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Cal alum Max Homa wins Genesis Invitational, his 2nd PGA Tour event
Homa ties James Hahn as the Cal alum with two PGA wins. Both trails Collin Morikawa who has 3 wins.
Max Homa has been playing great golf in 2021, making 5 straight cuts since last December. He has credited his recent success to a newfound mental peace, which is he was able to find thanks to another Cal Bear, Football superstar Aaron Rodgers (and maybe even Jodie Foster by proxy?). You can read more in the embedded article below:
Homa credited two parts of his life that help with his positive outlook, and they actually go hand-in-hand: his weekly “Get a Grip” podcast with good friend Shane Bacon, and texts from his other pal, 2020 NFL MVP and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The same mental peace that apparently led Aaron Rodgers to the rejuvenating 2020 season that saw him win his 3rd NFL MVP award has also allowed Max Homa to play some of his best golf in a while. The LA Native got to play his favorite course, the Riviera Golf Course in Pacific Palisades, this weekend.
Because of the title, and the fact that this post exists at all, you already know what happened. Max Homa won the Genesis Invitational in the 2nd sudden-death playoff hole over Tony Finau, who is also playing great golf and got his 2nd consecutive 2nd place finish and 3rd consecutive top-5 finish.
But this post is about Cal Men’s Golf alum Max Homa, the only man in Cal history to win the NCAA individual national championship (he achieved it in 2013 when his Cal team dominated the stroke part of the NCAA championship before being upset in the semifinal after the championship format switched to match play for the top 8). Homa is perhaps more famous to the general golf community and beyond for his often hilarious Twitter roast of other people’s swings.
Max had a Sunday tie-for-the-lead at The American Express 4 weeks ago before faltering. Can he forget about that missed opportunity to achieve a different result today?
At the beginning of this Sunday, Sam Burns was the leader at -10 with Max Homa 3 strokes back at -7.
I have embedded the Tweets with the replays below, although it will likely take you to Twitter to play the videos. Sorry for the inconvenience of this process.
Max started the day strong with a birdie.
After par in the next 4 holes, Max birdied 6th and 7th to be one stroke back.
Max Homa stayed 2nd behind Sam Burns for most of the day before Burns bogeyed 3 of 4 holes between 12 and 15. Burns eventually finished one shot behind Tony Finau and Max Homa.
In the 17th, Max used a great bunker shot to earn a birdie to tie for the lead with Tony Finau.
In the final hole of regulation, Max Homa made this incredible wedge shot to get within ~3 feet of the hole. Tony Finau had already par the hole to finish his final round with a 64. Homa had a very makable putt to take the lead. At this point, the commentators and Twitter-verse thought that Homa has effectively won this tournament.
But alas, Max’s short putt lipped out!?!? Max Homa has to settle for a par on the 18 and finished the final round with a 66.
Both Finau and Homa finished at -12, and this tournament will be decided by a sudden-death playoff.
The restart saw the two men teeing off at the 10th hole. Finau had a good shot, but Max Homa’s ball took a bad bounce and landed incredibly close to a tree. Despite his recent misfortune, the Bear will not quit. It would take an awkward chip shot for Max to get on the green, but Max found a way to pull that off!
After the two men exchanged par in the first playoff hole, it is on to the 14 for the 2nd playoff hole.
Max Homa gave himself a great chance to make a tournament-winning birdie, but he actually just missed on that birdie attempt. Homa does still get the win when Finau missed his par putt for the tie.
This is the 2nd PGA win for Max Homa, who also won the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2019. He got very emotional after the win, talking about LA, this tournament, and how he will be receiving the trophy from Tiger Woods, host of this tournament - whatever that really means, for this win.
Congratulations to Max! He certainly played some brilliant golf this weekend, but also showed great mental resolve to not allow that near-miss on 18 to affect his play in the playoff.
Max Homa has now played for 5 consecutive weekends. He might take one or two weekends off before The Players Championship, not an actual Golf Major but has the highest prize money, in three weeks. There is no reason why he will not continue to challenge for wins with this new positive mental outlook to help his performances. Best of luck to Max!
Also making the cut this weekend were fellow Cal alum James Hahn who finished T15 at -4 and Collin Morikawa, who took an extended time off until this weekend, who finished T43 at +1 after a rough final round.
Coincidentally, Hahn and Morikawa were the only Cal alumni to have won multiple PGA tournaments before today. Max Homa has earned a place in that select company now.
The only other Cal alum to have won a PGA tournament is Michael Kim, Homa’s Cal teammate and actually the collegiate player of the year the season when Homa won the NCAA. Another Cal Bears on the PGA tour from that 2013 team is Brandon Hagy. Byeong-hun (Ben) An, 2016 South Korean Cal Olympian, is another Cal guy who has come close to win a few times to win PGA events recently. We are truly in the Golden Age of Cal Men’s Golf alumni in the PGA with up to 6 guys regularly vying to win PGA events weekly.
GO BEARS! ⛳️🐻