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Jason Day to return to action in Hawaii

AAP logoAAP 1/01/2017

World golf No.1 Jason Day is set to end a three-and-a-half month absence when he returns to action at this week's Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

The 29-year-old Australian retains a handy gap atop the world rankings from Rory McIlroy and the charging Dustin Johnson despite not having played since being forced to withdraw during the second round of the Tour Championship on September 23.

Plagued by recurring back spasms, Day shut down for the rest of 2016, skipping the big Australian events and keeping a low profile as he worked to get his body right.

He's due to resume in the traditional US PGA Tour event for it's previous-year winners at Kapalua on Maui on Thursday (Friday AEDT) .

The 32-man field also includes big-hitting Johnson plus World No.5 Jordan Spieth, No.6 Hideki Matsuyama and No.10 Bubba Watson plus fellow Australians Aaron Baddeley, Rod Pampling and Greg Chalmers.

Day managed to win three times and claim 10 top-10 results from 20 starts, earning $US8,045, 112 in prizemoney in 2016 despite his health issues and he has held the No.1 ranking for a total of 44 weeks.

But the gifted Johnson has joined McIlroy as a major threat to his rankings supremacy after an even better 2016 which yielded three titles including the US Open, earning him player of the year honours.

Day finished tied 10th in the Tournament of Champions last year as Jordan Spieth streaked away to win by eight strokes from defending champion Patrick Reed.

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