Updated: Wed, 08 May 2013 19:22:02 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Woods returns to action at The Players Championship

Tiger Woods returns to action for the first time since the Masters this week, the world number one heading a stellar field at the US PGA Tour's flagship Players Championship.


Woods finished tied for fourth at Augusta National last month, 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 came 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," he said.

"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."

Before getting down to business in Florida this week, Woods took the time to accompany girlfriend Lindsey Vonn on the red carpet of a gala in New York on Monday night -- Woods in a black tuxedo and ski champion Vonn in a white gown.

"It was certainly different," Woods said. "Lindsey wanted to try and grow her brand. She's come out with a new perfume and makeup line, so that was a big thing for her, and I'm supporting it."

This week's field includes all of the world's top 30 players, and 46 of the top 50 in the rankings.

Matt Kuchar, who posted four straight sub-par rounds to beat four players by two strokes last year, will try to become the first to win back-to-back titles in the prestigious tournament.

Kuchar's final-round 70 was enough for him to take home the trophy as third- round leader Kevin Na closed with a 76.

"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 an elite win, with his victory in the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship.

He beat 2012 champion Hunter Mahan in the championship match at Dove Mountain in February.

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

"My game's been on a really nice trajectory," Kuchar said. "I feel like I've continued to improve. I had a breakout year in 2010 winning the money title and the scoring title.

"It's hard to kind of go up from there but I feel like I've gotten a little bit better each year and in 2012 to win The Players Championship was a real thrill and put a real feather in my cap."

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