Max Homa will never forget the moment that ‘money can’t buy’


CHARLOTT, North Carolina. Putt hadn’t even fallen over the front line yet, but Max Homa was already at full throat.

The Presidents Cup rookie has dreamed of moments like this his entire career, long before he eavesdropped on Team USA captain Davis Love III to get a pick he never needed to lobby for. Believe it or not, Khoma has joined the American elite. It was his showcase.

The 31-year-old player has long been unsure of his competitiveness. He used to tell caddy Joe Griner that he “sucks”. He stopped hosting a popular podcast because he didn’t think rehashing all his weekly frustrations was good for his mental health. Sometimes he watches another top player and catches himself thinking that he needs to make some adjustments, never believing that he belongs or can reach that top level. His self-deprecating press conferences are funny but reminiscent of a therapy session, and he often seems to need to be convinced that he is in fact the 16th best golfer on the planet.

Full score of the Presidents Cup match

His first assignment to the US Cup team was supposed to be an acclaim, and yet he approached the assignment with wide eyes.

“I feel very grateful,” Homa said, speaking a word not often associated this year with professional golfers, many of whom are outrageously gifted but still sound ungrateful in this new LIV era.

“I’m not really, really close to anyone on this team, but I’ve always respected and got along with everyone and it’s been amazing to see these 11 other guys who are incredibly good, incredibly famous, so many accomplishments that cheer us up. when descending.”

Homa has competed in the final match each of the last two days, first with Tony Finau and on Friday again with fellow rookie Billy Horschel.

In the alt format, Homa and Finau scored two nervous scarecrows early but played flawlessly for the rest of the day, taking a 1-up win that gave the Americans their first 4-1 lead.

On the second day, the US again took full control, earning the first two points and drawing two more matches. Now there was a chance to earn another full point, giving the home side a record 8-2 lead that against such a compound lineup might have seemed insurmountable.

Presidents’ Cup results: USA wins four-ball on the second day with a score of 4:1 and pulls ahead with a score of 8:2

Throughout the fourball match, Horschel performed better, but he constantly supported his teammate with positive reinforcement. “I just knew Max would show up at some point,” Horschel said. “I kept saying, ‘Hey, it’s your time. Here you will land some good hits. Do your thing.'”

That time came on the 17th green when Homa broke the tie with a 13-foot birdie. Now the players, captains, wives, and support staff gathered around the last group, wishing them home, and the whole crowd surrounded the last hole—so many people, so close, Homa said, “you can feel them on yourself.” back of the head.”

In that tense moment, the Internationals were a game. Canadian Taylor Pendrit, facing a mandatory 15-footer, rammed his birdie, which for a moment looked like it was enough for a tie. But then Homa stepped in and cleared his shot by starting to walk to the edge of the green, towards his teammates, even before the shot dropped. His primal cry preceded the roar of the crowd.

After a no-hold victory, Homa decisively punched and chest-butted Sam Burns and Collin Morikawa before he was surrounded by the rest of the touted teammates. Finally, he felt like one of them.

“Golf is amazing,” Khoma said, “but you remember those things well in your day. So I am very grateful for this.

“I was very nervous about this hit, but it was fun. I told my wife, “When we talk about things that money can’t buy, money can’t buy that feeling.” It was something I will remember forever and I will tell anyone who ever wants to hear about it how it was.”

Homa’s dagger not only brought another point to the Americans – he made the Presidents Cup out of reach. The 8-2 difference over two sessions is the largest in the history of the competition; the other was in 2017, when the Americans were last at home, when they dominated the International so much that they almost finished the competition a day early. In the end, they won by a score of eight.

The youngest US team in history also has no intention of showing mercy here, which is why Love will turn to several of his stallions to put this team on the ice. For the Americans, the morning fours are future Hall of Famers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas; then top rookie Cameron Young and two-time world champion Collin Morikawa; he is followed by world No. 1 Scotty Sheffler and best friend Sam Burns, who together won seven victories last season.

Homa demonstrates leadership and team spirit for the USA

But Max Homa is in the lead again, who has earned the trust of the captain and will be sent to the third match in a row.

“No wonder,” Love said. “He’s a strong player.”

And now Homa develops the mind to match all these physical gifts. He’s an up-and-coming talent, a five-time winner, but he described his euphoric experience here as “a hundred times better” than any individual achievement.

“You have captains who have won majors. You have players who have won several Majors. The best golfers on the planet rely on you. And showing up and performing in front of them is not at all like a regular golf tournament, ”said Khoma. “I didn’t have much success in the majors, but I can’t even imagine that this feeling right there can be compared. I wanted to be here to help represent my country the best I can and help represent these guys the best I can.

“So, for me, it’s the pinnacle of the pinnacle.”