The Australian retained the top ranking with victory in a play-off with Jason Dufner at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial last weekend as he stayed ahead of world number two Henrik Stenson.
And the 33-year-old will be keen to further cement his position at the summit of the world rankings with a strong showing at the PGA Tour event at Muirfield Village Golf Club, well aware that Stenson will head to the European Tour’s Scandinavian Masters as one of the favourites.
However, Scott faces a difficult challenge if he is to add another title to his list, with a host of the world’s top players competing at the tournament – founded by 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus – in Dublin, Ohio.
Defending champion Matt Kuchar will be among the main challengers to claim the trophy, which has been won by prestigious names such as Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Tom Watson in its 38-year-history.
Kuchar claimed a two-stroke victory in 2013, edging out compatriot Raymond Floyd to pocket a winner’s cheque of over $1million.
But with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Justin Rose all set to be involved, the world number four will need to be at his best if he is to hold on to that crown.
It is McIlroy who heads into tournament in perhaps the best vein of form having claimed the spoils at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday.
That success marked McIlroy’s eighth top-10 finish in nine stroke-play tournaments in 2014, but the Northern Irishman will not be only Brit in contention for the title.
McIlroy and Scott will play alongside each other in the first two rounds after being placed in a group with Jason Day – returning after a thumb injury.
Defending US Open champion Rose should fancy his chance of vying for the victory, while a resurgent Luke Donald, who produced an impressive performance to finish tied third at Wentworth, will be out to build on his recent momentum.
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