The 38-year-old's last tour title came at the ISPS Handa Perth International title at Lake Karrinyup Country Club 12 months ago, although he did enjoy success in the non-tour CVS Caremark Charity Classic alongside Steve Stricker in June.
A troublesome hip injury forced him to pull out during the US PGA Championship, but after six weeks' rest he feels ready to defend his title in Western Australia starting on Thursday.
"I think obviously you have those good memories that you can pull back on and a golf course that I liked the first time I saw it," he said. "But this year is a different year. You've got to come execute the shots the following year."
On his injury, the world number 44 added in the Western Australian newspaper: "We are playing a lot and walking five to seven miles a day and it just kind of caught up with me at the PGA.
"It was kind of lingering all summer. It had kind of started in my foot, my Achilles tendon and went up to my hip.
"Fortunately I didn't have any tears."
Van Pelt edged out compatriot Jason Dufner by two strokes last year to win the inaugural event in Western Australia, the only Australian tournament to be co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia, and this time around faces a challenge from fellow American Dustin Johnson and England's Paul Casey.
At the other end of the scale this is the last chance for a number of players to secure their tour cards for next year by finishing in the top 110 in the Race to Dubai.
Alex Levy and Richard Bland, 108th and 109th respectively, are looking to maintain their places while 111th-placed James Kingston and 114th-placed Peter Lawrie are looking for one final boost.
"I have flown all the way here because I have one opportunity left to save my season so I need to embrace it and go with it and see what happens," Irishman Lawrie told europeantour.com.
"I have never been in this position before - the last time I would have been feeling like this would have been 2002 when I was trying to get onto the Tour, so it has been a while.
"My form has been terrible to be honest so there is not a lot to go on - I have missed six out of the last seven cuts.
"I am in this position for one reason - it is my own fault and it is up to me to get myself out of it. I am here to do a job and to save my card."