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Golf Glance: Max Homa seeks 3-peat ahead of Ryder Cup

Aug 26, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Max Homa plays his shot from the fourth tee during the third round of the TOUR Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

LAST TOURNAMENT: Tour Championship (Viktor Hovland)
THIS WEEK: Fortinet Championship, Napa, Calif., Sept. 14-17
Course: Silverado Resort, North Course (Par 72, 7,123 yards)
Purse: $8.4M (Winner: $1.512M)
Defending Champion: Max Homa
FedExCup Champion: Viktor Hovland
TV: Thursday-Sunday, 6-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Streaming: Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
Twitter: @FortinetChamp
NOTES: This is the first event of the new FedEx Cup Fall, a series of seven events that will finalize eligibility for the 2024 PGA Tour season. The top 50 players following the Tour Championship locked in their positions. Nos. 51 and beyond carry their FedEx Cup points through the Fall. Those who finish Nos. 51-60 will qualify for two Signature Events in 2024: the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational. … Players who have locked in spots inside the top 50 will earn FedEx Cup points during the fall, but the points will not be redistributed. For example, if Homa (No. 6) finishes in second place, the third-place finisher will receive third-place points rather than moving into second place. … Ryan Gerard and Peter Kuest, who have earned Special Temporary Membership, are in this week’s field. So, too, is Aaron Baddeley, who will make his 500th career start on tour. … 2023 NCAA Division I National Championship winner Fred Biondi will make his professional debut. … Hayden Springer earned a sponsor exemption by finishing first in the Fortinet Cup standings on PGA Tour Canada.
BEST BETS: Homa (+750 at BetMGM) is the highest ranked player in the field at No. 7 as he attempts to become the first player to win the same event three consecutive years since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic in 2009-11. … Justin Thomas (+1400) has top-10 finishes in each of his three previous event starts. He tees it up for the first time since the Wyndham Championship and missing the playoffs for the first time in his career. … Sahith Theegala (+1800) didn’t qualify for the Tour Championship but did post top-15 finishes at the BMW and FedEx St. Jude. … Cam Davis (+2500) has three top-10s in his past four starts, but did miss the cut here last year. … Eric Cole (+3000) is still seeking his maiden victory on tour but is the only rookie who advanced to the BMW Championship this year.
LONGSHOT PICK: Kevin Kisner (+25000) makes his first start since withdrawing during the first round of the Travelers Championship.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Ryder Cup, Rome, Sept. 29-Oct. 1

LAST TOURNAMENT: Kroger Queen City Championship (Minjee Lee)
Race to the CME Globe leader: Celine Boutier
NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Solheim Cup, Andalucia, Spain, Sept. 22-24

PGA Tour Champions
LAST TOURNAMENT: Ascension Charity Classic (Steve Flesch)
THIS WEEK: Sanford International, Sioux Falls, S.D., Sept. 15-17
Course: Minnehaha Country Club (Par 70, 6,729 yards)
Purse: $2M (Winner: $300,000)
Defending Champion: Steve Stricker
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Stricker
TV: Friday-Sunday, 4-6 p.m. ET (All times Golf Channel)
Twitter: @SanfordIntl
NOTES: Stricker is the lone two-time winner of the event (2018). He and Robert Karlsson tied the 54-hole scoring record of 14-under 196 last year. Stricker went on to defeat Karlsson on the first playoff hole. … Scott Parel, Russ Cochran and Tom Lehman withdrew from the event and were replaced by Carlos Franco, Robert Gamez and David Branshaw. … Four events remain before the start of the playoffs.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Pure Insurance Championship, Monterey Peninsula, Calif., Sept. 22-24

LIV Golf League
LAST TOURNAMENT: LIV Golf Bedminster (Individual: Cameron Smith; Team: Ripper GC)
Season Leaders: Individual, Smith; Team, 4Aces GC
NEXT TOURNAMENT: LIV Golf Chicago, Rich Harvest Farms, Ill., Sept. 22-24

–Field Level Media