Alex Hilton makes his picks for the final event of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The race for the FedEx Cup reaches its climax this week with the top 30 players battling it out for Tour Championship glory at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta.
Using the starting-strokes system, world number one Scottie Scheffler will begin the tournament on -10, two strokes ahead of BMW Championship winner Viktor Hovland and a further shot clear of Rory McIlroy.
Jon Rahm opens at -6, just ahead of Lucas Glover at -5, while Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark and Matt Fitzpatrick are all at -4.
At the three-under-par mark is Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele, with Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Tony Finau, Corey Conners and Si Woo Kim all at -2.
Taylor Moore, Nick Taylor, Adam Schenk, Collin Morikawa and Jason Day begin nine shots off the pace on -1, while Sam Burns, Emiliano Grillo, Tyrrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth, Sepp Straka are all at level-par.
Homa hitting form at the right time
The level of golf witnessed in Atlanta this week should be off the chart given the quality of this 30-man field and one player who arrives in great touch is Max Homa, who followed a tied-sixth at the St. Jude Championship with a T5 at last week’s BMW.
Homa’s performance in Illinois was also enough to see him clinch one of the six automatic Ryder Cup places on the USA side, ensuring he will make his debut in the biennial golf competition at Marco Simone Golf Club later this year.
The 32-year-old was fourth on his Tour Championship debut last year, ending up three strokes behind McIlroy, although his 72-hole score when not taking starting strokes into account was the third-best in the field.
A key factor to success at East Lake over the years has been a strong short game and Homa has thrived in this department, as he ranks second in putting average and fifth in strokes gained: putting.
Schauffele to thrive at favoured venue
It may be over a year since Xander Schauffele last tasted success but he has been churning out consistent results and arrives following a tied-eighth finish at the BMW.
The American also snatched the sixth and final Ryder Cup spot courtesy of that finish in Illinois and that will only increase the confidence levels as he heads to a course at which he has thrived over the years.
Making his Tour Championship debut in 2017, the 29-year-old ended up lifting the trophy on that occasion and he has never finished outside the top 10 on his six appearances at East Lake.
When looking at 72-hole scores over the last five years that don’t include the starting-strokes format, Schauffele has impressive form figures of seventh, second, first, third and sixth.
Apart from McIlroy, there is no other player in the 30-man field who can boast the same type of results at this venue than Schauffele does and that makes him a serious contender this week.
Tour Championship Tips
Max Homa to win and each-way (including starting strokes)
Xander Schauffele to win and each-way (including starting strokes)