With first place in the championship – and $18m (£16.1m) – already sewn up by Dustin Johnson, interest in this weekend’s LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah is likely to centre on who can triumph in the last individual tournament of the series and, potentially, claim a lucrative podium bonus.
Forty points are on offer to the winner at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, along with the $4m (£3.6m) in prize money, meaning that more than dozen players are still in with a chance of snatching second or third place in the standings at the last counting event.
Branden Grace currently occupies second place, which is worth $8m (£7.1m), thanks in large part to the South African’s victory at the second LIV Golf Invitational in Portland in July. Former Masters winner Patrick Reed is third and on course for a $4m bonus.
Beyond them is a sizeable gap to the chasing pack, meaning anyone hoping to overtake Reed or even Grace may need to win the 54-hole event in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Open champion Cameron Smith heads the chasing pack, with Charl Schwartzel just one point behind the Australian. Both have won events in LIV Golf’s first season, at Chicago and London respectively.
Fellow major winners Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson are among those further back yet still in striking distance, and beyond them, in the last two places from which it is still mathematically possible, are Paul Casey and Lee Westwood.
The British and Irish contingent have struggled to make an impression so far in LIV Golf, despite being among the most prominent names to sign up to the circuit.
Casey is the highest-placed at 15th in the standings on 40 points, most of which came from his third-place finish in Bangkok last week. His best result besides that was sixth at Bedminster, but has been outside the top 20 in the 48-man fields at the other six events.
It has been a low-key return for a player who had one win and 10 more top-10 places in 2021 and remains in the world top 50, despite the contentious absence of ranking points at LIV Golf tournaments. Injuries earlier this year set him back but he appears to be finding form again.
Westwood, meanwhile, has failed to hit the heights of his 2020 Race to Dubai winning season since then. His best result in six LIV Golf appearances was fourth in Boston. Nonetheless, a win in Jeddah could catapult him to the championship top three if Grace and Reed toil.
Both men may have an eye on the team standings, which will decide who is seeded and therefore gets a bye to the semi-finals in Miami later this month.
Casey is part of Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers, who are second and look assured of the necessary top-four finish. Westwood’s mainly English Majesticks, who feature Ian Poulter and Sam Horsfield, are fifth.
Anyone looking for an outsider might consider Harold Varner III. The former PGA Tour journeyman was seventh in Bangkok and has fond memories of Jeddah, where he holed a 90-foot eagle putt to land the biggest title of his career just eight months ago.