CHARLOTTE, NC – The knockout wasn’t even dropped on the leading edge, but Max Homma was already completely down his throat.
The Presidents Cup rookie has dreamed of moments like this throughout his career, long before US captain Davis Love III tapped into a pick he didn’t really need to push for. Believe it or not, Homma has joined the American elite. This was introduced by the event.
The 31-year-old has always been competitively insecure. He used to tell the pack Joe Greiner he was “bad”. He stopped co-hosting a popular podcast because he didn’t think rehashing all his weekly disappointments was good for his mental health. Sometimes he watches another top player and catches himself thinking that he needs to make some adjustments, and he never thinks that he belongs to or can reach that higher level. His self-critical press conferences are entertaining but have the atmosphere of a therapeutic session, and he often seems to need convincing that he is in fact the best 16th golfer on the planet.
His first date with the US Cup team was supposed to be a validation, yet he approached the task with wide eyes.
“I am so grateful,” Homma said, uttering a word not so often associated this year with professional golfers, many of whom are outrageously talented but still ungrateful in this new age of LIV.
“I’m not great, very close to anyone on this team, but I’ve always respected and got along with everyone, and it was amazing to watch these 11 other guys who are incredibly good spirits, incredibly acclaimed, so many accomplishments, and encourage us To go down the sprawl.”
Homa has scored in the final on each of the past two days, first with Tony Finau and again on Friday with teammate Billy Horschel.
In the alternate shot format, Huma and Venau hit two nervous ghosts early on but played flawlessly for the rest of the afternoon, securing a 1-up win that gave the Americans a 4-1 lead.
On the second day, the United States again took full control, taking two early points and drawing two more matches. Now there was a chance to secure another full point, giving the home team an 8-2 record-breaking advantage which – against this stacked roster – seems impossible.
Throughout the four-ball game, Horschel performed better, but he constantly raised his teammate with positive reinforcement. “I just knew Max was going to show up at some point,” Horschel said. I kept saying, ‘Hey, it’s your time. You’ll get some good shots here. do what you want. “
That time reached the seventeenth green, when Homma emerged from his tie by burying 13 feet of birds. Now the players, the captains, the wives, and the support crew gathered around the last group, and they wanted them home, and the whole crowd hammered into the last hole–so many people, so close, said Homma, “you can feel them the back of your neck.”
In that tight moment, the Internationals were a game. Canadian Taylor Pendrith, facing a 15-foot must-have, crashed home on his birdie attempt that briefly looked like he could be good enough for a tie. But then, Homma intervened and removed his shot, and began to walk towards the edge of the green, towards his teammates, before the knockout hit fell. His Primordial Scream hindered the roar of the crowd.
After winning the preliminary round, Homma opened a sure grip pump and shocked Sam Burns and Colin Morikawa in the chest before being attacked by the rest of his teammates. Finally, he felt like one of them.
Homma said, “Golf is amazing, but you remember that kind of thing well in your days. So I am very grateful for that.”
“I was as nervous as I could get through that blow, but it was fun. I would say to my wife, ‘When we talk about things money can’t buy – money can’t buy that feeling.’” It was something I’ll remember forever, and I’ll tell anyone who wants To hear about him how I felt.”
Not only did the Homma dagger earn another full point for the Americans – it also made this Presidents Cup unattainable. The 8-2 margin over two sessions corresponds to the largest in the history of events; The other example was in 2017, the last time the Americans were at home, when they completely dominated the internationals to the point of ending the competition a day earlier. They ended up winning by eight.
The youngest US team on record doesn’t intend to show any mercy here either, which is why Love will resort to a few of its own buttons to put this on ice. Coming out in the morning quartet of Americans are future Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. then on top of rookie Cameron Young and two-time champion Colin Morikawa; It was followed by world number 1 Scotty Scheffler and close friend Sam Burns, who combined for seven wins last season.
But at the fulcrum – again – is Max Homa, who has earned the captain’s trust and will be sent for the third game in a row.
Love said, “No surprise.” “He is a strong player.”
Now Homa is working on developing the mind to fit all those physical talents. He’s a rising talent, a five-time winner, but he describes his exhilarating experience here as “a hundred times better” than any single achievement.
“You have leaders who have won major tournaments. You have players who have won many majors. You have the best golfers in the world counting on you. Showing up and being seen for them is not like a regular golf tournament,” Homa said. “I haven’t had a lot of success in the majors, but I can’t even imagine that feeling will compare. I wanted to be here to help represent my country as best I can and help represent these guys as best I can.”
“So this, to me, is the top of the top.”