Top-ranked Jon Rahm, season points leader Justin Thomas and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy top the lineup for this week's US PGA FedEx Cup playoff opener, the Northern Trust tournament.
The top 125 players on the tour's season points list begin a three-week fight for the crown Thursday at TPC Boston with the top 70 advancing to next week's BMW Championship, where 30 players qualify for next month's season-ending Tour Championship.
"The playoffs are always an exciting time of the year," said third-ranked McIlroy, last year's Cup winner. "It's nice to be up there even though I haven't had the best few weeks from coming back from lockdown. I'm still right in there."
McIlroy stands eighth in Cup points and is the only player in the field with two wins at TPC Boston, in 2012 and 2016.
"This is usually a time of year where I've historically played pretty well and Boston is a place and a course where I've got some nice history, so hopefully that can ignite something for me this week," said McIlroy, who shared sixth in last year's Northern Trust.
"Trying to get a bit of good form going. I think that's the most important thing for me right now."
Rahm, a winner at last month's PGA Memorial, is more about bragging rights than he is about the huge payday on offer for the Cup winner next month at East Lake in Atlanta.
"It's a lot more, at least for me," Rahm said. "I don't play for the money. Luckily I've been able to make a lot of income for somebody my age, but I've never played golf for money. I played it for the enjoyment and winning and trying to be the best.