Max Homa Claims PGA Tour Opener In Climactic Fortinet Championship

After Homa chipped in at the 72nd hole, Danny Willett three-putted from three-feet to lose by one!

Homa hugs Willett
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the Fortinet Championship, Max Homa defended his title by one shot but in the most dramatic way, as he chipped in at the 72nd hole and Danny Willett three-putted from three-feet!

It seemed that the title was heading to Englishman, Willett but, after Homa chipped in, the former Masters champion had a three-foot birdie putt to secure a first win in just under a year. However, he missed that attempt, with his follow-up not touching the hole as the title was gifted to American, Homa, his fifth PGA Tour victory.

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Beginning the final day, it was Justin Lower who led, with the American recovering superbly from heartbreak just a month previous. At the time, Lower missed out on the FedEx Cup playoffs with it seeming that he would not retain his PGA Tour card for 2022/23.

But Lower was handed a lifeline following players jumping to LIV Golf and, after six holes, he remained in contention, just one shot back of Willett with two-thirds of the round remaining.

As the day wore on though, it was Willett who stayed in front as he headed to the back nine, but defending champion, Homa, wasn't giving up, as he pulled alongside the Englishman with just a handful of holes to go.

Homa celebrates a chip in

Homa celebrates his chip in with his caddie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Willett carded a stunning birdie at the 14th and, playing the last, he stood one shot ahead of his American opponent. What followed was sheer drama, with Homa chipping in for birdie to share the lead with Willett.

Following a stunning shot, the former Masters champion had three-feet for the win, but his attempt never looked in as it drifted past the cup. Needing to hole a putt of equal length coming back, Willett once again missed, thus handing the title to Homa in a finish that many couldn't quite believe!

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.