Max Homma wins the Fortinet Championship at Silverado
Napa, California. Max Homma’s decision to ditch the popular and often comedic golf podcast to focus on his game is already paying off.
Homma hid from the Eagle’s 95 yards in 4 par 4 to start a nine-back and add three birdies for the seven under 65 and a one-stroke victory on Sunday in the season-opening Fortinet Championship.
“I had complete control today,” said Homa, who saved Equality out of the sand three times. “I had a really good warm-up, and hit the wedges really well. The only ghost I made was kind of right, so I felt like I was in good control. It feels really great.”
Three strokes behind Maverick McNealy with seven holes left, Homa followed the eagle with a birdie on a par-4 13. The 30-year-old former UCLA player tapped another birdie in 15th and ran 18 feet into position fourteenth. He broke the par-5 18 to finish at 19-under 269.
HUMA won for the second time this year and the third time on the PGA Tour. He won the Riviera in Los Angeles in February.
His Silverado win came a week after Homa ended the “Get A Grip” podcast he had co-hosted for nearly two years.
“I would love to do it…but at some point it didn’t do me any favors in having to redo all the bad things that happened,” Homa said. “My game got to the point where it could be really good.”
McNealy fired 68 to finish second. He did a No. 16 bird, then double bogey at 17 and an eagle at 18. The son of billionaire and former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNeely, the 25-year-old grew up in Palo Alto and starred in Stanford.
“I was fine in the morning, but I had a few short mishaps late in the day,” McNeely said. “If I hit that fairway at 17, I put a birdie, it’s a different story.”
Mito Pereira (68) finished third with 16 under. Followed by Mark Leishman (65) and Taylor Gotsch (68) at under 15. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (66) tied for sixth with 13 under. PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson (75), was 7 under.
Jim Knoss (74) started the day with a draw with McNeely but couldn’t find his rhythm and finished at 12 under. Knous, who has another start with a medical exemption, landed his opening jersey in the spectator’s chair and had a triple bogey at No. 14.
Houma played in the duo right in front of McNeely, smashing three of the last four holes in the front nine, then dropping a hit on No. 10.
He got back on track and circled around two holes later when his approacher at 12 landed on the front of the green and rolled into the cup as Homma raised his finger in the air.
“You want to have a Tiger (Woods) moment,” Homma said. “He managed to win from everywhere. Sometimes when you put yourself in that state of mind, great things happen.”
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