Miguel Angel Jiménez and Lee Westwood, runners-up in the first two World Golf Championships-American Express Championship events, will be among 29 European Tour Members attempting to go one better when the tournament moves to the United States for the first time this week at Bellerive CC, St.Louis.
Valderrama staged the 1999 and 2000 editions of the American Express Championship, when Tiger Woods of the USA and Canadian Mike Weir were successful. World Number One Woods beat Jiménez at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off two years ago while Weir beat Westwood by two strokes last year.
However, that second place finish was sufficient to secure Westwood's first Volvo Order of Merit crown and knock Colin Montgomerie off the pedestal he had occupied for the previous seven seasons.
This will be the tenth event in the World Golf Championships, with Woods so far successful in five of them having captured the NEC Invitational on three occasions, the American Express Championship once and the EMC2 World Cup once in partnership with David Duval.
Woods said: "Anytime you get a collection of the best players in the world assembled, you are going to feel a bit more pumped up. Whether it's a Major Championship or a World Golf Championships event, you are guaranteed to have some of the best fields and best players going head-to-head, and that to me is a lot of fun."
The entire European Ryder Cup team with the exception of the Thomas Björn, who withdrew from last weeks Omega European Masters with a shoulder injury, will be in attendance at Bellerive, where Nick Price captured his first Major, the US PGA Championship in 1992, and Gary Player claimed the US Open title in 1965.
Darren Clarke is bidding for his second World Golf Championships title to follow his win in the Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa Resort and Spa at the start of the new millennium.
The Irishman goes into the event in good heart on the strength of his impressive third place finish behind Woods in the NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club last month while Colin Montgomerie, fourth in the same event, is aiming to break his duck in individual competition in the United States.
Retief Goosen, the US Open champion, is one of four reigning Major winners playing in St.Louis - the last time the principals from the US and European teams will cross swords before the 34th Ryder Cup Matches at The De Vere Belfry later this month.
As well at the South African, Masters Tournament winner Woods is playing along with his fellow American Ryder Cup players David Duval, the Open Champion, and David Toms, the US PGA Champion.
Also chasing the Gene Sarazen Cup are some of The European Tour's up-and-coming stars such as Ian Poulter and Simon Dyson of England, Australians Adam Scott and Aaron Baddeley and Swedish Ryder Cup rookie, Niclas Fasth.
Due to the situation in America the following change has been made to the tournament schedule:-
* World Golf Championships:American Express Championship: No play on Thursday; 36 holes on Friday; 18 holes on Saturday, 18 holes on Sunday.