Before they turned pro: Max Homa
Just over five years into his professional career, Max Homa
was known as much for his social media prowess as for his golf. A quick wit and an active Twitter feed made the Valencia, Calif. native popular with his peers and with fans, so much so that even Homa himself noticed the imbalance.
"I probably have a fairly large fan base compared to what I deserve for my golf," he told the San Francisco Chronicle in February of 2019.
Not any more.
As if the switch was flipped, Homa broke through less than three months later, winning the Wells Fargo Championship by three shots for his first PGA Tour win. Since then, he has added two more titles, at the 2021 Genesis Invitational and the 2021 Fortinet Championship, to elevate himself to a new level of respect, as a player capable of winning any tournament he enters.
All smiles after a 63
We were witness to Homa's potential when, at the age of 20, he shot a course-record 63
at Coyote Creek in Morgan Hill, Calif., to win the AmateurGolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur and set the all-time low scoring mark for an AG Tour event.
At the time, Homa was a sophomore for a Cal Bears team that was on the ascent, and by his senior year was threatening to become an all-time great team. How great? Entering the NCAA Championships, the Bears had won 11 of their 13
tournaments, and were in good shape to capture the national title, topping the 30 teams in stroke play and taking the top match play seed
. But they fell in the semis to Illinois and Homa, despite the disappointment, took home the considerable consolation of winning the individual title
Max Homa, 2013 NCAA champion (Cal photo)
"This is the biggest accomplishment in my life, and it’s not even close," Homa said. "Obviously, the team championship would be much better, but this feels very, very good."
Homa was named a first-team All-American and to the All-Nicklaus Team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Riding the momentum, he then qualified for the U.S. Open as an amateur and represented the U.S. on a Walker Cup team that defeated Great Britain & Ireland
17-9 at the National Golf Links of America.
Homa's first college victory also offered a glimpse into his character and the perspective he gained from the loss of a childhood friend. While setting a course record
at L.A. Country Club en route to a Pac-12 Conference title
, Homa wore the high-school basketball jersey of David Stroud, Homa’s friend who passed away at age 19 after a prolonged fight with cancer. The reminders of his friend included marking his ball with Stroud’s No. 25 and wearing a lime-green bracelet that read, “Stroud Strong.”
"It’s about honoring him. It makes me smile because I feel like he’s with me," Homa told Sean Martin of Golfweek
at the time. "He was so resilient and positive about everything." No doubt Homa has carried that perspective to this day and will continue to as he searches for his ceiling on the PGA Tour.
Here are some of the stories about Max Homa that have appeared on AmateurGolf.com:
|Feb 12, 2019||Alumni Report: Homa's Riviera start a product of hard work|
|May 20, 2014||Titleist, Project X helps Max Homa wins 1st pro event|
|Oct 15, 2013||Max Homa logs Top 10 in Frys.com Open|
|Oct 10, 2013||Homa, Thomas debut at PGA Tour's Frys.com Open|
|Jun 04, 2013||Max Homa wins SGA Player of the Month|
|May 31, 2013||NCAA Championships: Homa wins individual crown|
|May 30, 2013||Cal leads match play qualifiers at NCAA Championship|
|May 15, 2013||Cal's Homa leads while remembering friend|
|May 04, 2013||Cal defends Pac-12 title, tying NCAA win record|
|Apr 30, 2013||Cal takes Pac-12 Championship lead behind Max Homa's 9-under 61|
|Jan 29, 2013||Top-ranked Cal aims to finish off perfect season|
|Aug 15, 2012||Three Golden Bears advance at U.S. Amateur|
|May 22, 2012||Player Profile: Cal's Max Homa|
|Feb 17, 2012||Cal goes wire-to-wire to defend at Burns Intercollegiate|
|Feb 18, 2011||John Burns Intercollegiate: Cal victorious|
|Jan 16, 2011||Course-record shooter Homa wins Silicon Valley Am|
|Jan 15, 2011||Wow! Homa Posts Record 63 at Silicon Valley Am|