Max Homa shows why he’s the man to beat on Californian soil

0
418
Max Homa won in his home state of California for the second time on the PGA Tour after the 2021 Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles. Photo: Twitter
Max Homa won in his home state of California for the second time on the PGA Tour after the 2021 Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles. Photo: Twitter

Max Homa (-19) won the Fortinet Championship in the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 season-opener and for his third Tour title and second in his home state of California.

36-hole solo-leader and 54-hole co-leader, Maverick McNealy, closed with birdie-double bogey-eagle for his second runner-up on Tour.

Must Read: Genghis Khan BBQ marks Scott Vincent’s second win in Japan

Chile’s Mito Pereira recorded his best finish among 26 rookies in the field (10 made the cut).

Playing on a medical exemption, Jim Knous finished T11 and came up 3.516 points short of securing PGA Tour status. He has one start remaining on current exemption.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour)

Homa earned his third title in his 128th career start at the age of 30 years, 10 months. His wins now read 2021 Fortinet Championship, 2021 Genesis Invitational and 2019 Wells Fargo Championship.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Max Homa (@max.homa)

Sunday marked the first time his winning in back-to-back seasons on Tour.

He won in his home state of California for the second time after the 2021 Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour)

Homa moved to No. 1 in the FedExCup. He had ended the 2020-21 season No. 35 in the FedExCup. He came from behind to win for the second time.

Related content: Walking the thin line, Jim Knous makes a move

Homa entered the final round trailing by two, the same deficit he came back from in the final round of the 2021 Genesis Invitational (won via playoff).

He eagled the par-4 12th hole, becoming the first player since Branden Grace at the 2021 Puerto Rico Open to eagle a par-4 in the final round en route to victory.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour)

He equalled his career-best mark with nine birdies during a third-round 7-under 65
269 tournament total ties second-lowest 72-hole score.

McNealy (-18) entered the final round with a share of the lead and played the final three holes birdie-double bogey-eagle, closing with a 31’8” putt for eagle to finish one stroke behind Homa.

It marked his second career runner-up in his 67th career PGA Tour start. Born in Stanford, California, his finishes have come in Northern California: 2nd/2021 Fortinet Championship, 2nd/2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

He made his professional debut at the 2017 Fortinet Championship (T52) and has made the most starts in the Fortinet Championship than any other event on Tour.

Was seeking to become the sixth player to win first Tour title at the Fortinet Championship: Kevin Tway (2018), Emiliano Grillo (2015), Jimmy Walker (2013), Jonas Blixt (2012), Bryce Molder (2011).

Starting his 31st season on the PGA Tour, 45-time winner Phil Mickelson went 70-69-67-75—281 to finish T36.

Marc Leishman finished T4, his seventh career top-five finish in 40 Tour starts in California, and second in the event: Win/2020 Farmers Insurance Open, T2/2014 Farmers Insurance Open, T2/2010 Farmers Insurance Open, 3rd/2019 Fortinet Championship, T4/2021 Fortinet Championship, T4/2019 The Genesis Invitational, T5/2016 The Genesis Invitational.

PGA Tour

Exclusive: Shillong to Srinagar, Tour life turns a circle for Honey Baisoya