CHARLOTTE (North Carolina) (AFP) - Tiger Woods will see his Wachovia Championship title change hands this week as he recovers from knee surgery. Woods, sidelined since having the procedure shortly after The Masters, is again absent this week for the 6.4 million-dollar tournament starting on Thursday at Quail Hollow. The world number one set the tournament record of 13-under-par 275 last year as he posted a two-shot triumph over Steve Stricker. Four other former champions are in the field, including 2006 winner Jim Furyk, 2005 champion Vijay Singh, 2004 champ Joey Sindelar and David Toms. In all, 19 of the top-25 ranked players in the world are entered, including world number two Phil Mickelson. Mickelson has already notched one victory this year, as well as a playoff loss and tie for fifth at the Masters. He returns to action after a two-week break and will be keen to improve on his tie for third here last year. Mickelson's short game should prove useful around the fast Quail Hollow greens. "I haven't played great in this tournament, but I've played well every year," said Mickelson, who has three top-seven finishes in the past four years. "I think some course knowledge will help. There's a lot of difficultly in reading these greens, because there are a lot of putts that double break, or break more or less than it looks visually, so it's hard to adjust." With Woods sidelined, Singh should be in the spotlight. Along with Kevin Sutherland, Singh is the only other player to have made the cut at every Wachovia Championship since the tournament's inception in 2003. World number four Stricker is having an inconsistent year, with four top-10s but also three missed cuts, including the Masters. Australian Adam Scott, ranked fifth in the world, arrives fresh from a spectacular playoff win at the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday. "It feels good that you can prove to yourself that practice and hard work pays off and that you can control your nerves and emotions and execute the shots when you have to," said Scott, who made a nine-foot putt at the final hole of regulation to tie Ryan Moore, then holed a 50-footer three holes later to win. "I've played well here in the past, so hopefully I can keep the form going." World No.6 Geoff Ogilvy of Australia won last month's World Golf Championships event in Miami, and will be trying to regain that form after a disappointing Masters, where he tied for 39th. Masters champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa was showing signs of fatigue last week as he missed the cut after a dismal first round. However, the weekend off may have done him good and he has been in contention here before, losing in a playoff two years ago. Immelman admitted he was mentally worn out from the crush of attetion his Masters triumph generated. "It was definitely more than I expected," he said. "I've signed more items the last two weeks than my whole life before that. I've tried to do the right things at times and handle it in the correct manner, but the most important priority is to keep my game sharp. "The state of my game is not as good as it was at Augusta. My mind has slipped from the game, but it's something I'm addressing and hoping to fix as soon as possible."