Max Homa It was on the ropes. He had just left his third shot out of the bunker at Bar 5 18 at Silverado Resort & Spa North Corse without the greenery.
his opponent, Danny Willett, He was already in front and was less than four feet for the jumper to take the win.
The 2022 Fortinet Championship is over.
So it wasn’t.
Homa penetrated the fourth shot from the gathering area left of the eighteenth green…
…then watch Willett misplace the bird and then shockingly miss it repeatedlythat’s one of about five feet, handing the first title of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season to Homa.
Under such dizzying circumstances, Homa successfully defended his win in Fortinet a year ago and started the new season with his fifth win on his career tour.
“My coach just said, put up, hang around, hang around,” Homma said after the win. “And I don’t know, to last like three minutes is kind of a blur.”
Willett looked in control of most of the final round on Sunday. Quickly grab the initiative from Justin Lorre is the 54-hole leader With three birds in the first eight holes.
Homa, who tied with Willett by three rounds in the 12-under, held steady during the same stretch before pulling off even with Willett early in the back nine thanks to the three straight sparrows of his own.
Willett took control again at 14, firing a prodigious second shot, which curved about 50 yards around a tree directly in front of him and set up a birdie giving him an advantage with a single stroke, which he achieved on 18.
The Englishman has not won the PGA Tour since his dramatic 2016 Masters win.
In that tournament, it was Willett who stole the show from Jordan Spieth who appears to have locked up the major.
But this time, it was Homma who got the title, and Willett who was shocked.
“I played golf really well, I played really hard,” Homa said. “Danny and Justin both played great, but I just tried to play my game and just see where I got in. I don’t know, it was a wild end.”
After he installed it fourth, Homma looked at Joe Greiner’s can, slowly walked towards him and let out a big shriek in exhilaration. He put him in his last 68th round at the age of 16 under the championship.
Willett simply smiled.
“I was expecting him to do it, but then there’s still kind of a shock when it happens,” Willett said of the moment. “He played – we all played really well today. Like I said, it’s a shame to finish what I did.”
In the end, Willett pulled his bird out of the hole and did the same on the cut throw from a little further away, both capturing the left lip.
“Obviously I hit her too hard,” Willett said. “I thought it was straighter… just ended up getting off the tail and losing the left. Yeah, disappointing way to finish, but you know, first off season, like I said, to compete, things are in a good place. Yeah, we’ll live to fight another day” .
Homa kicked off the new PGA Tour season with a win and will take the momentum from Napa – as well as his T5 finish in the Tour Championship last month – to his team’s debut in the Presidents Cup next week in Charlotte.
Homma was the only member of the American team to play in Napa, and this move paid off in the best possible way.
“I am happy to be in good shape, to represent my country, and to play with these boys,” said Homa. “They’re some really good golfers, so I just wanted to get on in good shape. Honestly, I have a lot of people – I know this is Twitter, but I’ve had a lot of people tell me if the LIV guys hadn’t left, I wouldn’t be a Presidents Cup team, so I had a little chip on my shoulder this week.”