He is the undisputed top dog at Torrey Pines.

Jason DayWith eight wins in 17 appearances at the site where he also won the 1991 Junior World crown, Tiger Woods expected to win every time he contested the Farmers Insurance Open.

To be fair, for a long time Woods expected to win wherever he teed it up and it is that winning mentality that Aussie Jason Day will embrace ahead of his PGA TOUR title defence this week.

The first of two wins on the PGA TOUR last year, Day arrives at Torrey Pines on the back of a 13th-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and ranked No.12 in the world, one spot ahead of his boyhood idol, Tiger Woods.

With just two top-10 finishes since THE PLAYERS Championship last May, Day knows there are areas of his game that need improvement but is determined to become the first player since Woods in 2007-2008 to go back-to-back.

“I've had some good success here, so that's the plan,” Day said of winning at Torrey Pines for a third time as a professional, also claiming the Callaway Junior World title in 2004 and 2015 Farmers Insurance Open.

“The old Tiger that I knew, he would come into an event and say that he’s here to win.

“Obviously over the last few years we got a little bit different Tiger just because he was coming back from an injury. Now he's a year in and it will be interesting to see where his mentality is in regards to winning tournaments.

“I haven't really had a lot of success lately. The last time I won was Wells Fargo last year and from there I played some good golf, but I haven't really been much in contention at all.

“I feel like I've just got to be patient. I feel like things are starting to progress nicely for me and hopefully it happens this week.

“Obviously I've had some success here and I'm excited about that and the memories that come along with that, but I'm also excited to see where my game stands up not only against the best players in the world but where I need to improve with my game going forward into the season.”

Like Woods, Day will debut the new TaylorMade P760 irons this week in an effort to arrest a worrying slide in his iron play in recent seasons.

Day ranked 142nd on tour for Strokes Gained: Approach the Green in 2018 and with coach Col Swatton he has been working tirelessly to improve his greens-in-regulation percentage of 65.28.

“Last year I struggled with the left shot, especially with the miss. It would constantly go left and I struggled with that a lot,” Day said.

“I think with the 760s, we moved the CG (centre of gravity) a little bit further to the toe with some tungsten weight in the toe. Granted, doing that hopefully will straighten that left shot out a little bit.

“I've just got to keep working on it. It's imperative for me to be able to hit more greens.

“I think if I can drive it straighter, but hit 70 per cent of greens and rank No.1 in putting, then I'll probably have another year like in 2015.

“That's the goal.”

Prior to Day’s win 12 months ago – his 11th on the PGA TOUR – the headlines were dominated by the return of a healthy Tiger Woods.

Given the way he finished 2018 and the excitement generated by his win at the TOUR Championship, Day expects to once again be somewhat drowned out by the Woods whirlwind this week.

“I think if I was No. 1 in the world it would add a lot more stress coming back to defend,” said Day.

“There are other stories going around. Tiger's back playing, so there are other things that are kind of deflecting a lot of the attention away from myself about defending.

“That takes probably a lot of pressure off my shoulders to know the fact that I can kind of walk around and get my work in and get out of here and not have to really stress about it too much.

“But I am obviously always nervous going to tournaments and that's a good thing.

"The stress here is a lot more heightened just because of defending, and of course the golf course.

"But I'm looking forward to a good week.

“I've never been able to defend one, so hopefully, fingers crossed, I get off to a good start.”

Day will play alongside 2017 and 2016 champions Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker for the opening two rounds from 4.30am AEDT on Friday morning and is one of eight Australians in the field.

Adam Scott will play the first two rounds with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler starting with the tougher South Course, Cameron Davis and Rod Pampling also begin their tournament on the South Course.

Like Day, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Matt Jones and John Senden will first play the North Course followed by the South Course in the second round.