The 2022/23 PGA Tour season is in the books after Viktor Hovland produced two weeks of stunning golf to claim the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship double, sealing the $18 million FedEx Cup bonus in the process.
Hovland, who shot a wonderful final round 61 to win the BMW, sat second in the FedEx Cup standings heading to the finale at East Lake, which meant that he began the Tour Championship at eight-under par, with FedEx leader Scottie Scheffler starting at ten-under.
Scheffler failed to take advantage of his top dog status in Thursday's opening round, carding a one-over-par 71. Hovland shot a 68 to move into a share of the first-round lead alongside Keegan Bradley and Collin Morikawa, who both sprang from the pack thanks to ultra-low opening scores.
Hovland and Morikawa drew clear on Friday, each firing 64s to claim a share of the overnight lead heading into the weekend, then the Norwegian took control on Saturday, shooting a 66 as Morikawa fell back into the pack with a 73.
The Oslo native, who resides in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State, produced a second consecutive fabulous final-round effort, carding a 63 including three closing birdies to hold off a charging Xander Schauffele and take the FedEx Cup title by five shots.
Hovland also shot the joint-lowest 72-hole score (alongside Schauffele) to move to fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking behind Scheffler, Rory McIlroy - fourth at East Lake despite struggling with a back injury - and Masters champion Jon Rahm.
The Majors might be a long way off but Hovland is +1600 to claim a first Major title at the Masters, which takes place at Augusta National in April.
Hovland was brilliant but the performance of the man in second, Xander Schauffele, should not be overlooked.
The Californian matched the Norwegian for 72-hole scoring and looked in with a chance of winning the Tour Championship at one stage on Sunday, only for Hovland to close the door with the late birdie barrage which resulted in a five-shot victory.
The final round was far more competitive than that margin suggests and Schauffele's closing 62 signalled yet another fantastic effort for a man who adores East Lake Golf Club.
Schauffele won on his East Lake debut in 2017 and, after finishing seventh the following season, he's since finished second, first, third, sixth and tied-first in 72-hole scoring under the current starting-strokes format.
United States captain Zach Johnson will announce his six Ryder Cup wildcards on Tuesday and the Iowa native has much to ponder ahead of the match which begins on Sept. 29th at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome.
Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Schauffele have qualified automatically while assistant captain Fred Couples has hinted that Jordan Spieth and Cameron Young will receive picks.
PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka was the closest man to miss out on an automatic spot and is easily the most likely LIV Golf player to receive a pick, while Collin Morikawa and Rickie Fowler have made themselves difficult to leave out.
From then on, Johnson has probably narrowed it down to one of Bradley, Sam Burns, both of whom played well at the Tour Championship, and Spieth's regular partner and close pal Justin Thomas, who has been woefully out of form for much of the 2022/23 season.
The US are -150 to win the Ryder Cup. A tie, which would see them retain the trophy, is +1200 while a European win is +150.
After a two-week break, the PGA Tour starts again at the Fortinet Championship at Silverado Country Club on Thursday, September 14th, when the FedEx Cup will have a different look to it.
The Tour has introduced the FedEx Cup Fall, a seven-tournament series which will finalize eligibility for the 2024 FedEx Cup season, which starts with the Tournament of Champions in January.
The 2024 season will feature the following eight 'signature events': the Tournament of Champions, Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship, Memorial Tournament and Travelers Championship.
The FedEx Cup playoffs will, however, remain as they are with the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings qualifying for the St. Jude Championship before the top 50 advance to the BMW and the top 30 head to East Lake for the Tour Championship.