Max Homa claimed his second PGA Tour victory in a dramatic playoff against Tony Finau at the Genesis Invitational.
Max Homa Wins Dramatic Playoff
American Max Homa overcame his putting drama on the 72nd hole, to claim his second PGA Tour title at the Genesis Invitational. The victory now moves Homa into the world’s top 50.
Starting the day two shots behind overnight leader Sam Burns, Homa birdied the first hole to cut the lead in half momentarily.
Consecutive birdies followed at the sixth and seventh for Homa, with a third birdie coming at the 10th hole to keep two shots back of Burns.
But, as Burns struggled on the back nine, Homa’s nearest rival became Tony Finau who was in the group ahead of him.
Finau had been flying under the radar for much of the day, but four birdies on his front nine soon found him near the top of the leaderboard.
Consecutive birdies at the 10th and 11th continued the charge, before a bogey at the 15th stalled his momentum.
But Finau recovered brilliantly with birdies at the 16th and 17th meaning a score of 12-under-par and the clubhouse lead.
Homa meanwhile, had produced six consecutive pars on his back nine, before an up-and-down for birdie at the 17th meant he would need a birdie at the last for victory.
The American couldn’t of placed his two shots on the 18th any better, as he was faced with only a three and a half foot putt for the win, but Homa squandered the opportunity and him and Finau would head to a playoff.
With the playoff starting on the 10th hole, both missed chances for birdie, with Finau failing to convert an eight-foot putt for the win.
Finau then failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker at the second extra hole, as Homa stuck his tee shot to 15-feet and two putted for victory.
Speaking to CBS after his round, an emotional Homa said: “I’ve been watching this tournament my whole life and you know Tiger is one of the reasons why I play golf. I’ve had good feelings this week and I’ve been playing great.
“I think I have a game that fits difficult golf courses and I’m starting to build a mind that fits that, I just feel really comfortable here and I think this is the best golf course in the world. I’m hoping this is just the beginning for me.”
It was yet another disappointing runner-up finish for Finau, with the loss his 37th top 10 since his last win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.
Sam Burns had been leading after every single round at Riviera, and a front nine of four-under-par kept the American in the lead going into the back.
But the 24-year-old endured a back nine to forget as a pulled drive at the 12th was lucky to stay in bounds.
A bogey there and further bogies at the 14th and 15th dropped the American two shots back with two to play.
A gutsy birdie at the 17th meant Burns would need a birdie to make the playoff with Homa and Finau.
But a closing par wasn’t enough, as the American’s two-under-par round meant a third place finish, his best result on the PGA Tour.
Cameron Smith produced a four-under-par final round of 67 to secure his third top-five of the season, whilst Spaniard Jon Rahm managed his seventh consecutive top 20, as a five-under-par 66 meant he finished one shot back of Smith.