Scott, Woods return to PGA Tour at Players

The Players Championship boasts the richest purse in golf and that attracts the kind of star power that is typically reserved for the world’s top tournaments resulting in the Players being hailed as the unofficial fifth major.

The top-30 players in the world and 46 of the top-50 are scheduled to compete this week at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with Tiger Woods making his return to the tour for the first time since the Masters last month.

Adam Scott Adam Scott returns to the PGA Tour for the first time since his historic Masters win (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Woods finished in a wave of controversy at Augusta after a questionable ball drop in a tie for fourth, but his 2013 season has so far included three titles and a return to the world number one ranking.

Although his only victory at TPC Sawgrass was back in 2001, Woods said he was looking forward to the challenge posed by the course.

“I feel like I’ve done some very good work, basically a continuation of what I’ve done for the past couple months,” said Woods.

“I took a week off, didn’t really do any golf at all right after the Masters, and then started kind of training and getting back into it and getting into full swing here probably the last week and a half.”

Last year Matt Kuchar posted four straight sub-par rounds to beat four players by two strokes, including Rickie Fowler, who had won the Wells Fargo a week earlier and also the current world number one at that time, Luke Donald.

Kuchar will try to become the first to win back-to-back titles in the prestigious tournament.

“I’m so excited to be back,” Kuchar said. “It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year.”

Kuchar’s 2013 season has already included a victory in the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship where he beat 2012 champion Hunter Mahan in the championship match at Dove Mountain in February.

He has three other top-10 finishes this season included a tie for eighth at the Masters.

Nine Aussies are in the field this week with Adam Scott returning for the first time since his historic victory at the Masters.

Scott won this championship in 2004 and has since posted a further three top-20’s.

With his confidence levels on a high, Scott should be a serious contender for the title as the golfing world watch in anticipation for his next ‘major’ victory.

“I’m looking forward to that this week,” said Scott.

“I think it’s a nice week for me to come back to Sawgrass and The Players, because I’ve had such a great run here over the years.”

“I feel like I’ve played really well here and had amazing support, so I’m excited about playing this week.”

“Hopefully I can take my head out of the clouds and come back down to earth and play some good golf.”

The other Australians in the field include Aaron Baddeley, Robert Allenby, Marc Leishman, John Senden, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Chalmers and Matt Jones.