Marc Leishman admits he is a long shot to win the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup title but the Australian has targeted a top-five finish at the Tour Championship, which would cap a AU$7.6 million season.
Leishman and countryman Cameron Smith are among 30 players vying for a share of a US$45 million (AU$61 million) bonus pool when the Tour Championship finale decides the season-long FedEx Cup winner.
With big guns Jason Day and Adam Scott bundled out of the play-offs, Leishman and Smith were the only two Australians who qualified for the event in Atlanta.
The duo will start the tournament well behind FedEx Cup leader Dustin Johnson with the Tour Championship's bizarre, handicapped format.
The Tour Championship's final results will determine how US$45 million in bonus money is paid out – including US$15 million (AU$20 million) for the winner and US$395,000 (AU$536,000) for last.
As the FedEx points leader, big-hitting American Johnson will take a two-stroke lead into the start of the Tour Championship, teeing off in Thursday's first round with a 10-under-par total.
The next four players on the points list will start at eight under through five under, respectively, while Nos. 6-10 will start at four under.
The scores will regress by one stroke every five players until those ranked 26th to 30th start at even par.
From there, the Tour Championship winner claims the FedEx title.
“If I have a really decent week, I might be able to finish in the top five or if I have a crazy week I could win it. You never know.” – Marc Leishman
Leishman will start nine shots adrift, at one under, while Smith will begin at even par.
Five-time US Tour winner Leishman, struggling for form since the US Tour resumed from a 90-day shutdown, acknowledges his deficit is huge.
"I know it'll be tough because I haven't had the greatest results around East Lake and I'm not in a good position," Leishman told AAP, citing his best finish of tied 21st.
But the World No.23 is eyeing at least a fifth-place result, which would earn a US$2.5 million (AU$3.4 million) paycheque.
He has already pocketed US$3.1 million (AU$4.2 million) this season courtesy of a win at the Farmers Insurance Open and two other top-three results.
"If I have a really decent week, I might be able to finish in the top five or if I have a crazy week I could win it. You never know," he said.
Leishman says perspective will make it easy to get over finishing in last place at last week's BMW Championship, where he was 34 shots behind winner Jon Rahm.
"When you're playing like (that), it's pretty easy to get down on yourself; but I've been through a lot worse than this off the course," said Leishman, whose wife Audrey suffered a near-fatal case of sepsis in 2015.
World No.1 Johnson is being chased by FedEx Cup contenders Rahm (eight under), Justin Thomas (seven under), Webb Simpson (six under) and PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa (five under).
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press