Profiling Max Homa - WITB
ENGLAND’S Danny Willett threw away a golden opportunity to win the Fortinet Championship as he three-putted from less than four feet on the final green to hand the title to defending champion Max Homa.
Homa had just chipped in for a birdie and high-fived his caddie when his ball hit the flagstick and dropped. His previous shot from a nearby bunker came up short of the green at the par-5 18th hole. Willett, meanwhile, had a one-shot lead at the rain-soaked PGA Tour season opener and stuffed his third shot to 3 feet, 7 inches.
He hit his first putt nearly five feet past the hole and then missed the return to hand Homa his fifth victory on Tour.
Willett was philosophical. “These things happen,” he said. "Luckily we’ve been in a good position all week and then unfortunate things happen when you feel like you need them most.” Willett was looking for his first victory in the United States since claiming The Masters in 2016. And he will never have a better chance.
Homa closed with a 4-under 66 for a total of 16-under 272 and now heads to Charlotte, North Carolina, as a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup with three wins in the past 12 months. Willett shot 69. Taylor Montgomery was alone in third at 13 under after a closing 64.
The leaders had their tee times pushed up by nearly four hours in an effort to get the round in before the North course at Silverado Resort & Spa became completely unplayable. Greens that had been hard and fast earlier in the week from the sun and wind were suddenly quite the opposite, slow and soft from all the water.
Justin Lower held a one-stroke lead going into the final day while chasing his first title after years of struggles just to secure his Tour card. The 33-year-old American wound up tied for fourth with Byeong Hun An at 12 under after shooting a 1-over 73.
Who is Max Homa?
Homa was born in Burbank, California in November 1990 and this is his fifth PGA Tour victory. As an amateur he qualified to play in the US Open in 2013. He represented the USA in the Walker Cup that year and then turned professional. A decent year on the Web.com Tour means that he earned his PGA Tour card for 2015 but he lost his privileges after just one season. He regained his card but lost it again before returning to the PGA Tour in 2019, when he won the Wells Fargo Championship. In the 2021-22 season he won twice.
He averages 301 yards from the tee, hits 57% of fairways and 70.83% of greens in regulation. Homa averages 4.50 birdies per round, 27 putts and gets up and down from the sand 50% of the time. He is 16th in the world rankings.
Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, A1)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X
3-wood: Titleist TSR3 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X
5-wood: Titleist TSR2 (21 degrees @ 20.25 degrees, 0.75 degree flat lie, C1)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 9 TX
Irons: Titleist T100s (4), Titleist T100 (5), Titleist 620 MB (6-9)
Shafts: KBS $-Taper 130 Black PVD
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 50-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)
Shafts: KBS $-Taper 130 Chrome (46), KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 130 (50-56), KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 125 S (60)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
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