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Day, Johnson and Spieth all hope to leave Major marker

By Liam Kelly

The motto for the top golfers in the world has to be 'you snooze, you lose' as the action resumes on the PGA Tour with the SBS Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii today.

A dream holiday venue offers the perfect setting for a field of 32 tournament winners from 2016 to get their juices flowing on the par-73 Plantation Course.

However, the best of the best are not inclined to treat this tournament lightly. World No.1 Jason Day, US Open champion Dustin Johnson (3) and the Tournament of Champions title holder Jordan Spieth (5) will look for evidence of improvement in their game as they gear up for the Major challenges to come.

Day got three victories last year, and now wants to shake off the rust of a three-month lay-off following his withdrawal because of injury from the BMW Championship last September.

"I picked up a club twice in those three months and I worked hard on my rehab, especially the back," he said. "That's been plaguing me through my career with regards to having too many withdrawals. I feel fit and I'm looking forward to a good, solid year."

Johnson hopes for tangible evidence that his putting has improved, as he was 36th in the 'strokes gained: putting' statistic on the PGA Tour last season, and 19th in the 'putts per round' category, averaging 28.49.

Crucially, DJ was 118th in putting from four feet and 144th in putting from 20-25 ft in 2016.

Spieth singled out approach play as the area he most wants to strengthen. He said: "That's where I was solid in 2015, and then that was one area of the game that took a bit of a hit this past season. I just wasn't as good, especially on shorter par threes.

"When I dissected the stats, I looked at that yardage as big room for improvement."

Rory McIlroy, the World No.2 and FedEx Cup champion, remains in Dubai prior to setting out for South Africa at the weekend for the BMW SA Open.

The Ulsterman is reported to have sorted out his club selection following the withdrawal of Nike from equipment manufacturing, but has yet to confirm his choice.

Speculation suggests he will go with a Callaway driver, irons, and woods, Titleist wedges, an Odyssey putter and will play the ProV1x ball.

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