Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan will renew their Ryder Cup rivalry when the 2011 US Tour gets under way in Hawaii on Thursday.
McDowell famously beat Mahan in the final singles match at Celtic Manor in October, securing a one-point victory for the European side. And the reigning US Open champion is more than happy to lock horns with the American once more in the 34-man field at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, after being paired to play with Mahan.
"Since the Ryder Cup we've gained much more of a mutual respect for each other. He handled it very well," McDowell said."In some ways that has brought up closer together. I'm looking forward to playing with him."
McDowell was one up with three holes to play at Celtic Manor before extending his lead with a superb birdie on the par-four 16th. That left Mahan needing to win the final two holes to halve the match and retain the trophy for the United States with a 14-14 tie.
But after coming up short of the 17th green he duffed his chip, missed a par putt and conceded the hole and match to McDowell, sparking wild celebrations.
McDowell's Ryder Cup team-mate and fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was also eligible to take part over the Plantation Course at Kapalua this week after his win at Quail Hollow last year.
But the 21-year-old has opted to wait until the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi on January 20 before making his return to competitive action.