Max Homa rallies to win Fortinet Championship at Silverado

Sep 19, 2021, 6:31 AM | Updated: Sep 20, 2021, 7:55 am
Hideki Matsuyama, right,of Japan, reacts after missing a hit for birdie on the sixth green of the S...

Hideki Matsuyama, right,of Japan, reacts after missing a hit for birdie on the sixth green of the Silverado Resort North Course during the final round of the Fortinet Championship PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Napa, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Max Homa’s decision to give up his popular and often comical golf podcast to concentrate on his game already is paying off.

Homa holed out from the rough from 95 yards for eagle on the par-4 12th to start a back-nine comeback and added three birdies for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke victory Sunday in the season-opening Fortinet Championship.

“I had full control today,” said Homa, who saved par out of the sand three times. “I had a really good warmup, hit my wedges really well. The only bogey I made was going kind of right at it, so just felt like I had good control. It just feels really nice.”

Three strokes behind Maverick McNealy with seven holes left, Homa followed the eagle with a birdie on the par-4 13th. The 30-year-old former University of California player tapped in for another birdie on the par-5 16th and ran in an 18-footer on the par-4 17th. He parred the par-5 18th to finish at 19-under 269.

Homa won for the second time this year and the third time on the PGA Tour. He won at Riviera in Los Angeles in February.

His victory at Silverado came a week after Homa ended the “Get A Grip” podcast he co-hosted for nearly two years.

“I love doing it … but at some point it was not doing me any favors having to regurgitate all the bad things that happened. It wasn’t healthy for me,” Homa said. “My game’s getting to the point where it could be really good.”

McNealy shot a 68 to finish second. He birdied the 16th, then made a double bogey on 17 and an eagle on 18. The son of billionaire and former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, the 25-year-old player grew up in Palo Alto and starred at Stanford.

“I was pretty good in the morning but had a few short game mishaps late in the day,” McNealy said. “If I hit that fairway on 17, I’m putting for birdie, it’s a different story.”

Mito Pereira (68) was third at 16 under. Marc Leishman (65) and Talor Gooch (68) followed at 15 under. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (66) tied for sixth at 13 under. PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson (75) was 7 under.

Jim Knous (74) began the day tied for the lead with McNealy but could never find his rhythm and finished at 12 under. Knous, who has one more start on a medical exemption, landed his opening tee shot into a spectator’s chair and had a triple bogey on No. 14.

Playing in the twosome just in front of McNealy, Homa birdied three of the last four holes on the front nine, then dropped a stroke on No. 10.

He got back on track and turned his round around two holes later when his approach on 12 landed on the front of the green and rolled into the cup as Homa raised his finger in the air.

“You want to have a Tiger (Woods) moment,” Homa said. “He’s made it from everywhere to win. Sometimes when you put yourself in that state of mind, great things happen.”

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

San Francisco Giants third base coach Mark Hallberg, left, congratulates Ford Proctor, right, for g...
Associated Press

Longoria’s pinch-single sends Giants over Diamondbacks 3-2

PHOENIX (AP) — Pinch-hitter Evan Longoria had a go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning and the San Francisco Giants went on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Sunday. Brandon Crawford led off the Giants eighth with a single against Luis Frias (1-1) and advanced to second on Cooper Hummel’s passed ball. One out […]
16 hours ago
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. celebrate ...
Associated Press

Lawrence, Jaguars rout ailing Herbert, Chargers 38-10

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns, James Robinson rushed for 100 yards and a TD and the Jacksonville Jaguars snapped an 18-game road losing streak with a decisive 38-10 victory over ailing Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Herbert started after being listed as questionable […]
16 hours ago
Austria's Kevin Danso, front, reacts after Croatia's Luka Modric scoring his side's opening goal du...
Associated Press

Croatia, Dutch advance in Nations League; France loses

PARIS (AP) — Croatia and the Netherlands finished warming up for the World Cup in style on Sunday by winning their last Nations League games to qualify for the Final Four tournament next year. Croatia topped Group A1 by winning 3-1 in Austria to relegate the hosts to the second tier of the Nations League, […]
16 hours ago
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland walks into the dugout after being removed from a ba...
Associated Press

Manny Machado hits 31st homer, Padres beat Rockies, 13-6

DENVER (AP) — Manny Machado and Brandon Drury hit back-to-back home runs in a five-run eighth inning, Wil Myers also went deep, and the San Diego Padres beat Colorado 13-6 in the Rockies’ final home game of the season. Jake Cronenworth tripled and drove in three runs and Juan Soto, Jurickson Profar and Luis Campusano […]
16 hours ago
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo throws during the first inning of a baseball game a...
Associated Press

Castillo falters, M’s blow 9-run lead; KC’s 11-run 6th wins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Luis Castillo, fresh off signing a rich contract with Seattle, got chased as the Kansas City Royals erupted for 11 runs in the sixth inning and a wild, 13-12 win Sunday that cost the Mariners a chance to move up in the AL wild-card standings. Mitch Haniger singled twice during […]
16 hours ago
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani watches as he advances to second base on a Minnesota Twins error ...
Associated Press

Trout homers, doubles twice as Angels beat Twins 10-3

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Trout had three hits, including his 37th homer of the season, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Minnesota Twins 10-3 on Sunday. Trout also doubled twice, walked and scored three runs. Shohei Ohtani had two hits, including an RBI single in the ninth that keyed a five-run rally that broke […]
16 hours ago
Max Homa rallies to win Fortinet Championship at Silverado