Max Homa is eyeing a third straight title at the PGA Tour Fortinet Championship this week that he hopes could be a springboard to a dominant Ryder Cup performance.
After successfully defending his title at Silverado Resort in Napa, California, last year, Homa went 4-0 for the United States in the Presidents Cup.
Homa, one of six automatic qualifiers for US captain Zach Johnson's team, said Wednesday his focus this week is firmly on becoming the first player to win the same event in three straight years since Steve Stricker won the John Deere Classic in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
"I would love to win this thing three times in a row," Homa said.
Ryder Cup teammate Justin Thomas also said he's staying focused on the task at hand this week, searching for a victory that would be all the more welcome after he missed the US Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs.
Thomas, a two-time PGA Championship winner who missed the cut in three of four majors this year, said he doesn't think he needs a win to validate Johnson's decision to make him a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup.
"Now that I've been picked, I don't have to prove anything," Thomas said. "It's just more about I'm here to play well in a golf tournament and play well and try to give myself a chance and get in contention.
"I know when I don't play competitively for two or three weeks I'm a little rusty competitively, so I'm sure after a month and a half it's going to be a challenge to get back into it, but it's something that I'm excited for," added Thomas, who hasn't played in six weeks.
Most of the US team visited the Marco Simone host course near Rome last week for a sneak peek at the challenging layout they will face in the biennial match play showdown with Europe.
Johnson acknowledged that there was a fatigue factor in jetting back to California's wine country, but he thought the benefits were worth it.
"I don't think it's ever bad to go compete," he said. "That's what we're designed to do, that's where we're wired."