It took until the weekend to find his groove, but Max Homa had his foot on the throttle once he got going. Consecutive rounds of 3-under 70 left him well back of the pack last year at Kapalua.
Homa recovered to post his best result of three tries at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Max closed in 63-66 to finish T-3rd in 2023.
His 10-under-round on Saturday tied for low round of the tournament with Jon Rahm, who went on to win the tournament with a Sunday 63.
Homa parlayed that momentum from Hawaii into a win a few weeks later in his home state at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The Los Angeles native was oh so close to getting it done in his backyard at the Genesis Invitational, where he took second in a shootout with Rahm.
Despite some close calls not going his way, 2023 was plenty rewarding for Homa. He made strides at the majors, making three of four cuts and posting his first top-10 with T-10th at The Open. Unfortunately for him, that MC at Los Angeles Country Club at the U.S. Open had to sting.
He clearly got over it with his fine play at Royal Liverpool and beyond. Homa did miss the cut the week after the U.S. Open at the Travelers Championship, but he’s finished T-21st or better in all nine events since.
Homa was a winner in November on the DP World Tour. He won at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, finishing ahead of Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, etc.
He last teed it up competitively at the Hero World Challenge, where he tied for 13th.
The former Cal Golden Bear ranked ninth on the PGA Tour last season in Strokes Gained: Total (1.638). All facets of his game have sharpened as his career has gone on.
The 33-year-old ranks 41st or better in all strokes gained stats. He’s performed very well representing Team U.S.A. at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. Homa seems to thrive in pressure-packed situations where he once didn’t.
This could be the year he truly contends at a major and continues to grow his status in the game. Homa reached a career-high No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking and could exceed that if he gets it done this week at Kapalua.