Woods, Scott back in action

World Nos 1 and 2 Tiger Woods and Adam Scott return from lengthy lay-offs at this week's Honda Classic.

Masters champion Scott is returning from a six-week break, while Woods has not played since the Dubai Desert Classic almost four weeks ago.

The duo join an already stellar cast at the PGA National's Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida - one that includes Henrik Stenson, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.

In all, seven of the world's top 10 are here and most of them are fresh and raring to go.

Aside from Woods and Scott, Mickelson also sat out last week's Match Play event, while Stenson, McIlroy and Johnson all suffered early exits.

The Honda is not part of Woods' regular schedule - only since 2012 has he played the tournament - while Scott has only played it three times in his career.

Their lack of familiarity and success at PGA National means Rory McIlroy is the favourite with the bookies this week.

The Northern Irishman was champion here in 2012, pipping Woods to the trophy in the process, and has shown some encouraging signs that he is returning to form this year.

Initially designed by George and Tom Fazio in 1981 specifically to host major championship golf, and then further toughened by Jack Nicklaus in 1990 with the introduction of the infamous "Bear Trap" of holes 15, 16 and 17, the Champion Course at PGA National is a tough test.

The par-70 layout has a scoring average of 71.3, making it the toughest non-major course on the PGA Tour.

More than likely it is precisely this level of challenge that is attracting the world's best, who already have one eye on Augusta in a little over a month's time.