Max Homa Rides a Wave of Momentum into Southern Hills
It doesn’t matter that the Wells Fargo Championship was moved to a different course in a different state, Max Homa still found the winner’s circle.
The winner of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship won the event again Sunday after finishing 8 under for the week. This year’s event was moved from the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms for 2022 as the team at the 2017 PGA Championship host venue is preparing for this September’s Presidents Cup.
On a tough scoring day, Homa shot a 2-under 68 to win by two shots. Matt Fitzpatrick, Cameron Young, and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley finished runner up.
This marked Homa’s second victory this season on the PGA Tour, and his fourth career title. Three of those wins have come since Jan. 1, 2021. The win came on Mother’s Day, just two weeks after he and wife Lace announced they were expecting their first child.
“It feels good. Obviously it’s a special day, especially now, to me,” said Homa. “(Lace) is not here but I just feel like life’s good. I have a good life and I’m playing some good golf.”
Homa will come into the PGA Championship in two weeks riding a wave of momentum as he looks to break through at a major. He said last week he was working in Alabama with his coach, Mark Blackburn, who had some sage words of wisdom for his pupil.
“Game’s been good, and we were just talking most about mental, just being confident. He said, ‘When are you going to start to believe in yourself?’ And I said, ‘Well I guess maybe today,’” said Homa. “I’ve just been trying to walk around and fake it a little bit. Honestly, it’s funny how that ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ thing, I started to believe it and I showed up on that first tee very confident today.”
Homa was grouped with Bradley in the final pairing Sunday, and it had all the trappings of a heavyweight fight. Bradley made a double bogey on the par-5 2nd and was 3 over through four holes but clawed his way back with birdies on No’s 5, 7, and 8. Whenever he started to pick away at Homa’s lead, he found himself adding a few more squares to his scorecard at inopportune times.
Still, Bradley, who won the PGA Championship in his debut in 2011, said he feels like he’s rounding into form with an opportunity to win another Wanamaker Trophy on the horizon.
“I played some really good golf on Friday and Saturday in the bad weather,” said Bradley. “I feel like I can… if you can play well in those conditions on this course, I think you can pretty much do it anywhere.”
Homa, meanwhile, was steady when he needed to be. He was 2 under through nine holes Sunday, and despite two bogeys on his back nine, he relied on a sizzling putter to get the job done at TPC Potomac.
“I just feel like I’m coming into my own,” said Homa. “I’m starting to believe in myself and that’s all I can really ask for.”
Two-time PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy had it to 3 under through 10 holes and was charging up the leaderboard as he looked to successfully defend his Wells Fargo Championship title. McIlroy bogeyed No’s 11 and 18, though, and couldn’t continue his front-nine momentum.
Still, McIlroy finished fifth alone – marking his second straight top-5 finish after a runner-up at the Masters – and will head into this year’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club with plenty of confidence.
“I’m playing good, playing really good,” said McIlroy. “Everything feels pretty solid. As I said, just a couple of things here and there coming down the stretch, a couple missed putts, but really apart from that I feel like the game’s in good shape.”
The PGA Tour heads to the AT&T Byron Nelson just outside of Dallas next week for the final event before the 2022 PGA Championship.