on the world's biggest Tour.
Chalmers is the only unknown quantity among the Australian contingent though the wide fairways at Kapalua offer plenty of forgiveness for his occasionally wayward driving.
It is on the greens, though, that Chalmers will likely come into his own.
One of the best putters in professional golf, Chalmers will be in his element on the large, undulating surfaces of the Plantation Course.
Headlines at a glance
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