Matt Jones is savouring his revered status as he bids to go back-to-back at the PGA Tour's The Honda Classic in Florida.
Jones has happy vibes after returning to the PGA National Resort course a year on from his wire-to-wire victory in 2021, when the Australian romped home by five strokes.
The two-time Australian Open champion never looked back after opening with a course-record-equalling nine-under-par 61 at Palm Beach Gardens.
It was only Jones' second PGA Tour win and came seven years after his first at the Houston Open.
Little wonder the 41-year-old is lapping up the extra attention this week.
"Doesn't happen too often on the PGA Tour for a lot of golfers, but to be associated with this golf tournament and be a defending champion of this tournament that's been around for so long is great." - Matt Jones.
"It's amazing to be a defending champion at any event. It's fantastic," Jones said.
"Doesn't happen too often on the PGA Tour for a lot of golfers, but to be associated with this golf tournament and be a defending champion of this tournament that's been around for so long is great."
Jones, who posted his first-ever PGA Tour top-10 at the Honda Classic in 2008, enters the event in solid form.
He started the year with a third at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii and finished tied for 15th at last week's Genesis Invitational.
"Yeah, it's been good all year. I haven't putted the best and that would show on my stats, but if I can figure that out, I'm looking forward to this week," he said.
"And it's always a test and a battle out here, so it's more of a course where you just try and battle along and just make pars, make a couple of birdies here and there and limit your mistakes.
"That's what I did last year and hopefully I'll do this year."
With the forecast of windy conditions for much of the week that suits Jones just fine.
"I'm used to the wind." he said.
"I've normally performed well in the wind in the past and, over in Australia growing up in the wind, you just try to lower your ball flight a little bit, which actually helps me.
"I like to hit a low ball flight naturally. I'm not a high-ball flight hitter.
"So historically I would say the more wind the better for me."
With Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Jason Day and Cam Davis all having the week off, Lucas Herbert and Brett Drewitt are the other Australians in the field.
Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka, Riviera winner Joaquin Niemann and Korean star Sungjae Im are among the favourites in Florida.