Hometown hero Max Homa parred the second playoff hole Sunday to defeat Tony Finau and capture the US PGA Genesis Invitational after both had botched short putts for the title.
Finau missed a par putt from just inside 10 feet on the par-3 14th at Riviera Country Club to give Homa his second career crown after the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship.
“I’ve been watching this tournament my whole life. It’s why I fell in love with golf,” said an emotional Homa, who grew up in nearby Burbank.
“I didn’t think it would feel like this… I’m hoping this is just kind of the beginning.” The 30-year-old American fired a bogey-free five-under par 66 to finish 72 holes level with compatriot Finau, who shot 64, at 12-under 272 at the Tiger Woods-hosted event.
Homa was among 23 players who had to finish their third round Sunday morning after high winds Saturday produced unplayable conditions for almost four hours. In 25 total holes Sunday, he never made a bogey.
“I got it done. I’m very proud,” he said. “Playing like Tiger today.” He also compared himself to two other reigning Los Angeles champions, the NBA’s Lakers and Major League Baseball’s Dodgers. “City of Champions — Dodgers, Lakers and me now,” he said.
“It’s a weird feeling.” World number 15 Finau and 91st-ranked Homa both overtook 54-hole leader Sam Burns down the stretch in the final round, then each squandered a chance at victory. Homa dropped a wedge shot at the 72nd hole only three feet from the cup, but his birdie putt to win lipped out off the left edge of the cup, setting up the playoff with Finau.
The playoff began on the par-4 10th, where Homa’s tee shot landed next to a tree. He found the green in two but missed a curling 10-footer, leaving Finau a three-foot birdie putt for the trophy.—APP